ICCIA Chairman Dr. Edward Olutoke promises to complete Abuja Handball Court in March 2022
….Set up a handball team and the first handball supporters club
By Niyi Busari
Ambassador Dr. Edward Olutoke, President of Ikeja Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and MD/CEO Responsible Leaders Concepts Ltd. promised to complete the handball court at Old Parade Ground Area 10, Abuja no later than March 2022, BSNSports.com. ng reports.
Dr. Edward also promises to form a handball team in Abuja which will compete in national competitions and hopefully bring smiles to the faces of the people of Abuja. He also unveiled the first Handball Supporters Club in Nigeria on Monday.
In an interview with media men he said, “Nigeria has been declared the poverty capital of the world, it is annoying that they can even call a great nation like Nigeria the seat of poverty of the world. Something is fundamentally wrong with that. So we use everything possible to fight poverty and one of them is sport.
We know that sport has the ability to lift people out of poverty. You can imagine the footballers we have, the kind of money they earn all over the world. And then how many people they help in society. We can take handball to this level as well. So we form the handball club called Poverty Fighters Handball Club at FCT.
He added: “I have just been invited to the board of the FCT Handball Association. We can watch these young guys, I’ve heard a lot of stories about them, they still train without competition, most of them have no source of income, we can pull ourselves together and raise them. We are going to cheer them up and that is the raison d’être of the club we are forming so that they are duly engaged. We will put them on the salary and actively use them wisely.
“In our team, Poverty Fighters Squad, we use three things to fight poverty, we use agriculture, housing and sports entertainment. Sport is very important to us. During the COVID lockdown, God was sending a message that those are the three most important things in life, when you have food to eat, a place to sleep, and you have something to keep your sanity together, the health people would say everyone should exercise, without entertainment most of us would have gone crazy Five months in one place you can’t travel All the cars you bought they were useless no one used them the clothes and the designer shoes, even the mighty auditoriums we claim to be building for God were all deserted God was giving a very strong message to all of us, but I wonder how many people nnes received this message. there are only three things that are so important in life, having food, where to sleep and some form of entertainment which includes sport.
“We spoke briefly with the council and we have already offered them some ideas. I’ve met some creative people in this department who are really ready to shake things up. The first thing we are going to do is pay attention to the old parade ground where the teams train, we have to transform it. This place is a waste facility and I marveled at how we left these huge assets like this. We are going to transform the land and by the grace of God, I am sure that the work will start next week. We are going to redevelop the place.
“I spoke with the contractor, we are already speaking with them and before the end of March this place will have a new look, God willing. Apart from the facilities, the main materials we have are these young people, we have to build them, develop them all, as I explained earlier in the room, we are going to start paying the unemployed 10,000# every month until they get a job The players on our team will have different salaries We will work with everyone as much as possible, give them shoulders to lean on as they struggle through life, those of us whom God has helped a little help others to stand standing up in life so that when they get there they can also help people.The message we preach here is true love for humanity, if you really love people you see the level of pain and poverty in a society like this and you sleep always though, your God can open your mind to develop a system that will practically lift people out of poverty one after another.
“I’m actually shocked that we don’t have the Handball Supporters Club all this time. It’s shocking to me because these guys go everywhere and I noticed that in handball matches we don’t see only boring times and few people come to watch the games and i say boldly that this game is as important as football we can take handball to that level where it becomes an alternative sport that the country can be known for. Handball is important because you use every part of your body to do it, including your hand and your leg, it’s a team sport that builds love and facilitates communication between people, handball has its own special language so it kills ethnicity, tribalism and religious bigotry. We want to push handball to this level, people will come to our courts to watch the games. We have launched one tonight in the service of God and at the service of humanity and we we’re happy to pick it up from there. We may not know who to talk to right away but let’s start, if there are handball matches, we sponsor them to encourage them to go on the court and be part of it.
We are going to build it until people find what to do in life in the fan club. We have to build according to the world standard. God didn’t create us differently, ordinary people can do great things too, with determination. I will only appeal to the press, especially sports journalists, to give us some space in your realm, you have set the agenda and talking points for society, you have already created the image of football as the only sport in Nigeria, please give handball a chance, let’s change the narrative together and our nation will be better for it. I thank you all. He concluded.
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