Monday , August 8 2022
Nicom Gymnastics Club Warm up at the two Day Gymnastic Federation of Nigeria Maiden Edition of Gymnastics and Association Super Champion held at Gymnasium centre of Sam Ogbemudia Stadium Benin. Photo: Moses Oboh.

Grassroots Sports: Gymnastics Super Championship Opens in Benin

…6 Yr Old Joanna Philip-Shaibu Targets Gold Medal

The maiden edition of Gymnastics Clubs/Associations Super Championship hosted by Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria, has been declared opened in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The two-day championship is holding at the ultra-modern gymnastics hall of the remodelled Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium. Six years old Joanna Philip-Shaibu, daughter of sports – loving Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon.Comrade Philip Shaibu attracted applause from the audience with her performance. She is representing NICOM Gymnastics Club of Benin in the first category of the event, hitting the spot light with her superlative aerial cartwheel, roundoff, back handspring, front handspring, somersault, front walkover, back walkover and split leap skills, required for the first stage.

Investigations revealed that she was discovered to have the basic talent by her parents who decided to help her achieve her goal, at the close of 2020 National Sports Festival, hosted by Edo State.

Joanna Philip-Shaibu dream is to represent Nigeria at the World Olympics Championship and other major gymnastics championship across the continent,in the near future.

The gymnastics clubs participating in the championship include Pgonesis Gymnastics Association of Ogun State; FCT Abuja and Egilizuli Gymnastics Club of FCT, Abuja.
Others are Ondo Gymnastics Club as well as Bayelsa Gymnastics Club.

In an interview with newsmen, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Sports Commission, Mrs. Sabina Amiemenoghena Chikere stated that ” the Commission is in partnership with the State Ministry of Education to see how sports can be integrated into school curriculum as a subject and not as an extra-curricular”.

The Wife of Edo State Deputy Governor, Mary-Ann Philip Shaibu (Centre) with Kelvin Erhunwmumse (Right), president Nigeria Gymnastic Federation
and the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Sports Commission, Mrs. Sabina Chikere (Left) as her excellence declared open the two Day Gymnastic Federation of Nigeria Maiden Edition of Gymnastics and Association Super Champion held at Gymnasium centre of Sam Ogbemudia Stadium Benin. Photo: Moses Oboh.
“As a State, we are bringing up the young talents who will become full time professionals in their respective chosen careers”.

“We are changing the narrative about sports and the girl-child participation. This, we hope to sustain by including it in the school curriculum”, Sabina added.

On his part, the Executive Director, Sports Development, Edo State Sports Commission, Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa, said “the state-of-the-art sports facilities, particularly the ultra-modern gymnasium hall is one step to becoming the best sports destination in Africa”. He assured of the continuous development and improvement of sporting activities in Edo State.

The championship will be declared closed on Friday by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu with the presentation of medals to deserving winners in the different categories.

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