…Okperigho encourages combat sport, as Edo gov makes adequate facilities available

Chairman, Edo Kickboxing Association, Owens Okperigho, has promised that his board will continue to promote the game of kickboxing in Edo State, urging parents to encourage children’s participation in the combat sport.

The Edo Kickboxing Association boss made the promise in a remark during the closing ceremony of the Maiden Edo Kickboxing Championship on Saturday, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Okperigho, who was excited over the encouraging turn out at the two-day Kickboxing Championship, highlighted the benefits of the combat sport to include self-defence and physical health.

The Kickboxing Association boss promised the sustenance of the catch-them-young process which his board just started, and expressed optimism that athletes that can represent Edo State and Nigeria in future could be discovered at the grassroots level.

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“We want to continue to encourage our children to embrace kickboxing. There are a lot to benefit. The State Government has made the needed facilities available; our duty now is to encourage our young ones to engage themselves,” Okperigho said.

The kickboxing championship, which began at the Indoors Sports Hall of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Friday with seminar, orientation exercise for the registered athletes, climaxed on Saturday evening with Amanda Aye winning first gold medal in the under 4 girls’ category. She defeated her sister Iyawe Aye. While Elvis Divine won bronze. Gabriel Etafor later won gold in the Under 13-14 boys.

In the Age10-12 category, Miracle Ubimago clinched gold, Precious Akpovofene went home with silver, while Eno Gift and Victor Erabor got first and second bronze medals, respectively.

In the male category of Age 10-12, Emeka Eze was declared winner, after a tough contest. Miracle Augustine came second while Taiwo God’sdoing and Uwadiae Favour got the double bronze medals consolations.