By Tope Adefala
It is sad that while other African champions will be locking horns at the 2018 African Cup for Club Champions (ACCC) scheduled for Abuja this December, Nigerian champions; Kada Stars and Queens will not be participating unless something urgent is done.
The talented, young and well-coached Kada Stars who steam-rolled their way into their first Nigerian title this September will be denied the chance to go one step further.
The boys whose average age is 18, dominated the game meant for men and were simply unplayable throughout the tournament.
Sadly, alongside their female team who are the Nigerian champions for four consecutive years, they will be missing out of this December’s tournament.
A source close to the teams’ management who pleaded anonymity revealed that the teams will not be participating at the ACCC because of lack of funds.
“We will not be participating in the 2018 ACCC, ” the source said.
“You know this is not good for the boys, because hockey is their life and they have sacrificed for the sport to be where they are today.
“The boys and the girls have put Kaduna on the map with their performances within and outside the country. We are the Nigerian Super League champions in both Men and Women categories.
“They are the National Youth champions in both boys and girls’ categories. The girls finished 3rd at the 2017 ACCC. The girls have won the Nigerian league title on four consecutive occasions.
“Not participating at our backyard is not good for them, their development and their psyche. We appreciate all that the Kaduna State government has done for the team, but this competition means a lot for the team.
“We are begging the government and Nigerians to come to our aid. We are talking about 18 boys and 18 girls who had been taken off the streets and given life through sports.
“These boys and girls live and breathe hockey. We need help and we don’t want to be denied the opportunity to show the importance of sport to the alleviation of poverty and juvenile delinquency,” he concluded.
The ACCC is scheduled for December 15th to December 22nd, Kada Stars and Queens who are champions in both Men and women categories alongside Niger Flickers and Delta Queens are Nigeria’s representatives at the tournament.