By Victor Okoye
Olusegun Runsewe, President, Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) has promised more support and funding for the Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria (LGAN), to ensure more successful outings in international tournaments.
Runsewe made the remarks while receiving a delegation from LGAN who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Wednesday.
The delegation led by Juliet Monyei-Inyere, the LGAN President also had Ekanem Ekwueme, the LGAN Past President and the newly elected AACT Trustee for West and Central Africa.
Others are Amina Wilfred and Evelyn Oyome who represented Team Nigeria at the just concluded All Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) 2022 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Team Nigeria finished seventh position out of 20 countries that participated at the prestigious African event held from Sept. 3 to Sept. 11.
Runsewe expressed delight at the performance of the team, adding that they had indeed achieved a great feat in the history of golf in Nigeria and also made the country proud.
“I am very happy, first and foremost I want to give all praises to the Almighty God for granting Team Nigeria a safe trip to Tanzania and for making Nigeria proud.
“In other countries of the world, these trophies (won by the team) will be retrieved from them to be taken to an archive.
“For me I am very happy that out of the 20 countries you came seventh.
“The reason why this game has not been popular is because we don’t really celebrate our achievements and successes. Tomorrow a young lady will see Team Nigeria as icons and want to be like them.
“So, Team Nigeria I want to thank you for going to make Nigeria proud and for me, out of 20 countries, for us to come seventh is a big celebration.,” he said.
The NGF President also congratulated Ekwueme, who he recalled was not only just the first Nigerian ever to occupy her new position as the West and Central trustee of the AACT.
He noted that she is also the only certified female World Handicap System (WHS) Course rater in Nigeria.
NAN reports that Ekwueme was unanimously voted into the board of the AACT as the Trustee in charge of the West and Central Africa region during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dar es Salaam.
“I recalled that when I was elected president of NGF, the first thing I said was, if the only thing I can achieve is the WHS, then I will go for it.
“We would have ended up spending over 200, 000 pounds to bring a certified consultant from R & A, including hotel accommodation, flight ticket and security.
“But we got all these free of charge at home and that was why I quickly brought Ekwueme in and keyed into the WHS.
“Because of Ekwueme’s involvement, Nigeria has been on the expressway to getting into WHS as all the delays we would have encountered have been taken care of and we are almost there now.
“Ekwueme is therefore the only available, qualified, and tested person we have who is trusted by R & A,” he said.
Runsewe assured the LGAN President of his unflinching support for the association, adding that
all hands must be on deck to ensure that the game of golf was developed.
Earlier, Monyei-Inyere appreciated the NGF president for his support which enabled the team achieve the great feat.
“On behalf of LGAN and 4E Sports Ltd., I will like to sincerely thank you for your support towards the successful representation of Team Nigeria at the AACT Tanzania 2022 in Dar es Salaam.
“We are proud to say that Nigeria took the 7th position out of the 20 countries that took part in the African Championship.
“Nigeria was also the best country from West and Central Africa and our best performance yet in the competition since its inception in 1992,” she said.
She appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports through the NGF to support LGAN’s upcoming 2022 Nigeria Ladies Open.
“This would be the first time the association would be hosting not just the West and Central Africa Lady Golfers but Africa as a whole,” she said.
Ekwueme thanked the NGF President for the warm reception accorded to the LGAN team, adding that it was the first of its kind as it has never happened before.
She said that aside her election, the headquarters of AACT West and Central Africa was moved to Abuja, with 14 countries registered under the West and Central region.
Ekwueme used the opportunity to reiterate the association’s plea for the support of the upcoming Nigeria Ladies Open.
She said they were expecting alot of internationals coming for the Open as it was a counting event for the World Amateur Golf Ranking. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Joseph Edeh