• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

As part of the sports events marking Refugee Week 2024 and International Olympic Day 2024, a netball exhibition event involving netballers from Adagom 1, Adagom 3, and Ukende refugee camps was held at the netball field of Adagom 1 camp in the Ogoja Local Government area of Cross River State.

The event was organized by the CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development) Initiative with the approval and support of the PM of SEMA, the Adagom 1 SEMA Supervisor, and the leaders of the three refugee camps.

Twenty netballers from each camp were kitted by Lord’s Taverners and CSED Initiative. Each netballer was provided with a sports book (“Kick It”) that was donated by the Uxbridge Library of the London Borough of Hillingdon (UK).

The netballers from the Ukende camp won the two exhibition games. The highlight of the event was the presentation of five thousand Naira, and educational vouchers to each of the sixty netballers. It would be recalled that netball was recently introduced to the three Ogoja refugee camps after CSED Initiative “Project 2027” training of P.E. teachers in Cross River state was held in April 2024.

The “Project 2027” training event led to the certification of coaches Stephanie Obi, Marceline Ode, and Shantel Eseh, who are Cameroonian citizens.

These three coaches are now charged with the responsibility of providing the girls and ladies in their respective camps with access to learn the basics of netball, and identify, and nurture the talents of the budding netballers.

CSED Initiative with the support of Lord’s Taverners, UNHCR, Cross River SEMA, and other relevant partners/stakeholders hopes to use access to playing netball to provide psycho-social support and access to educational/life skills training opportunities to the residents of the three camps.

The immediate goal of the CSED Initiative is to build a multi-purpose cement playing surface for the use of the netballers in each of the separate camps. Furthermore, some of these netballers will have access to take part in the “Sporting Coders” programme, which will allow them access to learn how to code, while at the same time playing netball.

The organisers of the event stated that their ultimate goal is to give the Cameroonian refugees a sporting chance to compete with other girls all over the world; in an attempt to feature in the netball event of the 2032 Olympic games in Brisbane.

The Cameroonians will be inspired by the story of Mary Cholhok Nuba, a former South Sudanese refugee, who is now a netball superstar in England.

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