The Bauchi under 17 female volleyball team Sunday emerged winers of the North East Zonal Championship organized by the Nigeria Volleyball Federation at the Jolly Name Stadium in Jalingo.
The competition which featured Adamawa,Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states which make up the north east saw Adamawa emerged second and Taraba third.
Presenting the trophies to the winners at the end of the two day competition, the North East Zonal Representative of Volleyball Federation, Alhaji Amino Kolere said the competition was a deliberate measure to hunt for talents among the young girls for international competitions.
Kolere noted that the Minister of sport Mr Sunday Dare was committed to developing other sports activities in addition to football.
“The Championship is organized by the Nigeria volleyball federation to hunt for talents among the young girls who will represent the country at international competitions.
“The new minister of sports Mr Sunday Dare is totally committed to developing the entire sporting activities to engage youth and change the narrative about the performance of the country at international competitions,” he said.
Hajiya Rekia Muhammed, the National Female Volleyball Coach and ex international volleyball player appealed to the government and people of the country to stop paying attention to football alone.
According to her, other sports have been neglected over the years by the stakeholders, describing it as inimical to the overall sports development in the country.
“During my playing days, we had a number of sponsors across the country, not only government.
“I want to appeal to both public and private companies to embrace sponsorship of sports to enable the country come back to winning medals at the international competitions,” she said.
Mrs Yosie Daniel, the Taraba Director of Sports commended the volleyball federation for moving to improve the game among the young girls.
She called on the girls to take advantage of the opportunity to become international stars for their names and honour to the country.
Apart from the first, second and third positions which went to Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba respectively, seven awards were presented to individual players for brilliant performances.
Five volleyballs and a net were presented to each of the participating teams as well as certificate of participation.