Chardon wins FEI World Cup™ Driving in Stockholm

Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon won the third FEI World Cup™ Driving leg yesterday at the Swedish International Horse Show in Stockholm. But it did not come easy for the four-time World Champion, as he had to stop for a moment when one of his wheeler horses caught a leader rein under its tail. Young drivers Michael Brauchle (GER) and József Dobrovitz Jr. finished second and third.

Over 15.000 spectators witnessed the exciting competition between the six drivers in the Friends Arena where Swedish course designer Dan Henriksson built a technical course with three marathon type obstacles and a bridge.

First clear

Chardon was last to go in the first round and put down the first clear round of the evening. He was over nine seconds faster than his closest rival Michael Brauchle.
He started off very controlled in the winning round and aimed for a safe round. “In the first round my team went super, the feeling with them was fantastic,” he said afterwards. “In the winning round I had to stop in one of the marathon obstacles after the right wheeler horse had caught the rein of the right leader horse. It really got stuck and I couldn’t move it so I had to stop” he explained. Chardon’s groom managed to solve the matter quickly, and in the end the Lipizzaners passed the finish line despite one knock down with a six-second advantage over Brauchle. It was the first time in Chardon’s career that he has won the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg in Stockholm.

Michael Brauchle flew through the course in the first round, but lost time in the marathon obstacles. He went wide around and touched an element, which caused a ball to fall. The reigning European Champion went even faster in the winning round and stayed clear, finishing one second ahead of Dobrovitz Jr. “This was my second start in a World Cup competition this season. I was very happy how my leader horses worked together. I competed in Stuttgart last week as well, but this arena is a bit smaller so I had to drive a bit more carefully. I found the course technical and very good”, he said.

FEI World Cup™ Driving

Lost accuracy

József Dobrovitz Jr. did very well in the first round, but in the winning round he lost accuracy and touched an element, which caused an unlucky ball. He lost precious seconds in the third marathon obstacle after he slightly went over a gate. “This was my first indoor competition this season and I decided to make some changes in the set up of my four-in-hand after the first competition on Friday evening. But I always dreamed about competing in Stockholm. I have been here before as a groom for my father and now I am competing here myself. I find it fantastic! The horses worked very well. I had one knock down in each round but that was not the fault of the horses. It was my fault”, he insisted.

His friends, German international four-in-hand drivers Christoph Sandmann and Sebastian Hess, assisted Georg von Stein (GER) on his carriage. Von Stein started off well, but he had a bit of miscommunication with the horses in one of the marathon obstacles and lost speed, so the 2014 German Champion finished in fourth place in Stockholm this year.

Extra circle

József Dobrovitz (HUN) finished fifth after he knocked two balls down in the second marathon obstacle and loosing time after making an extra circle in the third obstacle.

Wild card driver Axel Olin (SWE) finished sixth after tragically losing one of his horses on Friday night. Olin’s team had completed the round and the horses were walking towards the exit from the arena when his wheeler horse Filur collapsed. The veterinary team was very quickly on the scene to attend to the horse, but sadly there was nothing that could be done. An autopsy will be conducted to establish the cause of death.

Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon won the third FEI World Cup™ Driving leg yesterday at the Swedish International Horse Show in Stockholm. (FEI/Roland Thunholm)
Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon won the third FEI World Cup™ Driving leg yesterday at the Swedish International Horse Show in Stockholm. (FEI/Roland Thunholm)

Results FEI World Cup™ Driving, Stockholm (SWE), 29 November 2015:

1. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 293.79 (5)
2. Michael Brauchle (GER) 299.74 (5)
3. József Dobrovitz Jr. (HUN) 300.67 (5)
4. Georg von Stein (GER) 170.33 (20)
5. József Dobrovitz (HUN) 175.30 (10)
6. Axel Olin (SWE) 197.92 (15) – wild card

FEI World Cup™ Driving, standings after 3 of 7 events:

1 Boyd EXELL AUS 20
2 IJsbrand CHARDON NED 17
3 Rainer DUEN GER 8
4 Koos DE RONDE NED 7
4 Michael BRAUCHLE GER 7
6 Georg VON STEIN GER 6
7 Jérôme VOUTAZ SUI 5
7 Jozsef DOBROVITZ jr. HUN 5
9 Jozsef DOBROVITZ HUN 4
10 Glenn GEERTS BEL 2

The 2015/2016 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Geneva (SUI) on Sunday, 13 December.

