Dike’s Injury Rankles Keshi…Turns Prayer Warrior For Others …Commiserates With Falode

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Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi was practically in tears on Tuesday evening when he learnt of the injury to power playing Toronto FC of Canada forward, Bright Dike. He has already instructed team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran to get in touch the medics of the player’s club to know the extent of damage done to a potential World Cup debutant.

“No, no, this is very sad. I can’t believe this is happening to a player with such enthusiasm to play for Nigeria at the highest level, we will surely miss him, if it’s true he would not be ready on time for the World Cup. I can’t think of any replacement for now until we get to the real facts of the matter”

Keshi said in Florianopolis, Brazil, where he is presently attending the FIFA seminar for Mundial 2014 along with coaches of other qualified nations and their officials.

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The former Anderletch of Belgium and Strasbourg of France libero also revealed that he has turned a prayer warrior for all the players he is planning to take to the World Cup, and he was sure God will protect them against any form of injury in the run-up to the World Cup. “We just have to commit all the other players to God’s hands, because we can only do well if our players are in good health”, he said.

On the return of Skipper Joseph Yobo to the team, Keshi said he was recalled because he has recently come back to a reach vein of form, warning however that his recall to the team does not guarantee a World Cup place. “He played well against Manchester City, which I watched but he must be consistent and we pray he should be in good health, those are the attributes we want in all the players that will go to the World Cup”.

The national team coach also expressed grief at news of the death of the son of National Womens’ Team Coordinator, Aisha Falode, Master Toba Falode. “We in the Super Eagles join the NFF and the entire football fraternity to mourn with Falode. We pray God to grant her the fortitude to bear the loss”, he said through team’s Media Officer Ben Alaiya.

FIFA Seminar Excites Nigerian Delegates

Nigerian delegates to the Brazil 2014 World Cup Workshop/Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil say they have benefitted immensely from the weeklong event, which they will avail the national team and Nigerian football, when occasion warrants.

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, said it was a revealing session for him, as it afforded him an opportunity to meet some of the best coaches in the world. “Some of the coaches we have here, were the same coaches some of us were adoring in our playing days. To be rubbing shoulders with them on the same platform is a rare privilege and we must thank the NFF and FIFA for this opportunity”, he said as he exchanged pleasantries with Brazilian coach, Luis Filipo Scolari.

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Keshi and Brazilian Coach Felipe Scolari share a moment during lunch time on Wednesday at the ongoing FIFA Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil

Eagles Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, who was also at a similar event at the South African 2010 World Cup, said there have been a few changes to the last seminar, as FIFA continues to evolve as one of the most influential bodies in the world. “The seminar will surely help us when the World Cup starts”, he said.

On his part team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, who has been the most engaged of all the delegates here said it has been another eye opener for him in the field of sports medicine. “We have been told the latest discoveries in medicine, new medical terms, drugs, steps against anti-doping, preventive rather than curative approach in athletes’ management and new rules from international bodies like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Health Organisation.

NFF Marketing Department’s Chuks Alizor, said he has gained fresh insights into international sports marketing, which will come in handy in his job with the NFF. “FIFA was simply fantastic with this seminar and I thank the NFF for bringing me here to learn new things”, he said.

Team Security Head, Assistant Commissioner of Police Abubabakar Baba, was mouth agape at the huge deployment of security operatives and other salient security details unveiled during Wednesday’s session. “Security wise I have gained a lot but I must also say FIFA has a lot of planners that will make this year’s World Cup free of security threat”, he said.

NFF Security Committee, Dr Christian Emeruwa spoke in a similar vein, describing the knowledge gained at the seminar as an eye opener. The Nigerian delegation is expected back home

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Caterham F1 Team T02 BAHRAIN – DAY ONE REPORT

Caterham F1 Team T02 BAHRAIN – DAY ONE REPORT

Bahrain – 19th February 2014

Driver: Robin Frijns

Chassis: CT05-#02

Total laps: 68

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Robin Frijns photo credits Caterham F1 Team

Robin Frijns:

“We’ve obviously made quite a lot of progress since Jerez and having finished the day with 68 laps, a lot more than the other Renault powered teams, I think everyone can be quite pleased with how this test has started.

“For me it’s still too early to really tell how quick the car is because we haven’t yet started running anywhere near full performance levels, but overall it feels ok. I wasn’t getting a lot of grip from the back end to begin with but we made a few changes to the aero balance and by the end of the session it was starting to come together, especially on the mediums which we tried in the afternoon – the grip levels on those was much better and I could really start to push on that set.

