The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation on Friday handed out palliatives to all rugby clubs in Lagos as part of their drive to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe.
The brief event which took place at the National Stadium, Lagos was supervised by the Players Representative on the NRFF board, Adeniran Gbenga, the captain of the senior men’s national team, Azeez Ladipo, Victor Anusa (NRFF Secretary) and secretariat staff of the federation.
The player’s rep, Gbenga said it was a dream come true for him personally for such to happen under his watch.
“Before now, players within and outside Lagos have been reaching out to me on their predicaments as a result of the global lockdown which gave me serious worries.”
“I had to reach out to the NRFF president, Kelechi Mbagwu, and the board on how to help out players at this very difficult time. I am happy that this small gesture will go a long way in helping players out”, Gbenga said.
On his part, Ladipo promised that the initiative is not a one-off event but a continuous gesture which will be spread across the other geo-political zones.“
“We are going to do this across the six geo-political zones because we have many players across the various states and it is imperative that we don’t limit it to Lagos alone.”
While advising players to stay safe and follow all safety instructions from the National Centre for Disease Control and all relevant authorities, the federation revealed that due to the restriction on inter-state movement, cash will be sent to coaches of clubs to buy foodstuff and share amongst the players.
Captain of Cowrie Rugby Football Club, Sunday Bassey said, “It has not been easy for us because when you keep spending and money is not coming in, it becomes difficult to survive. We have to commend the federation for deeming it fit to help out in their own small way.
On his part, Assistant Coach of Racing RFC, Emmanuel Ayewe who picked up the goodies on behalf of his team, thanked the federation for deeming it fit to reach out to rugby players across Nigeria.
“It has not been easy for players. For them not to be able to play the sport they love and have committed their lives to, it has been difficult. Thanks to NRFF for coming through for the players.”
Amongst those who were present were the Deputy Liason Officer, Nkana Mbora who represented the Liason Officer, Bode Durotoye amongst other high ranking staff of the Ministry of Sports.