Project 2027: CSED Trains 35 Netball Coaches, Targets I Million Girls

By Mike Eyibio

Community Sport and Educational Development (CSED) initiative with its ‘Project 2027’ agenda is said to have recorded breathtaking progress with its recent netball tour to Yenagoa the capital of Bayelsa State.

The two-day netball seminar for Physical and Health Education Teachers was held as part of the NGO’s effort of promoting the right to play and institutionalise netball by Nigerian girls with the ambitious target of getting over one million Nigerian school girls involved in netball before the end of 2027.

The netball training in Bayelsa State was organized in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Youth and Sports and Bayelsa State Ministry of Education and it was held inside the indoor sport hall of the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa on 11th and 12th January 2023.

This training event which is the first netball training event to be held in Nigeria since netball was demonstrated at the National Sports Festival (Asaba 2022) had in attendance 25 P.E, teachers (drawn from various schools across the state) and 10 Sports Council coaches. Among these 35 newly trained netball coaches are Mrs. Catherine Sasuode (Head of Department of Sports in Bayelsa State). 

The theory and practical aspect of netball was taught to the participants by two Netball Africa certified coaches, Godwin Edema Fuludu (CSED National Coordinator) and Onome Fuludu (a UNIBEN undergraduate).

The trainers stressed the importance of “safeguarding” in sport and netball in particular. As a result, Godwin Edema Fuludu stated that at the end of this particular training, CSED Initiative will provide the attendees with access to free online safeguarding training, as well as other free online sports for change training. As this will increase the knowledge base of the attendees, which will ultimately promote the safety and well-being of their students and athletes.

Since the organizers of the training event are strongly of the view that the only way that netball can grow at the grassroots level in Nigeria is to back up our training of netball coaches by activating them with netball starter packs. As a result, netball training kits/equipment which includes: two netball rims/nets, two netball balls, two sets of netball training bibs, and one packet of finger-held whistles were freely distributed to the attendees by the event organizers.

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Daniel Igali was represented at the closing ceremony of the event by the Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi. The Director of Sports said that he was very pleased to host CSED Initiative at no cost to them. Sir Braverman Wodi stated that they look forward to future collaboration with CSED Initiative in other areas of sports development. The champion commissioner (Hon. Daniel Igali) as he is popularly referred to stated: “CSED Initiative is the ideal NGO to partner with.” 

The Bayelsa Commissioner for Education, Dr Gentle Emelah, who was represented by the Deputy Director Senior Secondary Education, Mr. Ikobho Clinton, thanked CSED Initiative for the training and provision of free starter packs. He admonished the teachers to go back to their schools and put into good use the knowledge and equipment that they have acquired in the netball seminar. 

The National Coordinator, thanked the participants for the enthusiasm they showed during the period of the training event. He also thanked the Hon commissioners of Youth and Sports and that of Education for their synergy in making the programme a huge success. The participants thanked the Trustees of CSED Initiative for extending their “PROJECT 2027” netball training to Bayelsa State. The Bayelsa State training event brings to 178, the number of P.E. Teachers that CSED Initiative have trained and activated since June 2022 in five states of Nigeria. The Trustees of CSED are currently in discussion with other Niger Delta States in order to extend their pioneering and netball status changing training to their P.E. Teachers.

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