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Taraba Badminton holds grassroots training in Jalingo

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Taraba Sports Council has held a three day badminton training for game masters, game mistresses, and secondary school students in Jalingo.

The event was held at the indoor sports hall of the Jolly Nyame Stadium.

The training event was geared towards providing secondary school teachers and students access to learn basic skills of the game of badminton, as part of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) goal of promoting grassroots development of badminton in Nigeria.

The training event was organized by Taraba Badminton and powered by CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development) Initiative, as part of their two years’ grassroots development partnership with the BFN.

The Taraba State Director of Sports Council, George Shitta who doubles as a board member of BFN, led six other badminton instructors that taught the students and teachers the theory and practical aspects of badminton.

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The training event was attended by 80 students drawn from 18 secondary schools. Twenty-four game masters and game mistresses also attended the training event.

While speaking to sports journalists at the end of the training event,  Shitta stated that an event of this nature is aimed at taking badminton to young secondary school students, encourage them to enjoy combining sports with their education, as well as supporting their development into future badminton players that will represent the state and Nigeria.

He gave as example, Jimkan Ephraim an indigene of Taraba State who used to be a former African badminton number 1 player.

Some of the students were happy to learn from the experience of Jimkan Ephraim, who also attended the training event.

 Shitta commended the gesture of CSED Initiative for collaborating with Taraba Badminton and for their decision to select Taraba State as one of the states that will in future benefit from its “PROJECT 2027” programme, which is aimed at developing the game of grassroots netball in Nigeria.

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Shitta further disclosed that CSED Initiative donated 60 badminton rackets, 18 tubes of shuttlecocks, and 17 nets which were later distributed to the schools that attended the training event.

He promised to complement the gesture of CSED Initiative by organizing an inter-school badminton tournament in future, between the schools that participated in the training event.

In an interview, the Director of Sports, Taraba state ministry for Basic and secondary education, Affos Musa Emmanuel promised to liaise with the Director of Taraba Sports Council, in order to get some coaches to go round the schools that participated in the training event with a view of these coaches providing additional onsite training that will support the teachers and students in the practicing of their new badminton knowledge.

Some of the pupils who participated in the training, Ruth Andoor (13 years old) from Government Technical Training School (GTTS) Jalingo, Emmanuel George Shitta (11 years old) from Destiny Success Academy, and Anna Sylvester Jabire (15 years old) from Raddar Metropolitan School Jalingo, stated that by attending the training, they have gained more knowledge of the game of badminton.

Also Victoria Edoche (13 years old) from Our Lady of Consolation, Telltuly Calib Jibril (13 years old), and Ayaungwa Wisdom (13 years old) from Heritage Academy described the training event as being impactful and they promised to be more committed during their future badminton training.

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One of the instructors that trained the students and teachers, Emmanuel Sambo said the training will go a long way in encouraging the young talents to become badminton champions in future.

He urged the Taraba State government to pay attention to the sports sector in order to improve its internally generated revenue. The event ended with the presentation of rackets, tubes of shuttlecocks and nets to the representative of the participating schools.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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