By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Beneficiaries of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, North West Zone Coaching Course which was officially declared open in Kaduna on Thursday have been charged to go back to the grassroots and develop the game of volleyball.
President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod gave the charge, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the course at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna.
“I want to advise all of us, national team has been disbanded because they have aged. A lot of us don’t want to go back to schools to catch young players, but I advise you to go back and scout for young ones, go back and start academies, with the knowledge you will gather from this course,” he charged.
He said that in view of the rich course outline, he wished he was also one of the participants, adding that those who failed to turn up would b missing a lot.
“I am finding it difficult to talk this morning, wishing I would be on the other side, while going through the course topics to be discussed. It is a rare privilege. What I have seen the course content here, it requires me and you concentrating. History will not just be taken away like that. Dome of us may not have realized, we may just be lookingbat it like grade one, grade two, but the course content is more than that.
“Some of us, it us just a paper for our promotion, it is not going to help us that way. Basic fundamentals are missing, because we are not looking at our schools volleyball assets. The boy that was MVP in Lagos last week, a young boy from Ghana, must have been discovered at a tender age at the grassroots. The course is purely theory and practicals. Those of your friends who are doubting Thomases and have failed to be her, would be missing a lot,” he said.
Engineer Nimrod who is also the sponsor of the training course, said that developing the game at the grassroots is a challenge to all, which must be taken seriously.
“It is a challenge to me, a challenge to you.
“By Monday, our cadets, U-19 a will be coming to Kaduna we are starting fresh. By the time we complete, we move them to Abuja,” he added.
Nimrod said that through the course, they are building up most of the coaches so that in the nearest future, they can to go to become national coaches.
‘We feel we should start from the grassroots, I felt as a President, we should start from the grassroots. We don’t have a good transition right now, our coaches are getting outdated. We feel the instructor should come back and impart. Whoever is not around has missed a lot,” he said.
On how they can put into practice what they have learnt, tasked state volleyball associations to stage competitions.
“We are encouraging states in the zone to conduct competitions. In Kaduna State we have a league. If we can go round the whole country with such, it would greatly have impact,” he emphasized.
Earlier in his welcome address, Zonal Coordinator, North West, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Devlopment, Mr. Olushola Luke said that Tony Oguma who is the resource person is highly comoetent and wouod naj the ciyrse worthwhile.
“Reason we ate gathered here today is because we want to lay foundation the basics of volleyball is what we expect to be handled at this course. But we are meant to understand that no matter the level you are as a coach, it is good to refresh yourself from time to time. That is why we brought in a knowledgeable resource person so you can learn from him. By the time you are through with the course, you would have benefited a lot.
“I am proud to tell you that when the resource person was a volleyball coach, we were next to football in terms of popularity. And we told the government that what you give to football, if you give us one tenth, volleyball will be more popular,” he said.
The Zonal Coordinator said that the benefit of the coaching course to the grassroots is that they are starting from the foundation.
“It is important just like foundation for building is important. It forms pillars of the game as we impact they go back to build the grassroots,” he said.
Mr. Luke commended the sponsor for the noble gesture, while cautioning the volleyball family against other sports, making moves to snatch Nimrod.
“We are grateful to the sponsor of the programme, NVBF President, Engineer Musa Nimrod.
“Engineer Nimrod is being wooed by other sports, if you don’t hold him well, he will be snatched I am talking based on what I have observed,” he added.
He commended the sports wroters for always supporting the zonal office.
“I thank the gentlemen of the press for always being here for us and I believe after this course, when you are reporting volleyball, it would be with more knowledge,” he said.
While deckaring the course open on behalf of the Kaduna State Government, Director of Sports Kaduna State, Alhaji Yakubu Ibrahim expressed optimism that it would further develop the game at the grassroots.
” I wish to declare this course open. The importance of this workshop is big. I believe with this training, our coaches will have an edge, they will do us proud. We are looking at grassroots sports development and this course came at the right time,” he added.