Nigeria’s quest at podium performance in badminton at the Tokyo Olympics Games received a major boost when the national governing body for badminton in Japan, Nippon Badminton Association donated 80 rackets to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN).
The presentation was made by the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi to the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, Esq. at the Package B of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday.
The occasion was graced by the Nigeria Olympic Committee President, Engr.Habu Gumel; a representative of the Sports Ministry, Mrs.Okpara Thekela, an Assistant Director at the Ministry and some former members of the BFN board.
According to Matsunaga, the gesture will further promote the cordial relationship between the two countries, and as well as the development of badminton in Nigeria.
“I am happy and honoured to be at this special occasion today. This is my first public outing after my arrival in Nigeria over one month ago.”
“Sport is common language understood by all people in the world, Sports has the power to unite the world, today I handover 80 rackets donated by Nippon Badminton Association to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria. I hope it will promote the development of the game in Nigeria
Reacting to the rackets donation, Chairman of Caretaker Committee of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria Barrister Francis Orbih said the gesture will surely go a long way in the development of the game in Nigeria.
“As a federation we are very happy. It is a thing that gladdens the heart. To receive these rackets from the Japanese Badminton Association, it will make huge impact as you can’t play the game without the equipments.”
“And we are also looking forward to having more collaborative partnership from Japan as we move forward.”
Mr. Orbih further stated that efforts will be intensified to create more championships through the partnership.
“For players, no matter how much they train or prepare, if you don’t give them competitions to play, it’s like it comes to nothing, as a federation what we have been looking at is to give our players more championships. If we have championship from the Japanese Ambassador, it will be a big development.”
Also speaking, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Abu Gummel expressed optimism that the gesture will enhance the performance of Nigeria Badminton players at the Olympics.
“The Badminton Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Francis Orbih is one of our federations that have made a lot of progress, they have done well, they are doing well. It is an important collaboration between Nigeria and Japan.”
“The racket you have collected is an equipment that you will take to Tokyo to do Nigeria proud because after 40 years, you qualified for the Olympics and I believe that it will make you to qualify more athletes for the Olympics Games in Paris in 2024.”
Three Nigerian badminton players, Godwin Oloufa, Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan are the country’s representative at the Tokyo Olympics Games which will be held from July 24 to August 2, 2021.