Cindy Timmer

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At Sweet 16, Sweden’s Fia Fjelddahl has Rio 2016 in her sights

Sweden’s Fia Fjelddahl has a wise old brain on young shoulders as she bids to qualify her nation for Rio 2016, become a role model and make those closest to her proud at the Para World Sailing Championships in Williamstown, Australia.

Sweet 16, an age that makes her the youngest competitor at the Para Worlds being held out of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, but her outlook on sailing is clever beyond her years thanks to a strong youth sailing background and competitive sailing around Scandinavia.

“I usually sail dinghies like the Optimist, the Europe and 29er and before each race, it’s very systematic. At first you compare your speed and then you check which side of the course is better but no one’s been doing that here,” explained Fjelddahl. “The fleet have just been checking their speed and I’m like woah, don’t you want to see which side of the race course is good?”

“I’ve been choosing the right side of the course because the best people have been choosing the left side of the course. All the boats are over there so I have free wind and more space to navigate. There isn’t much difference on each side, the leaders are just better and have more speed than me.”

Over on the right side of the Williamstown race track, the young Swede has been impressive and sits 17th in the 48-boat fleet after six races and occupies the final Rio 2016 Paralympic Games spot on offer, not bad for her first event in the 2.4mR.

“I thought I was going to be last because I’ve only sailed this boat for two and a half months. It’s a big surprise that I’m around 20th. I just wanted to have fun and have experience and if I get the chance to get a Paralympic place then I’ll grab it.”

Around 20th was a calculated guess for Fjelddahl. The youngster is yet to look at the overall results and consequentially, has been sailing without fear and pressure. Fjeddahl has some brave decision making to thank for her great results as she continued, “I look at each race as a whole competition. This is very important because I forget what I was doing two days ago or an hour ago and think in the now, wanting to be first and win each race.

“I like to feel cool and not stressed when I sail. I say to myself what I’m going to do before each race. It’s like I’m meditating whilst I’m sailing. If I don’t look at the results I won’t be stressed. It doesn’t matter if I’m placed first or last I’ve always done this. I sail better by doing this.”

Fjeddahl knows that Rio 2016 is a realistic goal having beaten the odds before and has dared to dream a little, “I would be very happy if I qualified,” she said through an optimistic smirk. “When I was sailing Optimists my goal was to qualify for the Nordic Championships and I did it. I then said to my parents, if I can do it then everybody else can do it. If I get the chance to sail at the Paralympics I will feel like a role model, because again, if I can do it, everybody can do it.

“My friends think I’m doing really awesome. But I don’t know if they see it as big competition, they just see me in Australia on the other side of the world. My friends said to me, if you’re going to Rio, then we have to go to Rio. They have set up this whole team who would cook food and clean for me in Rio which is very funny.”

The dream of reaching the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is within touching distance with five races remaining at the Para World Sailing Championships. Fjeddahl is unaware of where she’s placed at the midway stage of the regatta but as for her coach, Sara Sandberg, “I’m of course looking at results,” chuckled Sandberg, “I’m studying them all the time. We had a discussion about this. I asked if I was allowed to tell her if she was in with a chance of qualifying so she was able to think about some tactics but I haven’t had a clear answer on that question yet.”

Attention swiftly turned to Fjeddahl as a response was sought, “Hmm,” she paused. “I would like to know why someone may be tacking over me all the time because I would want to avoid that person. I won’t change my plan though. I think I sail better calmer and when I’m doing my own thing.”

Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015.  Photo: Teri Dodds.
Sailing – Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015. Photo: Teri Dodds.

Doing her own thing is working in Williamstown, but it’s not an uncommon trait for Fjeddahl. The 16-year-old started sailing when she was eight in summer camps before moving into club racing at the age of nine. At first Fjeddahl feared some aspects of the sport due to her disability, a low form of cerebral palsy, and avoided going out onto the water when the wind was up and the waves were high. Watching her friends progressing on the water made her realise she needed to make her own choices and not wanting to be seen as a beginner all of her life, pushed hard, got back out on the water and found her favourable conditions, “Because I had my handicap I always lacked some technique with tacks so I always had to think better. When I sailed in light wind and shifts I was on the top of my game. Because I sail on a lake I have always done that. I was always quite good at doing it.”

