Cricket: Team Red Genes emerge champions of maiden Girls Aspire tournament

Cricket: Team Red Genes emerge champions of maiden Girls Aspire tournament

By Ijeoma Okigbo

Team Red Genes have emerged champions of the maiden edition of Girls Aspire Sport Initiative (GASI) Cricket tournament.

The tournament, held at the Javino Model School, Gauraka, Niger state, was organized by GISA and supported by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF).

The seven-aside tournament had students of the school split into three teams -Red Genes, Green Teens, Blue Wolves compete against themselves for the coveted trophy.

In the finals, Red Genes defeated Green Teens by 5 wickets.

Genes won the toss and elected to bowl. Teens scored 32 runs for the loss of 2 wickets while the second innings saw the Red team score 36 runs in 2.3 overs for the loss of no wicket.

The other team, Blue Wolves, couldnt secure a place in the finals as they lost to Green Teens earlier.

Red Genes captain, Evelyn Oleka, a 15-year-old student, said she was excited about the victory. We are happy to have won. We played like a team and we got the result.

We are looking forward to more tournaments where we can continue to develop our game, Oleka said.

On her part, Ijeoma Okigbo, the coordinator of GISA, said the aim of the event was to promote the participation of girls in the sport.

The idea is to create a level-playing ground for everyone in sport. A girl can participate and enjoy sport as much as a boy can.

We need to educate girls and parents, especially at the grass root level on the need to promote girls participation in sports, Okigbo said.

Meanwhile, Emeka Igwilo, General Manager of NCF, while appreciating the efforts of GISA, said the federation hopes to make cricket a community sport.

You are playing a modified form of cricket and this form of cricket is encouraged at the grassroot.

We are looking at making this community a hub for cricket, where people around this place will welcome cricket and enjoy it like they do in any other sport, Igwilo said.

Also at the event, ace broadcaster Ndubueze Chidioka, who also doubles as the Chairman of the FCT Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), encouraged the kids to continue to play and enjoy the game.

This is the way stars are made. At your spare time, you can get an improvised bat and play. You can also watch the game on television. Thats how you learn and get better, he said.

The event also had other NCF big wigs in attendance; Taiwo Oriss, Secretary General of NCF, as well as Chimezie Onwuzuluike, FCT Cricket coach, Peter Yakubu, the North Central Regional Development Officer.

Also in attendance were Coach Sabo Shanga-Marafa of the Niger State Cricket Association, Okey Onwudiwe, NCF staff, and Ikenna Okonkwo, Secetary of FCT SWAN, amongst others. (NAN)

Source: NAN News