By Don Peter Okoro.
History was made in Nnewi, Anambra State of Nigeria on Friday the 25th of August 2023, when the Anambra State Beach Soccer Association (ASBSA)was formally inaugurated and members sworn in.
During an interactive session with the Press shortly after, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Moonshine Residence,Prof. Victor Madubuko said that the reason he is throwing his weight behind the project is because it will seriously engage the youths and bring honour and pride to Nnewi and Anambra State.
On the fact that there are no beaches in Nnewi, he replied that Beach Soccer is not only played in beaches and that beaches can be created by bringing beach sand and structuring it,saying, that this is how places like the North and countries where there are no beaches go about it.
Also commenting the former Deputy Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly and immediate past Chairman of Nnewi North LGA Rt. Hon. Chukwudi Orizu who is the Vice Chairman of the Board, offered that what makes Beach Soccer unique is that it is a soccer that is played on sand.
And since they already knew that there are no beaches in Nnewi, they are creating a Beach Soccer at Nnewi High School and that it is of International Standard.
On what they are doing to secure Government partnership and patronage, the Secretary to the Board and former Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development in Anambra State,Hon.Dr. Emmanuel Nsoedo stated that first and foremost, it is a private effort.
Having said that, he stated that they are operating in an environment where activities and progress of any other entity is reciprocal to their own efforts.
In other words, they are not in isolation and wherever they are able to find avenues that will enhance what they are doing will definitely be explored.
In his words:”Remember that the aim of the person who conceptualised this process is to take kids off the streets and keep them busy.
Give them skills, so that they can grow from the Local to the National and International. We also hope to make revenues for the kids so that they can add value to the places where they come from.
So, the Board is not going to shy away from tapping into possibilities from other groups or Governmental Bodies, but it is basically a private enterprise.” On what the players stand to gain, Prof. Madubuko came in: “Sports play a vital role, not only in the lives of the players, but also in the community.
If those who have those talents are identified and nurtured, they could end up with significant wealth for themselves and their families. Number two is that there is inherent pride in being a winner, or focusing on something that is productive to the community.
When players are recognized for their Talents, it brings the confidence that they need to go and do even better things in life. Thirdly,is that it engages our youths. We’ve had stories where sports saved lives.
By engaging the youths in the community and having them participate in this Tournament,it adds value to their lives and that of their communities.
These are some of the things that the players stand to gain.” Contributing to the Interactive Session, the former Deputy Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly Rt.Hon. Chukwudi Orizu said:”In addition to that, what we are also doing is Talent Hunt. Fishing out these young Talents from Primary and Secondary Schools is a Talent Hunt and if they do well, they do well for themselves, do well for Anambra State and for Nigeria. Do not forget that through Sports, people do get Scholarships. So there are so many things to gain and it is a win win situation.”