Whilst Fjeddahl learnt her trade sailing dinghies alongside able-bodied athletes, her disability meant that she also qualified to sail within the Paralympic disciplines.

Her coach, Sandberg and the Svenska Seglarförbundet, the Swedish Sailing Federation, always knew about Fjeddahl but at such a young age, being thrown into the pressurised arena of Paralympic sailing would always be a risk. But the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to remove sailing from the Tokyo 2020 sporting program prompted an immediate response.

Sandberg explained, “We have known about Fia for quite a long time but never got to know her. She’s fighting against all the others on the same level and doing really good. We understood she wasn’t interested in Paralympic sailing, this was several years ago, but we were talking to her coaches and when sailing went out of the Paralympics for Tokyo, we knew it was important to get new nations sailing.

“In Sweden, we felt a bit of shame in that we didn’t have Paralympic sailors because Sweden is a good sailing nation and we’ve had many sailors in many Paralympic Games. I called her coach and asked if Fia was interested in Paralympic sailing but she never really gave an answer. It took three weeks and then finally her coach said, “I think she does.” The day after that I was working in Stockholm and I was going to Gothenburg for another reason and I asked if I should bring a boat?

“It was a yes and I loaded the boat onto the car and drove to Gothenburg and she had it to start playing with and then some weeks after that I was down in Malmo, talking to Fia and her mother. She wasn’t training in the boat as no one could coach her because where they trained at school, they didn’t have a crane to launch it so she had to train somewhere else.

“I went there for two days and we started in no wind, we gave it a try and after that we went to the west coast and started training more.

“We got as many people involved as we could. Stellan Berlin [nine time Open 2.4mR World Champion], is a good friend of ours, and we asked him to give us some time and he did. We’ve had support from Swedish Sailing Federation and Sweden’s 2.4mR sailors.”

In addition to the support within her nation, Fjeddahl also benefitted from the support of the World Sailing Paralympic Development Program, a five day coaching clinic that took place before the event. Additional time on the water, expert coaching and at the world’s venue, it was the perfect preparation, “The coaches made the sailors think about things on their own. It wasn’t like, “Fia you have to do this, Fia you have to think about this” you had to figure the boat out on your own, the sails, the shape, the speed and that was really good because you have the capabilities to solve everything. No one can tell you how to problem solve in a race,” said Sandberg.

“Fia is very good at analysing the situations. That is her advantage here. Before we came to Melbourne we maybe had ten hours in the boat. She’s used to big fleets though and not all the sailors here are. She’s figured out her tactics and she knows how to make her own plan, not looking at the top athletes. She knows exactly what to do and sticks to her plan.”

Sticking to a plan is vital and there can be no regrets in Williamstown as the 2015 worlds acts as the final qualifier for Rio 2016. The sweet 16-year-old has her plan, she has her focus but can she take one of the places?

Daniel Smith

Exell claims second win in a row at inaugural FEI World Cup™ Driving leg in Madrid

Boyd Exell claimed his second win in a row with victory at the inaugural edition of FEI World Cup™ Driving in Madrid (ESP) tonight, where Koos de Ronde (NED) finished second ahead of Swiss driver Jérôme Voutaz in third. Last weekend Exell also came out on top in the first leg of the new series at Stuttgart (GER), and today’s repeat success suggests the 43-year-old Australian is well on target for his fifth consecutive series title.

Madrid Horse Week hosted FEI World Cup™ Legs in Jumping, Driving and Vaulting this weekend, and the organisers were very pleased with the popularity of the Driving at the International Feria de Madrid (IFEMA).

The experienced German course designer Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf laid out a technical course for the seven competitors representing seven different nations. The wonderful atmosphere in the arena and the enthusiastic spectators contributed to the success of this first big Driving event at the Spanish fixture.

FEI World Cup™ Driving

Snow or Sun

For Boyd Exell the choice to compete in Madrid or in Stockholm (SWE), which also hosted an FEI World Cup™ Driving leg today, was easy. “I could choose between sun and snow,” Exell said with a smile, “and I chose the sun! I also chose Madrid because of the good relationship I have with four-in-hand driver Ernesto Colman Mena (URU) who is the sponsor of this leg and Juan Real Garcia (ESP).”

