*Schools will be made to imbibe rugby
By Olajide Fashikun
Kelechukwu Mbagwu, the President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has promised the nation that the sport will receive a new breathe of life full of activities and development for youths of the nation.
Mbagwu spoke to a coterie of sports journalists in Abuja after the inaugural meeting of the federation where he was joined by a Board member, Mr Debo Oshundun and the Secretary of the Federation, Mrs Nonye Nwachukwu.
He disclosed answering questions that his board did not inherit any fund from his predecessors. “Nothing was left. Sad reality shows we are starting from ground zero. However, we have gotten accredited professionals to help re-focus the sports. We shall deliver improvements in the areas of playing, media relations and organisation.”
Rugby has to be taken to the heights it deserves. We shall build database, portfolio and a reliable accounting process. We can’t leave anything less than international best practise when our tenure would have been over,”
On the Rugby league, Mbagwu said, “we are not reinventing the wheel. There were systems with historic values in place. The northern rugby league is the oldest in the country. It has colonial colourations. That structure will be retained. We also used to have a Lagos League. Then, we also have a South east and South South League which is self-funded. This tripartite leagues will produce a champion and they will come to a national finals to determine national champions. Though, we have plans to develop a South West League in the future to join the existing leagues.”
On what plans to take the sport to the communities, he disclosed that, “we intend to take the sport to schools across the country. We need to set up a national schools rugby championship wherefrom we shall set up a national schools team whose members will aspire to represent Nigeria.
With the kind of structures we have outlined to set up for the game in the country, I can guarantee you that sponsors will find easy reasons to tag in and fund the sport. Though, we shall raise the funds on our own internally, we shall make the sport a massive investible empire.”
On the issue of fence mending post election, Mbagwu said, “rugby is one united and indivisible family that no one can separate. We know ourselves by state, names and clubs and as such nothing can come in-between us.”
“My main agenda and mission is to put proper structure in place for Nigeria Rugby within the next few years and this I cannot do alone hence the need for everyone to come together to achieve this,” he pleaded.
It would be recalled that Mbagwu successfully dislodged the immediate past president, Edward Pam, the man he mentored and installed as president, four years in the last dispensation before flooring Attah.
Debo Oshundun, a board member of the board told www.gongnews.net “I wish to reiterate the fact that we have set a mandate for ourselves to make the sport of rugby the best, boldest and biggest. With the vision and business orientation that President Kelechukwu Mbagwu is bringing on board, we can get to the moon sooner than expected. I congratulate the rugby family in the nation for this quality of leadership in our sport.”