“That’s my last day in the car before the season starts and I’m happy to finish in the car in Bahrain with that mileage completed. I’m enjoying being part of this team – they all know what they have to do to start pushing up the grid, and being part of that is good.”

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photo credits Caterham F1 Team

Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1:

“Today was obviously a more positive start to the test than we had in Jerez but we still have work to do to increase the performance levels to achieve the targets we have set for this stage of the season. A lot of work has been done since the first test, much of which has helped us achieve the mileage we did today, and after running without any major Power Unit problems throughout the whole day it is clear we have made significant progress, both for us and with the team.”

SWAN FCT Chapter Commiserate With Aisha Falode, Mourns Walter Oyatogun.

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, FCT chapter has commiserated with former NFF Media and Publicity Committee member Aisha Falode, on the loss of her son, Toba Falode.

Chairman, SWAN, FCT chapter, Kayode Adeniyi expressed shock on hearing the news which he described as sad, unfortunate and unthinkable while also praying that God grants the Falode family the fortitude to bear the loss.

“I want to say here that the entire sports writers in Abuja are shocked to here this sad news, it is totally unthinkable that a young boy with such a promising future has been lost just like that. We deeply mourn with her at this time. Kayode lamented

Meanwhile Kayode Adeniyi also said that SWAN also mourns the passing away of veteran broadcaster, Mr. Walter Oyatogun, who died in Lagos last weekend at the age of 78, after suffering a third stroke.

Oyatogun, a veteran broadcaster, who ruled the airwaves in Nigeria sports television commentary in the 1970s and 1980s, died on Friday, 14th February at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos.

Nigeria female U17 defeats Nasarawa Amazons in Abuja Friendly…….Departs to Faro for Training tour, Friday

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With less than a month to the female U-17 World cup in Costa Rica, Nigeria U17 women has intensified preparations with a 2-0 victory over the country’s women league champions, Nasarawa United, in a friendly match in Abuja.
Goals from Uche Kanu and Onyebuchi Goodness in separate halves, handed the Faro-bound girls the victory in the tie, played at the FIFA Goal Project Centre on Wednesday.

The coach Bala Nkiyu led wards through Uche Kanu grabbed the lead in the 7th minute and later saw several attempts on goal off target in the first half with Aminat, Chiwnedu both recording a miss.

However, Nasarawa Amazons failed to find a breakthrough for an equalizer as the resilient Nigeria flamingoes sealed up its defense line. Unfortunately, the HamzaAbdullahi led women lost hope when Onyebuchi Goodness fired home to make it 2-0 for the Flamingoes.

Interestingly, the 2-0 victory over the Amazons became the second victory for the Flamingoes after an earlier 2-1 victory in Lafia during their Federation tour.

Meanwhile, a 34-man delegation of the Nigeria cadet women team made up 25 players and 9 officials are expected to leave the country for a training tour in Faro, Portugal on Friday.

Nigeria Shifts focus to doubles as Portugal’s Montiero defeats Aruna Quadri at ITTF Qatar open

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The superb outing by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri could not prevent him from being shown the exit in the men’s singles of the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: “Qatar Open holding in Doha after the Nigerian lose narrowly to Portugal’s Joao Monteiro.

The experience of Portugal’s Monteiro was what saved the France-based Portuguese from the brink of defeat against Quadri.
For every point that Monteiro won against Quadri, the Nigerian made the Portuguese to work for as Monteiro won the first game at 11-7. But an improved Quadri leveled up with an 11-9 win in the second game.

The next two matches went in favour of the Portuguese at 11-8, 11-8. Undeterred by this lead, Quadri recovered to match up with 11-8, 11-9 win to put the encounter at 3-3.

The seventh match, the decider was spectacular with both players fighting for each pint. But at the end, the Portuguese escaped with a narrow win of 12-10 to progress to the main draw of the competition.

Before the tie against Monteiro, Quadri had overcame a highly-rated Chinese Taipei’s Wang-Wei Peng with a 4-2 win in his first group match.

A disappointed Quadri said he was not too happy losing narrowly to the Portuguese.

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“It was a sad day for me because I was close to making it to the main draw of the men’s singles and I lost narrowly to what I could say is ill-luck. In all, I was not disappointed with my performance but I am sad to have lost in such manner that I was looking for just a point to win,” he regretted.

