Adeola Opeifa, Chairperson of Lagos State Handball Association (LSHA), on Monday expressed optimism that more talents would be discovered in the `OPEIFA CUP’ which kicked off on Monday at the Rowe Park Sports Centre, Lagos.
Opeifa spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as the 5th edition of Lagos State Secondary Schools Handball Championships, `OPEIFA CUP’, got underway, with 67 schools drawn from private and public schools taking part.
The participants in the championships are taking part in the junior and senior boys, and junior and senior girls categories.
Organised by Lagos State Handball Association (LSHA), it is part of programmes put in place to identify budding talents from the grassroots and nurture them.
Opeifa told NAN that talents discovered in the championships over the years had progressed to national teams, and said that the technical crew was on the lookout for more promising players.
“Schools are taking advantage of this annual OPEIFA CUP to expose their teams and we will always live to expectation of getting more talents, which is part of the agenda,’’ she said.
The chairperson said that 10 players presently in the national U-18 and U-21 national teams were products of OPEIFA CUP, noting that their outstanding performance in the competition gave them an edge.
“The OPEIFA CUP has held uninterruptedly since 2015, and the whole idea is to create a regular competition ground for upcoming players to exhibit their skills and develop their talents.
“Now, we have 10 players in the national team that passed through OPEIFA CUP; it was their impressive performance in the past editions that made them to get to that level,’’ she said.
She gave their names as Salami Akeem, Gbenga Cole, Diko Ibrahim, Sola Adelakun (U-21), and Chukwuma Michael, Kuti Korede, Ajibike Kareem, Ojo Gbenga, Seun Adeniyi, Segun Adeleke (U-18). (NAN)