The National female handball coach, Rafiu Salami, has assured that his team would make the country proud at the 2021 Africa Women’s Handball Championship holding in Cameroon.
The coach gave the assurance in a statement by Cosmos Chukwuemeka, the Media Assistant to the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), on Monday.
Nigeria would be taking on the DR Congo in their first match of the championships on Tuesday, at the Palais Polyvalent De Sports De Yaoundé (Yaoundé Multipurpose Sports Center), which would also be streamed live on HFN TV on Facebook.
Salami said the team was highly motivated and ready to take on the continent, despite participating in the championship for the first time since 1994.
“We know we are participating in the nation’s cup for the first time in 27 years, but this team is highly motivated and we believe we can do well in our first match against DR Congo.
“We have mastered our tactics and hopefully it will come through for us in the first match.
”I told the players that they must be focused all through and the ladies understand the importance of this Championship and I believe we will do well,” Salami said.
The coach lauded the Sam Ocheho-led Handball Federation of Nigeria and the Ministry of Sports for their support and motivation.
In particular, he praised Ocheho for his interest in ensuring that handball in Nigeria got back to the glory days, and for the federation’s developmental programmes which had produced several young players already in the national teams.
“I am not one who is interested in administrative aspects of the sports, but I can categorically say that the president is trying in his zeal to ensure that the HFN discovered more talented young players through the programmes.
“I want to also thank the ministry for all the support to our team as well since we started our preparations in Abuja till now, ” he said
Nigeria had been drawn in Group B alongside DR Congo, Cameroon and Kenya, and would be playing hosts Cameroon on Thursday, June 10, and Kenya in the last group encounter on Saturday, June 12.