By Fidelis Ebu,Abuja
Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, has directed the Commissionâ€™s Director General, Chief Patrick Ekeji, to ensure he signs a tested coach for badminton even if it means hiring a foreign coach for the sport.
He said that this would enable Badminton Federation of Nigeria to consolidate on its current soar-away rating in Africa.The minister said that he wouldnâ€™t mind a foreign coach for the sport provided such a coach leads the sport to achieve results in events like the Olympics.
Badminton players who represented the country at an International Championship in Kampala, Uganda , won 14 out of available 16 titles to emerge tops among the fourteen countries that featured at the 10â€“day tournament.
With the result, Nigeria is now topping the first two spots in the game in the continent while a total of six players have booked their place in the prestigious Thomas & Uber Cup, the equivalent of Badminton World Cup, slated for Malaysia next year.
While reacting to the playersâ€™ feat, Ndanusa, who received the players and the accompanying technical crew in his office said the Commission was poised to assist the sport consolidate on its current achievement by engaging a tested coach for the badminton.
â€œThe search would not be limited to only local coaches and the NSC would explore such opportunities as may be available through partnership with international sports federations.
â€œWe can check for badminton coaches on placement through the African Confederation and see those that are free. If we can do it for football why not badmintonâ€, engineer Sani Ndanusa said.
Apparently elated at the playersâ€™ performance, the minister also gave express approval for the country to host any African tournament to further boost the appeal of the game locally.
Earlier Chairman of BFN, Danlami Sanchi had implored the minister to engage a tested national coach for the federation pointing out that, so far the Federation has relied on coaches from the FCT for its activities.
He also sought the NSCâ€™s support as it prepares the athletes for both Commonwealth games and the World Cup.
He noted that the total of 16 trophies won in Uganda was the product of the result of the development strides in sports since the coming into office of the Nadnusa administration while expressing appreciation for the NSCâ€™s support for badminton.
Four Girls and four boys including team captain Fagbemi Olaoluwa, Ocholi Edicha and Ibrahim Adamu won a total of 14 trophies and medals at the tournament.