As every state in Nigeria prepares for 2014 National Sport Festival, come November at Calabar in the 19th edition of Nigeria’s most glamorous sports fiesta, team Rivers may have difficult appearing for the unity games for lack of finance.
In a bid to ascertain how the various sports associations are fairing or preparing to participate in the popularly tagged paradise games 2014, which will be hosted by Calabar city of cross Rivers State, our sports desk seek the views and opinions of stakeholders in the business.
In our discussion with the chairman of Rivers State Handball Association, Barr. Kwashi Thompson on how prepared his association to feature for the paradise games 2014 at Calabar, in his response, he disclosed that his association, handball, in Rivers State is not preparing courtesy of the Rivers State government inability to release fund for the athletes preparation.
As if his disclosure is not enough, Royal Woopers, the apex basketball club of Rivers State is crying for funds, saying the players have not been paid for two (2) years.
To make matters worst, the club has an outstanding league match to honour but could not travel out to honour that particular match because finance (their salaries have not been paid to the athletes for two (2) good years.
According to a prominent member of Royal Woopers, speaking in radio programe, disclosed that the players could not play their game on empty stomach, while representing the state.
Royal Woopers basketball club is Rivers State owned and sponsored club yet, they have not been paid for two (2) good years.
It would be recalled that Royal Woopers basketball club is the leading or defending champion of the Nigeria basketball league. Yet they are being ignored by the state government for this long “two good years without their salaries paid to them”.
According to Barr. Kwashi Thompson, the chairman of Rivers State Handball Association (RSHB) his association is waiting for the state government to release fund for his association to commence preparation towards participating for paradise games 2014, at Calabar come November.
From all indications, all may not be smooth financially with team Rivers going by the reports available to our sports desk.
Just recently, the Rivers State cyclists disclosed to our sports desk that they are poised to dumb Rivers State for other states.
These reports are not good enough for Rivers State government after gaining prominent position in the National Sports Festival from when it hosted the 17th National sports festival at home soil, claiming the first position and made a bold statement at Eko 2013 at Lagos.
At Calabar, the comity of states in Nigeria will be expecting Rivers State for good. ###