In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the duo of Ademola Oke, 16 and Etta Desire, 15 started the first Prince Tunde Omisore U-17 South-west Beach Volleyball Championship more as underdogs but finished the two-day competition as champions this evening.
Both students of Methodist High School, Toll Gate, Ibadan and Guarverd College, Alata, Ibadan respectively represented Team Oyo State and outplayed all their opponents, including the Lagos State team which slugged it out with them at the final. Osun State finished behind Oyo and Lagos in third position.
The CRIN sports arena at Idi Ayunre in Oluyole Local Government witnessed an unusual presence of sports enthusiasts, especially pupils from neighbouring schools, who trooped out in their uniforms to catch fun with participating players from the South West states.
TheTabloid.net gathered that pre-tournament screening exercise was coordinated by a member of the Beach Volleyball Commission and National Chairman of the Nigeria Volleyball Referees Association, Mr Timothy Samuel.
Samuel told our correspondent that the screening exercise was inevitable to adhere with objectives, for which the competition was staged by the sponsor, Prince Tunde Omisore. The referee affirmed his confidence in the outcome of the championship having produced potentials for state, zone and national teams’ selection.
“I am fulfilled that we did not allow adult to take part in this tournament, and I have no regret over it. As a technical man, I know implication of fielding senior players at an age-grade tournament as this. I thank the sponsor for his love for development of the game, hoping this would be an annual contest,” he said.
The organizer of the tournament, Mr Ayo Aboderin was exultant, especially during the historic presentation of cup to his players, expressing gratitude to the sponsor and also assuring him of his commitment to ensure the youths in his environment are attracted to the game.
“Turnout of students in this community really impressed me and showed the bright future of Volleyball here. The sponsor took care of all we needed to achieve this result, and you can see that everybody is happy. Volleyball is an interesting game, and we shall not allow it to die,” he promised.
A retired Oyo State Sports Council volleyball coach, Mr Tunde Adeleye was among invited guests, who relished the tournament. Adeleye returned home with a certificate in honour of his devotion.