Talks between Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) and Nigeria Police have reached advance stages ahead of 8th edition of Inspector General of Police Taekwondo Championship tagged IGP Open.
Already, the glamorous sporting event which is slated for Portharcourt, Rivers state capital will kick off July 25, 2019.
Speaking after a marathon meeting with representatives of NTF in Abuja, Chairperson of Nigeria Police Taekwondo Association [NIPOTA], Mrs Stella Ebikefe told newsmen that with the commitment and doggedness of the country’s Taekwondo federation board led by Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga, this year’s competition would supersede previous editions.
Ebikefe, a senior Police Officer who competed favourably as a taekwondo Athlete and won laurels for both Nigeria Police and the Nation said participants at the forthcoming event would have course to use it as a development platform ahead of future sporting engagements.
According to the NIPOTA leader who was accompanied by a member of IGP Open Local Organising Committee member, Mr Kayode Amufashaye, “We are still talking with the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation. So far, the federation has shown genuine interest in making the event worthwhile. I see this edition surpassing previous editions due to the high level of commitment which I have seen on the part of NTF.
“Medals and special prizes will certainly be won. Gracefully, we have Inspector General of Police who is so passionate about sports as a way of engaging young people and keep them away from any form of criminal inclination.
“Apart from exposure of our athletes, another good thing about this edition is that it will afford competitors a ranking opportunity.”
Also speaking, Chairman Para-Taekwondo Committee Grand Master Anthony Anafulu and Technical Director of NTF Engr. Chika Chukwumerije who led discussions on behalf of the federation assured of their readiness to give necessary technical support before and during the IGP Open.
Chukwumerije who is a three-time Olympian particularly said a memorandum of understanding would be signed between Nigeria Police and NTF next week ahead of the championship.
He then enjoined other government agencies, parastatals and departments as well as private bodies to collaborate with NTF in organising more competitions meant to expose Nigerian athletes for higher challenges at the global scene.
“We also call on state governments to organise annual competitions and name after the state. Like for example, we are in talks with Kebbi state government for a possible Kebbi Taekwondo Open which will happen any moment soon.”
Over 200 athletes will be expected to compete at this year’s edition of the IGP Taekwondo Championships slated between July 25 and 27, 2019.