Continuing he said: “There are lots of differences in Qatar when compared to my performance in Kuwait. Though I am still lacking in the receiving tactic but I was always ready to make blocking anytime I received a service. As I am hoping to be at the German and Spanish Opens and I want to thank the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi for sponsoring us to these competitions, may God continue to help him.”

Unlike Quadri, Kazeem Makanjuola was no match to his two opponents as he was walloped 4-0 by Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin and Egypt’s Omar Assar.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria’s duo of Quadri and Makanjuola are hopeful of good outing in the doubles event after setting up a clash against home boys – Qatar’s pair of Fahed Almughanne and Mohammed Alyafei in the preliminary round of the men’s doubles.

The tournament is the highest prize money tournament in the ITTF World Tours with a total package of $500,000. 200 players from 35 countries are participating in the five-day tournament, which is one of the Super Series in the tour.

Hayatou to host Maigari in Cairo as NFF condoles with Aisha Falode

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President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, will be a special guest of CAF President, Alhaji (Dr.) Issa Hayatou in
Cairo, Egypt on Friday.

The CAF President has invited Maigari and presidents of four other federations whose teams would be representing Africa at this summer’s World Cup finals to a special meeting in the Egyptian capital.

It is expected that the former 400m champion of Cameroon would seek to sound out Maigari and the FA Presidents of Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on their teams’ preparations for the biggest showpiece in football, happening in Brazil between 12th June – 13th July.

Africa’s football supremo is also likely to impress it on the FA chiefs on the need to adequately prepare their teams to make the
continent proud in South America.

No African team has made it to the semi finals of the FIFA World Cup in the past 19 editions, with only eight countries having lifted the
trophy – Brazil, Italy, Germany, Uruguay, Argentina, England, France and Spain.

Only Cameroon, in Italy in 1990, Senegal, in Korea/Japan in 2002, and Ghana, in South Africa in 2010, have flown Africa’s flag into the last eight of the FIFA World Cup, with Cameroon narrowly beaten by England in 1990 and Senegal eliminated by Turkey in Japan 12 years later. Ghana lost to Uruguay four years ago.

Nigeria, champions of Africa, play two-time winners Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran in Group F, with Algeria up against
Belgium, Russia and Korea Republic in Group H and Ghana to face Germany, Portugal and USA in Group G.

Cameroon tackle Brazil, Croatia and Mexico in Group A and Cote d’Ivoire are up against Colombia, Greece and Japan in Group C.

NFF condoles Aisha Falode

The Nigeria Football Federation on Wednesday condoled Member of the CAF Media Committee, Aisha Falode, on the death of her son, Toba Falode.

News of the unfortunate incident made the rounds on Monday, and it was learnt that the young man died at the weekend.

The screen diva, a former Chairperson of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, has been a telling figure in Nigeria sports journalism and sports administration for decades, through her rare passion, diligence, keen attention to details and sense of duty.

NFF President Aminu Maigari was dumbstruck when he learnt of the sad news. “This is a tragedy. It is very, very sad to hear of the death of such a young, charming and ambitious young man.

“We feel very much for Aisha Falode and deeply mourn with her at this period. It must be so devastating to lose such a promising son at that young age.”

President Jonathan to storm Brazil for World Cup

Nigeria’s leader, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR will be in Brazil this summer to support the Super Eagles in their quest to lift the prestigious FIFA World Cup trophy, as ‘Nigeria’s Official Number One Supporter.’

Speaking at a colourful ceremony inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday morning, where he was decorated as Grand Patron of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, President Jonathan also hailed the efforts of the National Sports Commission, Nigeria Football Federation and Nigeria Football Supporters Club in the numerous successes that Nigeria National Teams have achieved in the recent past.

Dedicating the honour to all Members of the Federal Executive Council and Nigerians of goodwill at home and in diaspora, the President also pledged that his administration will continue to give maximum support and assistance to all Nigerian sportsmen and women to bring glory to the country.

It will be recalled that since President Jonathan came into office, Nigeria Football Federation has brought immense honour and glory to Nigeria through the National Teams, with a total of 10 trophies in the cabinet. These trophies include the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, 2011 African Youth Championship, 2010 African Women Championship, trophies from prestigeous international friendlies against Argentina, Catalonia and South Africa, and three editions of COPA Lagos International Beach Soccer competition. The Super Eagles have also qualified for this year’s FIFA World Cup finals, with the Falconets and Flamingoes through to take part in this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup respectively.