No shame

Exell put down a magical first round and steered his four warmblood horses through a powerful and fast tour of the course, leaving all balls on the obstacles. He was some eight seconds faster than the fastest competitor so far, Jérôme Voutaz. Both of them qualified for the Winning Round, as well as Koos de Ronde.

Voutaz unfortunately knocked two balls down, and gave second starter De Ronde some breathing space. The bronze medallist of the FEI European Championships in Aachen went for it, but already had one knock down at the start of the course. The remainder of his drive he kept clear and he was happy with his second place behind Exell. “It is nothing to be ashamed of to finish second behind Boyd. My time in the winning round was nearly as fast as Boyd’s, so I am convinced one of us will manage to beat him this season!” the Dutch driver said.

Spinning horses

Exell however did not have his best Winning Round. His left leader horse nearly tripped twice because of the loose footing, and in the first marathon obstacle the reigning World Cup Champion lost a few seconds when his horses kept spinning. “Two gates were taken out in the winning round and one was in an obstacle. My horses knew that from the three rounds before, and they were spinning,” explains Exell. “But I saw it coming early and was able to minimise the mistake and the time loss” he added.

Panic

Jérôme Voutaz is a newcomer in the series this season. He competed before with a wild card in Geneva (SUI) and he opened his season in Madrid. “I panicked a bit,” said the sympathetic driver who is a car mechanic by profession. “The first night my horses were not waiting for me and I made too many driving mistakes myself as well. The arena in Geneva was so different. Everything is new for me here, I have watched videos of previous World Cup events to prepare myself, but it is not easy to compete against Boyd and the other competitors” said the Swiss man who was, nevertheless, pleased with his results in Madrid.

Rainer Duen (GER), who was third at the first leg in Stuttgart, drove a nice clear round, but just came one second short to finish before Voutaz in the first round and finished fourth tonight. Belgium’s Glenn Geerts did the same at his first competition of this season and had to be satisfied with fifth place.

Australia’s Boyd Exell claimed his second win in a row with victory at the inaugural edition of FEI World Cup™ Driving in Madrid (ESP) tonight. (FEI/Hervé Bonnaud)
Australia’s Boyd Exell claimed his second win in a row with victory at the inaugural edition of FEI World Cup™ Driving in Madrid (ESP) tonight. (FEI/Hervé Bonnaud)

Wild cards

Both Colman Mena and Real Garcia competed with a wild card, and for both of them it was their first ever indoor driving experience.

They were both very happy and pleased to compete in such atmosphere, “I think this is a great opportunity for Spanish people to get to know carriage driving as a competition sport,” Garcia said.

Exell trains both four-in-hand drivers and was pleased with their performances. “They improved a lot during the competition. They did a very good job, especially Juan who had to prepare two teams, for both Ernesto and for himself.”

Cindy Timmer

David Richardson hails successful debut for day/night Test cricket

Following the third Test between Australia and New Zealand which concluded in Adelaide on Sunday, International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson has hailed the successful debut of day/night Test cricket and says that it is a concept which can greatly enhance the traditional format of the game.

Mr Richardson said: “The inaugural day/night Test in Adelaide was a huge success, enjoyed by cricket followers across the world. I would like to congratulate both the Australia and New Zealand teams on a thrilling game of cricket.

“It was an exciting game, played in exemplary spirit, and in front of record crowds – a great advert for Test cricket.

“Although day/night Tests will not be feasible at every venue, it certainly provides a new dimension for players, spectators, broadcasters and fans alike and it is here to stay. We need to make sure we take all the learnings we can from this first match, identify what has worked well and what needs improving, and make sure that future day/night Tests are as good, if not better.

“I have every confidence that day/night Tests will continue to be embraced by more Boards in the near future to, in time, become a regular feature of Test match scheduling.”

BULLET ENERGY DRINK READY TO SPONSOR NPFL TEAMS

The lack of sponsorship that has plagued most domestic football teams in the country would soon be a thing of the past as the number one energy drink in the country (Bullet Energy Drink) is working out an agreement to sponsor some of the NPFL teams.

Bullet energy drink would be picking elite football clubs around the country for a possible sponsorship deal to reflect the true character of its business and commitment in Nigeria….

With this new sponsorship arrangement still in sight then the NPFL league would soon compare to that of EPL in no distant future.

