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Beach soccer in Anambra set for national, international recognition



From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

Development of beach soccer in Anambra State has taken a new dimension as a 7-man board to promote that aspect of sports has been inaugurated at Moonshine Residence which belongs to hotel industry in Nnewi, Anambra State.

The board members include Professor Victor Madubuko as Chairman, who is also the proprietor of the Moonshine Residence; Vice Chairman, Hon Chukwudi Orizu and Secretary, Dr Emma Nsoedo.

The national coordinator of Nigerian Beach Soccer Association, Mohmud Ijedeja represented by Christopher Kediri and other national officers inaugurated the Anambra board, charged with the responsibility to grow the beach football soccer in the State with their support to Moon Residence initiative in beach football.

Secretary of the board, Hon Nsoedo expressed gratitude to the other members for accepting, according to him, to serve on the board for the promotion of the sport in Anambra State.

Hon Orizu said the mission and vision of the board would be centered on how to promote beach soccer which he noted had not been given adequate attention in Anambra State. He said one of the pitches was being created at Nnewi High School.

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“We will certainly exploit any avenue that will enhance and promote what we are doing. The person who conceptionalized this aspect of sports has in mind to grow the youths from local to national and international level. We are ready to partner any association for the progress of this kind of sport. This is a private enterprise. We already have affiliation with Anambra State Football Association. We are also working with Anambra State Sports Commission. We will be ready for any competition to represent Anambra State and at the end of the day, we are going international. Nigeria is also taking the glory of what we are doing here, “he noted.

He said that Prof Madubuko had done a noble job for delving into that field of sports as part of his developmental strategies of Nnewi community, Anambra and Nigeria at large. He also noted that when the youths were engaged in sports, that the outcome would be social coherence and peace, adding that the tendency would be drastic reduction in crime rate.

Prof Madubuko while addressing members of the board and the players made up of male and female said Anambra could not participate in the last beach soccer tournament because of the absence of a team to represent the State and promised that the State would be fully represented in subsequent events. He disclosed that the Moonshine Residence initiative in beach soccer was the only one in Africa that had included female players in its team.

“This soccer is popular America. I want this to grow in Nnewi and beyond. We want to use it to engage the youths. We want to use it to make Nnewi and Anambra great. It is well conceived. We don’t have beach football facility in Anambra State. Beach football is not only played where there is a beach, one can be created by putting sand to create it. What makes beach soccer unique is that it is played on the sand. There is work in progress to create more beach soccer pitches.

“Sports play a vital role not only in the life of the individual, but also in that of society. There is a pride inherent in being a winner when you focus on something that is productive to society. It gives confidence to the participants. It engages the youth and adds value to their lives and that of the community,” he said.

An event after the State board inauguration was a beach football competition at the Anglican Secondary School, Nnnewi.

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