By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – No fewer than 25 Teams have converged on Kaduna for the 2019 National Handball Division One League.
The championship scheduled for 13th to 22nd November, 2019 is expected to feature sixteen male and nine female teams.
The Secretary General, Handball Federation, Mohammed Maigidansama, disclosed at a press briefing in Kaduna on Tuesday.
According to him, the league is organized by the Federation in conjunction with the Kaduna State Government who have ensured a befitting accommodation is provided for the officials and athletes, and as well provides good medical coverage and security for the event.
“As I’m talking to you, Team Benue and Kwara would be in Kaduna today since they are on the way, while others would arrive on Thursday in preparation for the championship.
“So there are clubs and some by implication representing states directly like the teams from Kwara includes: the Adorable Queens and Adorable Stars.
“There is the Kogi Confluence Queens and Confluence Stars, the Police Machine, the Benue Buffalos and Benue Queens, Yankari Bulls, Yobe Desert Warriors, Katsina Desert Warriors among others,” he said.
He explained that the league is a platform to scout for talents that would represent the country at any international events, hence, the organisers are working assiduously to put things in place to ensure a befitting outing.
“At the end of this championship four teams; 2 each from male and female will gain promotion to the premiership.”
On the choice of Kaduna state, Maigidansama said the Federation is trying to diversify it events to avoid concentration in the south.
He however said that Kaduna has been a household name when it comes to handball. “Before now, Kaduna had hosted African championship and the Federation has also camped both the junior and Cadet Teams from where they left for Niamey of which they conquered.
“So the Federation has been in the state on and off, and there are elite stars who have graduated to become major stakeholders as far as handball is concern.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has been a motivating factor as a friend of the Federation, he has always provided everything it needed anytime it beckons,” he added.
Also speaking, Chairman LOC, Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed, said Kaduna state has been holding series of competitions from national to international and most of the states coming are elites in the six geo-political zones who wants to come back because of the hospitality they enjoyed in time past.
“Kaduna is looking forward to give the visiting states a more hospitality it is known for.”
The Director of Sports, Kaduna State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ibrahim Yakubu, said the state is not leaving any stone unturn to ensure a hitch-free and successful event.