Bullet energy drink brand ambassador Samuel Oguche said the brand is negotiating full sponsorship deal with some of the nation’s premier professional league football teams.

He noted that every Nigerian football team would be given the opportunity to survive in the Nigerian league through Bullet energy drink new sponsorship deal.

Oguche concluded by saying that there is no limit to what Bullet energy drink can do in terms of giving back to Nigeria sports.

IAAF ETHICS COMMISSION PROVISIONALLY SUSPENDS KIPLAGAT, OKEYO AND KINYUA

The independent IAAF Ethics Commission has announced the provisional suspension of Mr Isaiah Kiplagat, Mr David Okeyo and Mr Joseph Kinyua from any IAAF or Athletics Kenya position pending investigation of complaints made against them and evidence and information which has been received by the IAAF Ethics Commission.

This provisional suspension, which is made in the interests of the integrity of the sport, is for a period of 180 days and is effective, and was made public by the Ethics Commission, at 1500hrs GMT on Monday 30 November 2015.

The full statement issued by the independent IAAF Ethics Commission is available on the home page of their website: http://www.iaafethicscommission.org

Changes to rules and statutes of IAAF Ethics Commission

The announcement today follows changes to the Procedural Rules and the Statutes of the IAAF Ethics Commission which were approved by IAAF Council during their meeting last Thursday (26) – http://www.iaafethicscommission.org/code-of-ethics

The main changes are as follows:

– an increase in the number of Commission members and Legal Secretaries – 7 to 9 members and 1 to 2 secretaries;

– investigations are no longer restricted to complaints filed by a member of the IAAF Family – the Commission can now initiate an investigation if reliable information comes to its attention from any other source as well provided it discloses a prima facie case of a serious infringement of the Code;

– the disciplinary process under the Code may be streamlined in appropriate cases, for example, if there is no dispute on the facts;

– the Commission can now issue provisional suspensions much earlier in the process pending the conclusion of an investigation or decision of a Panel of the Commission.

IAAF

This follows an earlier amendment on 6 November 2015 as follows:

– the confidentiality provisions were relaxed to allow the Commission to cooperate with the IAAF and other organisations and disclose the existence of proceedings and make public comment if it deems it appropriate to do so to discharge the Commission’s functions or protect the integrity and reputation of the sport.

IAAF

Collisions and Broken Masts in Wild Williamstown Wind

Broken masts, collisions and a tough old day for the sailors at the Para World Sailing Championships as Port Phillip showed its wild side on the third day of competition in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia.

A warm northerly breeze lured the sailors out of the comfortable surroundings of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria to their respective course areas with no sign of what was to follow.

The first race for all fleets was run in a breeze of 15 knots or so, with gusts to 20 knots and the wind direction swinging wildly in each gust. It was challenging but enjoyable sailing. In the second race however, the breeze built quickly. Strong gusts, reported at 30 knots, caught many crews unawares, with spectacular results.

Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015.  Photo: Teri Dodds.
Sailing – Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015. Photo: Teri Dodds.

Israeli and American SKUD18 sailors fell victim to the second race gusts as their masts snapped whilst Puerto Rico’s Julio Reguero collided with the committee boat on the 2.4mR race track.

On the SKUD18 course, conditions were trying for all crews in the first race, which was won by Australians Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch ahead of their team mates Amethyst Barnbrook and Brett Pearce, with the Netherlands crew of Rolf Schrama and Sandra Nap third.

In the race that followed, conditions were frightening, with vicious gusts sweeping down the course. Americans Ryan Porteous and Maureen McKinnon launched their spinnaker after rounding the windward mark, only to watch it fill instantly as a gust hit, and snap the mast neatly at the spreaders.

Soon afterwards, the Israeli crew of Hagar and Moshe Zahavi suffered a similar fate, both boats being towed back to the marina. The Australian crew, having established a good lead by the final lap, delayed the deployment of a spinnaker until after they had gybed, and kept a close watch on the Canadian boat closing in behind them. They went on to score another win, with Canada’s John McRoberts and Jackie Gray second and the Netherlands’ Rolf Schrama and Sandra Nap third.

Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015.  Photo: Teri Dodds.
Sailing – Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015. Photo: Teri Dodds.

Total points after dropping the worst are now Australia on 6 points, Great Britain on 17 and Italy on 21.

