In a bid to promote netball in Nigeria and give girls the opportunity to play, the Taraba State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Ministry of Education, in partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Community Sport and Educational Development Initiative (CSED), have trained 34 women coaches.
The coaches were trained as part of the grassroots netball development programme, tagged ‘Project 2027’, which aims to promote the right of Nigerian girls to play netball in the country, with a target of one million Nigerian school girls to be reached by the end of 2027.
The programme also targets the training of 1,200 primary education teachers in schools across Nigeria, with the aim of imparting the knowledge of netball into school girls as part of the ‘catching them young’ initiative.
Speaking during the training, Dr Grace Ataha and Edema Fuludu, who are certified netball instructors, called on the teachers to ensure the safety and welfare of their students by implementing the safeguarding advice they received during the netball training.
As part of the netball training curriculum, the new coaches were trained in the theory and practical aspects of the sport, which is the only sport in the world specifically designed for girls and women, according to Fuludu.
Director of Sports, Taraba State, Mr George Shitta, urged the participants to carefully listen to the teachings of the instructors, who have held similar basic netball training events in five other states of Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, and Bayelsa.
He also thanked CSED for coming to Taraba State and urged private organizations and individuals to complement government efforts by investing more in grassroots sports development with a view of engaging the youths in pro-social activities that would be beneficial to them and the society in the future.
The 34 women coaches have now been equipped with the necessary skills to train and develop the next generation of female netball players in Taraba State, a move that will no doubt improve the representation of girls and women in sports and foster gender equality.