“The Year 2014 is a very important one for our nation, as we have the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games ahead of us. The Federal Government will not relent in giving support to all our athletes in all sports to excel. I am indeed honoured to be officially recognised as Nigeria’s Number One Supporter. I have always been a keen supporter of all our National Teams.”

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President Goodluck Jonathan with the CHAN Eagles

Speaking at the ceremony, President -General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo hailed the President’s keen
interest and personal motivation of all the National Teams, which has resulted in tremendous successes over the years..

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari joined Vice President Namadi Sambo, Minister of Sports, Alhaji Bolaji
Abdullahi, Director General of NSC, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and Dr Oladipo in decorating President Jonathan with the ceremonial dress, medallions, muffler, Staff of Office and trophy.

Quadri surmounts Chinese Taipei’s Peng…as Makanjuola falls at ITTF World Tour in Qatar

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Like a Trojan soldier, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri defied all odds on Tuesday to surmount highly-rated Chinese Taipei’s Wang-Wei Peng at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: “Qatar Open holding in Doha.

However, the woes of his compatriot, Kazeem Makanjuola continued after he was pummeled by Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin in the first group match of the men’s singles event of the competition.

A confident Quadri never allowed what befell him in Kuwait to affect his performance in Qatar, as he ensured that his teenage
opponent never had an upper hand in the explosive encounter.

From the start of the game, Quadri never hid his intention to make a mark in the competition as he won the first matches at 12-10, 11-5.

But the Chinese Taipei star recovered to win the third match at 13-11. Quadri, however, increased the lead with another 11-4 win.
Not ready to surrender the game to the Nigerian, the Chinese Taipei teenager again claimed the victory in the fifth match at 11-8.

Fired by the determination to ensure that he match his words with action, Quadri wasted not time to end the encounter by winning the sixth match at 11-6 to record a emphatic 4-2 win.

Quadri’s last group match will be against Portugal’s Joao Montiero on Wednesday to decide the eventual winner of the group that will compete in the main draw.

“I am happy that I won the match in a four sets battle. I noticed a little improvement in my game but I am yet to receive service very well,” Quadri admitted.

He added: “I had never played against the Chinese Taipei player before and I was a bit jittery before the match but after picking the first five points in the first match, my nervousness disappeared. This alone gave me the confidence to put more efforts. I am excited and I look forward to my next game on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile Left-handed Makanjuola could not get his rhythm when confronting Singapore’s Xin as he had his hands full with a 4-0 loss to set up a last group match against Lagos Classics champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar.

Also on Wednesday, Nigeria’s duo of Quadri and Makanjuola will confront home boys – Qatar’s pair of Fahed Almughanne and Mohammed Alyafei in the preliminary round of the men’s doubles.

The Qatar Open is the highest prize money tournament in the ITTF World Tours with a total package of $500,000, while players that make it to the main draw in the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events will get $1,500 for their efforts, while winners of the Men’s and Women’s Singles events will receive $35,000 each with runners’ up getting $17,000 respectively.

200 players from 35 countries are participating in the five-day tournament, which is one of the Super Series in the tour.

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NFF mourns Walter Oyatogun

NFF mourns Walter Oyatogun

The Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday mourned the passing of veteran broadcaster, Mr. Walter Oyatogun, who died in Lagos last weekend at the age of 78, after suffering a third stroke.

NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said that the Federation and the entire Nigeria football family are in grief over the demise of the former NTA broadcaster of note, who broke grounds in the sportscasting profession with his much-adored voice, excellent work ethic, passion and tirelessness.

“The NFF and the Nigeria football family mourn the death of Mr. Oyatogun, a true legend of the journalism profession who carved his
giant footprints in the sands of time through hard work, perseverance, creativity and doggedness.

“We recall that the late Mr. Oyatogun was one of those showcased as one of the legends of the Federation Cup at the 2013 Grand Finale in Lagos. We will definitely miss him.”

Oyatogun, whose unmistakeable voice ruled the airwaves in Nigeria sports television commentary in the 1970s and 1980s, was said to have breathed his last at about 7.30am on Friday, 14th February at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos.

Amadu added that the commitment, diligence and dedication to duty that ruled late Oyatogun’s life are worthy lessons for today’s practising and budding professionals.

