Over 150 badminton players across Nigeria, yesterday converged on Katsina for the first edition of the Katsina Golden Star National Badminton Championship.
According to the president of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih, the tourney is, technically, the first national badminton championship in Nigeria for many years.
He explained that, while other badminton contests have either been international classics, as it had happened in Lagos on three occasions, or badminton events of other fiestas like the National Sports Festival or the National Youth Festival, the one in Katsina would aid the development of the sport and assist in ranking of the nation’s badminton players.
The train, LEADERSHIP Sport understands, would move to Lagos next week.
The Kaduna tournament is for four days and has brought joy to players in the country who have not played a national championship in over four years.
According to badmintonnigeria.org, one of the players for Kaduna State, Peace Orji, hailed the vision of the new board led by Francis Orbih, stating that badminton would be ranked among the popular sports in the country.
“It is a bold move by the Francis Orbih-led board to have two championships this month. Many of the players have stopped playing owing to lack of tournaments, but the Katsina Golden Star National Badminton Championship will bring fresh hope for badminton in Nigeria.”
Another player, Lagos-based Opeyori Anu, who triumphed a tournament in Abdijan, Cote d’Ivoire, earlier in the year, was excited at the forthcoming back-to-back championships.
“The last time we hosted a championship was 2013 in Abuja and since then nothing has come up. Now, we have not just one, but two championships coming up in November. This makes it more exciting than ever.
“More tournaments mean more experience to gather and more motivation for the nation as a whole,” he concluded.
The Mutual Benefits Assurance-sponsored Lagos Badminton National Championship would take place from Wednesday to Saturday next week.