May 14, 2017

Handball: Opeifa wants organisations, individuals to join in promoting sport

As the annual Lagos State Secondary Schools Handball Championships, tagged “Opeifa Cup’’, begin on Monday, the sponsor, Kayode Opeifa, has urged individuals and corporate organisations to invest in the sport’s development.

Opeifa told newsmen on Sunday in Lagos that the call became necessary for corporate bodies to partner with the Lagos State Handball Association (LSHA) to sustain the competition.

Newsmen report that the maiden edition of the championships organised by the LSHA held in 2015, and the second in 2016 under the sole sponsorship of Opeifa, who is also the association’s patron.

“At this point, the foundation has been laid as my little contribution to the growth of the sport and importantly, to identify with grassroots handball development in Lagos State.

“I am still a part and parcel of this tournament, my commitment remains but I need to ask others to join in the sponsorship because some outstanding players from less privileged homes need sponsorship for their education.

“The idea behind it all is to make every edition of this tournament bigger and better with significant improvement which requires wider support from corporate bodies,’’ he said.

The Chairperson of the association, Adeola Opeifa, told newsmen that the 3rd Opeifa Cup would hold from May 15 to May 19 at Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park, Yaba.

Adeola said that male and female teams in the junior and senior categories from public and private secondary schools whose participation had been confirmed would compete among themselves.

She said the competition was still sponsored by Opeifa with the support of Sam Ocheho, also a board member of the assciation, adding that the body remained grateful to them.

According to her, 67 schools participated in the maiden edition and 100 featured in the second, while 120 are expected in this year’s competition.

“All is set to have a memorable championships this year, I must appreciate the continued support of our Patron, Kayode Opeifa, for his financial support from 2015 till date.

“This championships have produced players who have become members of the state junior and senior teams, including Gbenga Cole, Hakeem Salami and Taiwo Oyenuga.

“Comfort Stevens, Tomoloju Adebisi, Gbamire Grace and others; our target is to identify more promising players that will make Lagos a leading state in the breeding of quality players,’’ she said.

The LSHA chairperson added that players in the winning teams and Most Valuable Players (MVP) in their categories would be given school bags and stationeries.

Waheed Adelekan, the Director of School Sports, told NAN that he was delighted with the initiative and the continued support of Opeifa for the vision which is grassroots development of handball.

Adelekan thanked the sponsor for his idea and commitment since the championships started in 2015, adding that the sport had been lively and players had shown more commitment.