“Surely, another big tree has fallen in the Nigeria sports scene, so soon after we lost Pa John Ojidoh. Our prayer is that Almighty God
will grant the departed eternal rest, and also give the family and friends he has left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.”

PHILANTHROPIST DONATES 50 PAIRS OF BOOTS TO ABIA WARRIORS AS TEAM CONDUCT MEDICALS.

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A philanthropist and Chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, Dr Greg Ibe has donated 50 pairs of brand new boots to Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia as part of his efforts to mobilize the team towards a good outing in its Premier League debut season.

Presenting the boots to the Chairman of Abia Warriors, Chief Emeka Inyama in Umuahia, Dr Ibe, who is one of the patrons of the club, said he was motivated to make the donation as a way of complementing government’s efforts towards the funding of the club.

The Chancellor, who was represented at the occasion by the Media Manager of the institution, Mr. Ogbonnaya Ogwo said the donation was only a tip of the iceberg as the club’s jerseys and other apparel needed for the entire season has been ordered for and will soon arrive the country for their use.

He urged the club to reciprocate the gesture by holding their own among the big boys to enable them pick a continental ticket at the end of the season.

Receiving the boots, Chief Inyama expressed appreciation at Dr Ibe’s gesture and called on other lovers of the game to lend a helping hand in the sponsorship of the team as a way of complementing government’s efforts.

Chief Inyama, who said the club has intensified its preparations towards the new season, commended Governor T.A. Orji for his
assistance and belief in Abia Warriors and promised that they will not disappoint him and their teeming supporters.

Meanwhile, Abia Warriors have concluded the medical examination of all its players expected to do battle for it this season in line with the guidelines of the League Management Committee.

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The medical examination was carried-out at the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia by experts who certified all the players fit for the
forthcoming season and top notchers at the club have expressed happiness at the clean bill of health given to the players.

In another development, the Umuahia Township Stadium, home ground of Abia Warriors FC is now wearing a new look ready for the season opener after undergoing serious renovation.

The players dressing rooms, the referees dressing rooms and other departments of the stadium are now wearing a new look.

Officials of the League Management Committee led by the Chairman, Hon. Nduka Irabor have already inspected facilities at the stadium and expressed happiness at what they saw.

IOC Social Media: From Russia with Likes

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A conversation of Olympic proportions is taking place on the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s social media platforms, thanks in large part to a rapidly growing presence in the home country of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Russians are some of the most engaged people in the world when it comes to social media, spending, according to some accounts, over six hours a month on Russian social network VKontakte (VK) alone. And they are loving their first social media Games. Twenty per cent of the 60 million monthly active users on the platform engage with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, and were responsible for 17 million mentions of the Games on VK during the first week of competition.

With 2.7 million fans, the IOC’s Olympic page on VK has become the most popular official community page in the world among Russian-speaking fans. Thousands of Russians have been cheering for their athletes, and the IOC has been sharing their photos live in the Medals Plaza and at other live sites across Russia. It is the first time that user-generated content has been shared within an Olympic venue.

“We’re extremely pleased with the numbers,” said IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams. “The IOC’s presence on social media has grown incredibly quickly since the start of Sochi 2014, especially here in Russia, and this is partly due to the rise in mobile use around the world.”

Olympic Athletes’ Hub

The Olympic Athletes’ Hub recorded over 40,000 updates from Olympians, teams and National Olympic Committees in the first week of the Games. Olympians have been engaging in fun and interactive ways by taking photos and sharing them on social media. Over 1,700 photos have been taken at the Games so far and can be viewed on facebook.com/olympics. With 1,500 Sochi 2014 Olympians and over 6,000 Olympians from past Games, the Olympic Athletes’ Hub has become the reference point for connecting with athletes in social media.

The Hub has been receiving great praise from the athletes in Sochi. “The app is awesome,” said US hockey player Brianna Decker. “It is easily accessible and a great way for Olympians to connect with other Olympians and have fans connect with Olympians. It’s also great to have thousands of Olympians involved with this app and know that they are truly who they claim to be.”

“When we use the Hub we know that these Olympians’ accounts are real and we are certain who we follow is the real deal,” said Norwegian figure skater Anne Line Gjersem, echoing Decker’s comments about the fact that accounts of the Olympians on the Hub are all verified to protect against fakes.

