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AROUND ANAMBRA

Hope rising for Anambra sports

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By Chigozie Anueyiagu

IT IS a known fact that ndi Anambra are in love with sporting activities regardless of age. Ones notion about sport being enjoyed by the old and young but mostly engaged by youths will totally not be assumed as a wrong perception. But in the case of Anambra State, the engagement in sporting activities is widely experienced by both the young and old. An example of that is the Ekwueme Square in Aroma, Awka. 

  Prior to the tenure of Chief Willie Obiano , Ekwueme Square,  which is rich in land mass has been used  primarily for governmental functions, such as campaigns, rallies or one government function or the other. But a lot changed under the Willie Obiano administration. Gov Obiano upgraded Ekwueme Square by allowing individuals and groups to function both in and out of the vicinity. Not only that, he went on to construct a volleyball court, two basketball courts, an Olympic standard Swimming pool and also developing a standard football pitch by planting grasses. Also, he went on to provide boxing and taekwando equipments, rings and teachers in the same Ekwueme Square. All these led to the hosting of the very first Nigeria Police Games hosted in the Eastern part of the country.

  “I thank Gov Obiano for being a good host and for hosting the best police games ever. It is a sign of his quality leadership. I recognise the efforts of Hon Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammed Dingyadi, and Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare for their huge support towards the success of this competition.” These were statements made by the former IG of Police, Mohammed Adamu.  The state went on to make N1.5billion in the process. Not only is this record significant in a state level but to a regional level as well.

  On December 2021, the long awaited Awka City Stadium was inaugurated by Governor Willie Obiano’s government. The  FIFA-standard stadium is  located at  the heart of the city.

  It is important to note that  the stadium is  designed as a compact sporting facility with a covered stand, swanky dressing rooms, an electronic scoreboard, FIFA-standard pitch and Olympic-standard tartan tracks for sprinters and can accommodate future expansion possibilities while still retaining a large parking space.  Already, it is home to Rangers Football Club. It was used to play the finals for the Soludo Under-17 Local Government Tournament. Other records in the area of sport  include the ‘ walk for life’ and the  launch of  the Anambra Bombers and Anambra Babes football teams.

  All these are foundations laid down and the torch will be passed on today to no other than Professor Charles Soludo and already, he has shown willingness to continue with the beautiful streak of developing sports. There is no doubt that Professor  Charles Soludo is a champion in youths development. In the finals of the Soludo Under-17 Football Tournament, Soludo, through his deputy governor-elect, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, on Saturday, at the new Awka City Stadium, in a speech insisted that the new government will continue to develop sports and will make Anambra State another hub in different competitions within the country and beyond.

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