At one point during the final race, Julio Reguero (PUR) in the 2.4mR fleet was unable to keep clear of an anchored committee boat during a particularly strong gust, while down the course there were four boats in the hands of support craft. For these little boats with their low freeboard, just keeping then afloat was challenging, and bilge pumps were being used by everyone to pump out water that had swept over them in the high winds. France’s Damien Seguin showed his versatility today by winning followed by Australia’s Matt Bugg, who was third in both races. Canadian Brian Miller was third in race six.

After six races, dropping the worst, Damien Seguin leads with nine points, from Germany’s Heiko Kroeger on 14 and Australian Matt Bugg on 19.

On the Sonar course, the predicted tightening of the competition was clear when the first three boats crossed the finish line almost together, each overlapped with the boat ahead. The Australian crew of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden started soundly in the centre of the fleet and narrowly led at the first mark from the British and French crews. During the final downwind leg, French skipper Bruno Jourdren broke away from the Australian and British boats, favouring the left as they closed on the finish line. The Australians held their nerve, and with the British boat closing fast behind them, kept the French boat out wide until they gybed back, leaving the Frenchmen to lament what might have been. The finishing order was Australia, France and Britain.

Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015.  Photo: Teri Dodds.
Sailing – Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 30/11/2015. Photo: Teri Dodds.

In much stronger conditions during the second race, the British turned the tables, leading the Australians home with the New Zealand crew of Richard Dodson, Chris Sharp and Andrew May in third place. The French boat had their worst result for the series so far, finishing eighth.

Total scores, now incorporating the dropping of each boat’s worst score, shows the Australians leading on seven points, ahead of the British crew of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas on 13 points and the French crew on 22.

With severe conditions forecast for tomorrow, teams are already discussing their strategy after today’s carnage on the race course.

Bernie Kaaks

CAVB President Elwani meets Algerian NOC President

African Volleyball Confederation President Dr Amr Elwani was received by Algerian National Olympic Committee President Mustapha Berraf upon his arrival to the Algerian Capital in preparation for the 2015 CAVB Congress to be held December 3 and 4.

Berraf thanked CAVB for choosing Algeria to host the biannual event and promised to make everything available for a successful electoral Congress.

The 2015 CAVB Congress will be attended by Dr Ary Graca, the FIVB President.

Dr Elwani recived in Algeria_resize

200 Kids Confirm For CCSF Taekwondo Open

200 kids/students across the country have confirmed their attendance of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Open taking place at the Brickhall School, Abuja on Saturday December 5.

The event, which is sanctioned by the FCT Taekwondo Association and supported by the Board of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), has kids from schools and clubs across FCT and the seven states in the North Central part of Nigeria are expected at the event.

200 kids confirm for CCSF Taekwondo Opens

Clubs from other states like Benue State, Imo State, Cross River, and Kaduna have also indicated interest in being part of the program.

According to an official statement released by the organizers, the objective of the event is to “Produce prospective future Olympians and World Champions; Expose kids to the latest technological gadgets and technical experience available in the sport; Build the confidence and experience of the kids through competitive experience; and Foster a healthy social interaction between kids from different communities.

According to the program coordinator, Kemi Isaac, who is an officer with the NSCDC and a Taekwondo Black-Belt practitioner, “The kids deserve the exact same attention and opportunities given to the adults during the highly successful edition held 4 weeks ago, as the kids are the future Olympians and World Champions that must be groomed from today”

For the Proprietor of Brickhall School, Senator Joy Emodi, the event is a game-changer. “There is no parent who will not be excited for their wards practicing taekwondo to be part of a quality program like this. The importance of ensuing that extra-curricular activities like sports are intertwined with the education of our children to solidify their development and improve their social skills cannot be over-emphasized.”

200 kids confirm for CCSF Taekwondo Opens,

For Chief Executive Officer of CCSF, Chika Chukwumerije, who is a 3-time Olympian and a Beijing 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist, the emphasis is on exposing the young ones at a young age to increase Nigeria’s chances of getting more Olympians in the future.