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Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo

In the lead-up to the Games, the IOC’s Facebook page grew by more than 2 million fans. In the first seven days of the Games the page gained close to 1 million new fans. During the same period, Facebook reported that 24 million people were talking about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games on its platform.

The IOC Twitter account, meanwhile, has added 1 hundred thousand new followers since the start of the Games. According to Hootsuite, 6.5 million mentions of the Olympic Games were made on Twitter during the first week of competition.

In the past 30 days, 1.2 billion impressions have been recorded on IOC-led accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

There has been great interest surrounding Sochi 2014 in other parts of the world as well. In China, for example, the IOC’s Sina Weibo account grew by 849,752 fans, and there were almost 12.5 million mentions of the hashtag sochi2014 during the first week alone.

The total global fan base of the IOC now stands at 33.9 million subscribers.

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WALTER OYATOGUN PASSES ON !

The great journalist and administrator passed on at a Lagos Hospital on the 14th of February 2014, a pacesetter and broadcaster per excellence who through his professionalism inspired an entire generation of which this writer happens to fall into. His diction and command of the English language was impeccable.

WALTER OYATOGUN- THE GREAT

Sir Wally as he was popular known, became famous in the ’80s, on the Nigerian television authority NTA news. He had a unique sign off of his name, on his reports. His deep and well rounded voice and impeccable enunciation warmed many hearts. He was indeed one of Nigeria’s greatest.

Walter who survived a stroke two years ago, fought for his life till the very end. He indeed, exhibited the benefits of a healthy life style and exercise, which he preached and lived for.

Walter’s contributions to sports in Nigeria, started in 1960, when he became an Amateur boxer. The officer in charge of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Lagos, Mr. Peter Cook , a Briton, encouraged him to take to Boxing, and he made the National Team.

He represented Nigeria in the Nigeria/Ghana International Boxing Championship in 1966 in Lagos, where he won a Gold Medal in the Heavyweight Category.

Hogan (King) Bassey was the National Coach. Some of his stable mates were Fatai Ayinla (Light-Heavyweight) , Eddie Ndukwu (Featherweight) Davidson Andeh , (Lightweight) and Jerome Awe (Flyweight)

He was employed by the National Sports Council , between 1966-1976 as a Sports Development Officer and seconded to the Lagos Sports Council which had just established a Sports Training Centre then, known as ‘Alakoro Training Centre’ located at 106, Alakoro Street, Elegbata.

There were Nine Sports Associations on the ground then: Football, Athletics (Track & Field) Boxing, Tennis, Table Tennis, Cricket, Swimming, Hockey and Netball. But With a staff strength of six Physical Education Instructors and Six Assistant Instructors, he developed five additional sports between 1966 and 1976.

With the assistance of sports enthusiasts like Oba Dapo Tejuoso, Mr Walid Zabadne and a host of others, Walter was able to introduce volleyball, badminton, squash, basketball and weightlifting to the centre.

He continued this illustrious service to the nation.

Apart from his service in broadcasting and sports development, it was His dream to see the national stadium surulere, busy with sporting activities and development.

He got keep fit enthusiasts to make use of the National Stadium open spaces for jogging. In 1984, he sought the support of the Chairman, National Sports Commission, Late Maj-Gen, Damian Sho-Silva to throw open the gates of the National Stadium to all and sundry that wants to keep fit.

The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Alhaji Raheem A Adejumo adopted the keep -fit programme as Sport for All-Nigeria in 1991. Chief Shola Rhodes (SAN) laboured to spread the benefit of keep-fit all over the country.

That little seed sown in 1984 has become a way of life for many Nigerians as can be seen at the National Stadium at weekends.
He was an Alumni of the Man O’ War School, Apapa. At the inception of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme he served as an Instructor on Leadership to the Orientation Course of Lagos State, under Mrs Gbadamosi the orientation Director.

He had a pet name with Corp members, called Waky-Waky, because He used to wake them up at 5.30a.m to get ready for the days activities.

Walter once wrote: “This is my track record of forty-three years on service to Sports and sports leadership. Can anyone tell me why I have been put in limbo in the matters of Sports in the country?

It is my hope that the Committee on National Awards will take note of my service and contributions to Sports Development in the Country, maybe it will meet their parameters for a National Award”.

Well, that never happened, till he died. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Burial arrangements will soon be announced by the family.

MOYO OYATOGUN on behalf of the family.

It's all about sports

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