11 May 2004

Nigeria: Association Plans to Popularise Baseball

The Baseball and Softball Association of Nigeria has drawn up plans to popularise the game in several states of the federation shortly.

Baseball, introduced to Nigeria by U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, went into abeyance after their departure until the game was revived in 1989.

Retired Col. Friday Ichide, the Chairman of the association's technical commission, disclosed the game popularisation plan to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja.

Under the plan, coaches would be sent to the states to start a propagation progamme with a view to raising the game's profile, he said.

Ichide explained that six coaches had already been sent to Imo, Enugu, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa and Ondo.

Osun, Jigawa and Benue were slated to benefit under the second phase alongside Ekiti where the game was being played, he said, pointing out that the association was poised to raise the standard.

Ichide said based on past performance, Delta, Lagos, Kwara and Niger could be regarded as the foremost baseball playing states in the country.

He said he was, however, pleased with the strides made by Imo where the game was introduced only three months ago.

Similarly, the technical commission chairman noted that Nasarawa even fielded male and female sides at the ongoing 14th National Sports Festival.

He confirmed that the association had received a lot of assistance from the U.S. since the game was revived in the country 15 years ago.

"We had 'envoy coaches' sent to us and also donations from the U.S. and the International Baseball Federation," Ichide said.

The President of the national association, retired Gen. Ishola Williams, first revived the sport in 1989 and also initiated the founding of the African chapter by 10 countries, leading to the siting of its headquarters in Nigeria.

He was also responsible for canvassing for the construction of the nation's first baseball stadium in Ilorin under the military.

Copyright © 2004 Daily Trust. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.