A three-day basic badminton training for Game masters, game mistresses, and secondary school pupils has rounded up in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital with a call on young talents to combine education with sports to enable them excel in the sporting world.
The State Director of Sports Council, George Shitta who doubles as a Board member of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria and a National Coach threw the challenge during the closing ceremony which took place at the Jolly Nyame Indoor sports hall on Thursday.
Eighty students from eighteen various secondary schools of both federal, state, and private within the state capital participated in the training with twenty-four game masters and game mistresses, as well as six instructors.
Shitta told sports journalists that the training was powered by a non-governmental organization, Community Sports and Educational Development Initiative (CSED) in conjunction with Taraba Badminton.
He said it was aimed at equipping the young talents with basic knowledge of the game for them to build on, to enable them to become national and international players like the former Africa number one badminton player who is from Taraba State and also participated in the event, Jimkan Ephraim.
The Director also appreciated the gesture by the CSED for selecting Taraba as one of the states that will benefit from its project for reintroducing netball which will take place soon.
George Shitta further revealed the CSED has donated 60 rackets, 18 tubes of shuttlecocks, and 17 nets where each school goes with a 2 set of two rackets (4 inside) to be used for doubles mix and doubles singles.
He explained that the remaining 6 rackets were given to the Director of Sports, state ministry for Basic and secondary education for him to also continue praying the game and not forget badminton.
Shitta, however, promised to complement the gesture by the CSED by organizing an inter-school badminton tournament for the schools that participated in the training where prizes would be won.
In an interview, the Director of Sports, Taraba state ministry for Basic and secondary education, Mr. Affos Musa Emmanuel promised to lias with the Director of Sports Council, George Shitta to get some coaches to go around with them to various schools that participated in the training for them to erect badminton cut to encourage them.
Some of the pupils who participated in the training, were Ruth Andoor (13 years old) from Government Technical Training School (GTTS) Jalingo, Emmanuel George Shitta (11 years old) from Destiny Success Academy, and Anna Sylvester Jabire (15 years old) from Raddar Metropolitan School Jalingo all affirmed that they have gained more knowledge of the game.
Also, Victoria Edoche (13 years old) from Our Lady of Consolation, Telltuly Calib Jibril (13 years old), and Ayaungwa Wisdom (13 years old) from H. Heritage Academy described the training as impactful and promised to be committed and focus on the game unlike before.
However, one of the instructors, Emmanuel Sambo said the training will go a long way in encouraging the young talents to become champions in badminton, and urged the Taraba State government to pay attention to the sports sector to improve its internal revenue generation.
The event closed with the presentation of rackets, tubes of shuttlecocks, nets, and group photographs.