Following its increasing popularity and the improvement in the standard of wheelchair basketball in the country, the Lagos State government has promised to sponsor Nigeria’s U-23 wheelchair team to the fortcoming African qualifiers for World Junior Championship holding in Johannesburg, South Africa from 27 March- 9 April.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Enitan Osodi, said at the closing ceremony of the just concluded Ochei Wheelchair Championship at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos that “I know you are worried on how to get a sponsor to the qualifiers in South Africa next month, well, I will like to inform you that the Lagos State government has decided to sponsor the team to the tournament,” Enitan said.
An elated President of Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, NWBF, Bukola Olopade appreciated the effort of the government, adding that the U-23 team would not disappoint Nigerians in South Africa.
The wheelchair basketball boss noted that Nigeria has quality players, both in the country and abroad, that can qualify the country for the world championship and other international championships, adding that what the team need is more recognition and funding.
He said: “I can assure you that we have over 12 players outside this country playing professional wheelchair basketball. They are all playing competitive league matches in their respective teams and are ready to come home to play for this counry for us to secure the sole ticket available for Africa at the forthcoming Junior World Championship. We are calling on states and corporate bodies to emulate what Lagos State and Delta State are doing to help the game and funding of our programmes.”