The Edo State Aquatic Association under the leadership of its Chairman Clement Minabowa, celebrated the Association’s head coach Poland Benazimo, who retired from service recently.

The retirement party which was held last weekend at the Swimming Arena of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City the Edo State capital, attracted Poland Benazimo’s old friends, swimming colleagues, state and national team swimmers, as well as top sports administrators who came from far and near.

Among the top national figures in the Nigeria Swimming Federation present at the occasion were Babatunde Fatai Williams and Pastor Samuel Nse Obong Jesimiel, Chairman, Technical Committee of Aquatic Federation who came out in turns to eulogize coach Poland. According to chief Fatai Williams, Coach Poland Benazimo’s sterling qualities as a great African swimmer and coach earned him a place in his heart. He described Coach Poland as a peacemaker, pacesetter, and goal-getter who believes in working for the progress of all team members.

Other dignitaries present included Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Sports Commission who also represented the Executive Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Olympian Yusuf Alli, and Coach Joshua Oke, Head Coach, Gombe Swimming Association.

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Others are Coach Ayokpo Sogbayi, President of Edo Coaches, Coach Kate George, and athletics Captain Mrs. Latifu Nwaje among others who spoke highly of retired coach Poland Benazimo.
With MAMA KARAKI, a popular Benin-based Christian musician on stage, providing melodious sounds to make the occasion a memorable one at the Edo State Sports Commission Complex, the chief celebrant and his family with their friends took to the dance floor to the admiration of the guests.

In an address, the Vice Chairman, Edo State Aquatic Association Mr. Sam Imokhuede while speaking on behalf of the chairman, Clement Minabowa, who is far away in the USA, said that retired Coach Poland Benazimo’s contributions and achievements in the game of swimming cannot be overlooked. He described coach Poland as a genius who impacted the world of swimming.

The high point of the occasion was the announcement of the sum of N500,000 parting gifts for Coach Poland by the Chairman, Edo State Aquatic Association, Mr. Clement Minabowa, and the presentation of souvenirs and gift items by some of his well-wishers and athletes.