“It is a special event because the kids are going to be using the same Daedo electronic system being used at the RIO 2016 Olympics, and the sky will truly be their limit is we sustain this kind of programme over the next 10 years”

Sit Up Or Risk Promotion To DSTV League – Odaudu Tells Hoopers

Head Coach of Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt, hosts of the 2015 edition of the National Men Division 1 Basketball League, Ogoh Odaudu has berated his players after their Day 2 clash with Raptors of Lagos which they won 72 – 43 on Sunday. On the opening day, Hoopers fired a warning to other competitors with the highest score line so far in the league with a 115 – 43 points win over Osun Lions but failed to replicate same on their second game against the Lagos team thereby giving the coach serious concern about their ambition to host and win the tournament which qualifies two teams, one each from the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences to the DSTV League.

Hoopers’ Alalibo helped his team to victory contributing 12 points while Alamina and Orinan had 10 points each to beat the hard fighting Raptors who ensured the hosts struggled all through the game denying them the opportunity to humiliate them like they did to the Osun Lions. First quarter ended 21 – 6 in favour of Hoopers, while Raptors won the second and third quarters 17-15 and 16-15 before the hosts rallied to win convincingly 21-4 points in the last quarter.

Reacting to the performance of his team after the game, Odaudu described it as highly disappointing warning that except Hoopers improve in subsequent games, they risk the chance of picking the sole ticket at stake from the conference especially that there are teams like the Comets also eyeing qualification to the elite league from the Atlantic Conference. “I am not impressed at all with our play against Raptors especially after starting the tournament well and scoring 115 points in our opening game. The team did not play well at all and had to struggle all through the game. They never played to instruction and were busy doing something else in the court. I told them specifically to relax, get their balls and shoot but they were busy rushing and hasty. The truth is that we have to review our chances by improving if we want to qualify to play in the DSTV League because if they continue like this it will be difficult.”

Hoopers clash with Police Bombers Monday and will have their biggest test on Thursday when they meet their biggest threat from the Conference, Comets of Lagos coached by former D’ Tigers and national team coach Ayo Bakare in a clash that most likely will determine the leader of Atlantic Conference. Incidentally, Hoopers coach, Ogoh Odaudu was an assistant to Ayo Bakare in the 2013 edition of Afrobasket held in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire.

World’s top boxers set to ignite 2016 Rio Olympic boxing Test Event

Some of the world’s greatest boxers will make their way to Rio de Janeiro from December 4th till 6th to compete in what is set to be a mouthwatering appetiser for the 2016 Olympic Games in August.

Of the 60 men competing in the ten Olympic weight categories, will be World Series of Boxing and AIBA Pro Boxing stars, including Brazil’s hopeful Robson Conceicao and Kazakhstan’s legendary Vassiliy Levit. Among the women competing in the three female weight categories are two major middleweight talents – AIBA Women’s World Champion Claressa Shields and Netherlands’ 2015 European Games winner Nouchka Fontijn.

“As we draw nearer to 2016 and what is likely to be one of the most spectacular Olympic Games of all time, this is the perfect moment for the boxers and organisers to take part in a test event held by Rio 2016 Organising Committee,” said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “The boxers and the city alike are entering the final stages of preparations for the world’s biggest sporting event, and we want to give men’s and women’s boxing the perfect platform for the enjoyment of fans around the world.”

The event will provide Brazilian sports fans with a sneak preview of the kind of talent they can expect to see in the ring in Rio next year. Thirteen of those taking part in the men’s test event have already secured their place to compete on the world’s biggest stage in 2016. Among those who will be hoping to make a swift return are Cuba’s London 2012 gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez and Kazakhstan’s super-heavyweight hero Ivan Dychko.

The women’s flyweight competition will see the return of India’s five-time World Champion Mary Kom, returning to the ring after injury. Brazil’s own Olympic medalist Adriana Araujo will be hoping to put in a confidence-boosting performance in front of the home fans, with Estelle Mossely and England’s Chantelle Cameron looking to leave their mark in the city.

“Our preparations have gone well and we are excited not just to stage the Olympic Boxing competition, but to have such a strong team ready to compete,” said Brazil Boxing Federation President Mauro Silva. “Our sport is enjoying huge popularity at the moment in Brazil, and if the home fans inspire our athletes to gold medals it will be an experience that nobody will ever forget.”

