*HFN tasks clubs on continental duties
Edo Dynamoes of Benin-City and Kano Pillars have emerged as winners in the nale and female categories of the maiden edition of the Dr Samuel Ortom National handball Open championship that took place in Makurdi.
Alhaji Yusuf Dauda the outgoing President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) took the opportunity to appeal for support from stakeholders and corporate bodies in supporting the game in the country.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 1st Governor (Dr) Samuel Ortom National Handball Open championship at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, Benue state, Alhaji Dauda, who commended the state government for supporting the competition, charged others to emulate the state.
Benue state government agreed to host the national competition for three consecutive years, with the two next editions coming up in 2018 and 2019.
Kada Queens of Kaduna, in the female category, will join Kano Pillars and Niger United of Minna, in the male category, to represent the country in the African Cup Winners Cup, holding in Agadir, Morocco, from 12th to 23rd April, 2017.
He charged the teams to step up their preparations for the competition, adding that the Federation will assist the clubs technically.
He presented the flag for the hosting right for the next edition to the Governor.
Edo Dynamoes and Safety Shooters emerged first and second on the final table in the female round robin competition, while Kano Pillars defeated Niger United 28-23 in the male competition.
Pillars’ Coach, Solomon Yola, commended the team for its discipline and technical display throughout the tournament.
“They are a good side and we are grateful to God for the victory; our opponents were equally very good but I think, today was our day. We are grateful to Kano government for its support.”
Also reacting to the performance of his team, the Assistant coach of Niger United, Ladan Audu, said he would go back to the drawing board to strategise ahead of the next tournament.
Ladan, however, appealed to the Benue government to modernise the handball pitches, in line with international standards.
“Modern handball is played on synthetic turfs to avoid injuries. Benue should try to have such pitches as soon as possible,” he said.
Aminu Adamu of Kano Pillars emerged the overall highest goal scorer of the tournament with 39 goals, while the overall best goalkeeper award went to Emmanuela Ani of the Benue Queens.
The Most Valuable Player Award went to Faith Inegbedion of Edo Dynamos. Ella Anih got the best female goalkeeper of the tourney.
The Minister for Sports and Youth Development, Hon. Solomon Dalung was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Director, Coaching Division, Dr. (Mrs.) Toyin Aluko.
The state Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who was represented by the Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Lawrence Onoja, pledged continuous support to the development of the game.
Others present at the final of the week long competition include the Executive Chairman, Kano State Sports Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Zonal Coordinator, North Central, Dr. Patrick Uwagbale and Board members of the HFN.