CSED donates Netball equipment to Edo State Sports Commission
Community Sport and Educational Development (CSED) Initiative, has donated Netball equipment to the Edo State government. They were donated to the State Sports Commission, through the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sabina Chikere, in preparation for the NGO’s formal launch of ‘Project 2027’ in the state.
The goal of ‘Project 2027’ is to bring netball to the attention of one million Nigerian schoolgirls before the end of 2027, the NGO said, adding that this will be achieved through the training of 1,200 Physical Education (P.E.) teachers, who are expected to impart the knowledge gained into their students.
The trained teachers will be provided with free netball starter pack, which includes netball balls, rims/nets, finger-held whistles and training bibs.
Presenting the netball equipment on behalf of CSED Trustees, the National Coordinator of CSED, former Super Eagles midfielder, Edema Fuludu, said the founder of CSED Initiative, Cornelius Ehimiaghe, is keen to make Edo State the hub of netball development in Nigeria.
“Netball is a girl-child/woman exclusive sport and it can be used to empower the girl child, promote their health, improve their level of literacy and the general well-being of our youths. Netball is played by more than 20 million people all over the world and is a usual feature in the Commonwealth Games.
“The organisers of the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane (Australia) is currently exploring with the IOC the possibility of including netball as one of the events of the 2032 Olympic Games,” Fuludu stated.
He continued: “CSED Initiative is of the view that we cannot talk about gender balancing in the sports ecosystem in Nigeria when netball has been neglected and is almost unheard of in the sporting calendar at both the grassroots and national level.
“In the 1960s and 70s, netball was played in girls’ secondary school and Teachers Training Colleges all over Nigeria. At that point in time, female football was a novelty event, while netball was vying for superiority with athletics and handball. Among female students in Nigeria, netball was more widely played than basketball in Nigeria in the 1960s and 70s.
“It is interesting to note that since March 2015, when a representative of CSED Initiative held a formal meeting with staff of the International Netball Federation (INF) in their headquarters in Manchester, CSED Initiative’s effort at reviving the game in Nigeria has been deliberately blocked by some sports administrators in Abuja, who are not doing anything to promote the game but will want to use netball to maintain their post-retirement relevance in the sports ecosystem in Nigeria.
“In spite of this hindrance, CSED initiative has not relented in its effort to promote the right of Nigerian girls to play netball. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we trained 24 Netball Africa coaches, and we built a netball court at IDPs Camp Uhogua (Edo State) and ‘Project 2027’ is going to be the biggest grassroots sport mobilisation programme in the Nigeria sports ecosystem. We will be collaborating with all progress conscious individuals, NGOs, Foundations, corporate organisations, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sport, NYSC, Sports Commissions, local government authorities, sports Department of tertiary institutions and the media to promote the right of the Nigerian girl to play netball,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of Edo Sports Commission Chairman, Yusuf Alli, Mrs Sabina Chikere promised to follow the government’s cardinal initiative of making Edo State Nigeria’s leading sports destination. She stated that the Edo State government would be glad to partner with CSED to promote the development of grassroots netball and promised to support the implementation of ‘Project 2027’ in Edo State.