World’s top boxers set to ignite 2016 Rio Olympic boxing Test Event
World’s top boxers set to ignite 2016 Rio Olympic boxing Test Event

In parallel to the competition, AIBA will be taking its #HeadsUp! Charter to Brazil to be signed by Mr Silva to ensure the successful roll out of the initiative locally. Launched at the 2015 World Championships in Doha and committed to grassroots development of boxing and its aim to promote boxers’ safety and training as well as creating a more sustainable career platform for athletes.

AIBA with the local organising committee will also organise an engagement event on 3 December in Rio with presence of elite boxer’s for the joy of local fans.

Sport: The Every-Day Enabler Of Extraordinary Things, CGF President tells CHOGM leaders

The Commonwealth sporting movement will play a key role in engaging and inspiring the next generation of Commonwealth citizens, its president pledged today. Addressing senior government and civic leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta (Sunday, November 29) recently-elected Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin, shared the movement’s ambitions for transformational change – and an impact that reaches far beyond the Commonwealth Games spectacle. She urged Commonwealth leaders to support their Games Associations, sports leaders and athletes and put them at the vanguard of making Commonwealth goals a reality for citizens and communities.

Welcoming guests to a leaders’ Sports Breakfast, Prime Minister of Malta, the Honourable Joseph Muscat, said that celebrating the positive power of Commonwealth sport was the perfect way to bring the CHOGM programme to a close. The event was attended by a packed audience of senior government and civic leaders from across the Commonwealth, including the Commonwealth Secretary General, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma.

Commonwealth Secretary General, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma said:

“Sport is one of our most cherished and visible Commonwealth traditions. More than that, sport can make vital contributions to inclusive social progress. The theme for this 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting speaks of the Commonwealth Adding Global Value.

“Sport for Development and Peace is central in our work to advance respect and understanding. Innovative approaches such as this to inspire our youth are needed more than ever, with the challenges and tragedies we face in the world today.

“The Commonwealth Games Federation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and organisations in our wider Commonwealth family are able to draw on immense goodwill and tremendous energy as we carry this work forward in partnership.”

CGF President Louise Martin told CHOGM leaders that the Commonwealth Sporting movement was committed to delivering ‘Transformation 2022’ a new strategic approach – overwhelmingly adopted by members at the CGF General Assembly in Auckland in September – and which marks a historic change in the movement’s focus from the four-year cycle of hosting Commonwealth Games to a wider role of delivering sports leadership within the Commonwealth, based on partnership, engagement and value generation.

The plan prioritises delivery across four key areas: Innovative and Inspirational Games;
Good Governance and Management, Strong Partnerships and developing Commonwealth Sport as a strong valued brand.

Louise Martin
Louise Martin

Addressing delegates, CGF President Louise Martin, CBE said:

“The Commonwealth Games is a great sporting spectacle which creates an extra-special magic when it combines passion, professionalism and warmth in a city that embraces the opportunity.

Sport can be an every-day enabler of remarkable things and beyond the spectacle of great games, our obligation at the CGF is to make the most of the truly impactful opportunities for empowerment and transformational change.”

The CGF President also announced that the Bahamas has formally expressed interest to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, with Northern Ireland keen to host the event in 2021. Established in 2000 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Youth Games has become an increasingly important and relevant part of the Commonwealth sporting movement’s strategic engagement with young athletes emerging onto the global sport scene. The Games has provided an important springboard for many future stars. Commonwealth Games, Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship legends such as Kirani James, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Chad le Clos and Caster Semenya all experienced the early thrill of representing their home nations and territories as teenage competitors at previous Youth Games.

Commonwealth Games Federation, cgf

Louise Martin, CGF President, added:

“The Commonwealth Youth Games is an incredibly vital way that we can share the connective and life-changing experience of a Commonwealth united in its diversity with a new generation of athletes and citizens. As Samoa has just shown, hosting such a inspirational international sporting occasion like the Youth Games, empowers even the smallest nations to have a profound and distinctive impact – not just on their own young people or their own communities – but on a global scale.

“The CGF team looks forward to working with our friends and colleagues in both the Bahamas and Northern Ireland as we undertake the evaluation process to understand how we can collaborate with them through the unifying power of sport, helping to write positive new chapters in their own stories.”

Other contributors taking part in the event include Dr Lachlan Strahan, Australia’s senior representative to the Commonwealth – Gold Coast, Australia will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games – and Team Malta athlete Rebecca Camillieri, a multi-medal winning long jumper and sprinter who has represented Malta at the Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.