Kogi NYSC: Using Sports to Promote Unity, Integration

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By Promix Blue.
Football and Volleyball teams of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC Kogi State Chapter are fabulous groups that is supported and embraced by the NYSC.
The CDS groups were created in a bid to encourage the development of the spirit of sportsmanship and building healthy competition amongst corps members as well as appreciating and promoting values and culture of the host communities.
Every Friday morning from 7am, the place to be is the “Army Barracks” football and volleyball pitch/court, Lokoja, as the NYSC Football and Volleyball CDS meet to have their meetings and training sessions.
A fantastic air of positivity surrounds these CDS groups as there is never a dull moment, with sporting activities and plenty of side attractions making the vicinity buzz.
Review of the Football and Volleyball CDS Group by the Editorial and Publicity CDS
FOOTBALL CDS
It has been a brilliant campaign for the 2015 Batch B Football CDS, as they were unbeaten throughout their sojourn in Lokoja. Out of the 10 “friendly matches” played by the team, they won 6 and drew 4.
Some of the teams they played against are Black Stars FC, Kogi State Polytechnic, Salem University, Elete FC, Cathedral FC etc.
One of the reasons while they were invisible was the performance of sharp and silky attacker, Sir Khalifa. He was their top scorer during the service year, as his eye for goal, prowess in attack, and supply link from Captain Abdul, Joe, Bassey, Jerry and co in midfield provided the platform to flourish.
President of the CDS, Paul Ejimobi was another player who was influential, as his versatility and leadership qualities came in handy during difficult periods.
Another reason for the success of Kogi State NYSC Football CDS, is coach Williams Isoti. The ex-Panathinaikos of Greece star has been coaching the team for over 3 years and has churned out talented footballers, who have featured for the National NYSC Team and teams in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
And he had these to say in a chat with the Editorial and Publicity CDS “I believe football is all about entertainment, friendship, togetherness and being your brother’s keeper. The CDS has been together for a long time and most times when we go for D.G Cup, we always come out victorious, having won 2 D.G cups in the last 5 competitions.”
The Kogi State indigene was also full of positivity and confidence about regenerating the team.
“Have been producing lot of players, that have featured for the NYSC National team, am still going to produce more with God by my side. The CDS is still growing, as we have new corps members taking over from the outgoing members that are passing out.”
The validity of this point cannot be underestimated, as the 2016 Batch A have successfully made the transition to the senior side which has been a major attribute to their recent successes, though they lost 4-2 in a welcome match against the 2015 Batch ‘B’.
To reiterate, the Kogi State Football CDS has a place right at the heart of Lokoja community, stakeholder and Phoenix (their Jersey Sponsors), as they are more than happy to support and watch the team play.
VOLLEYBALL CDS
The 2015 Batch B Volleyball CDS has accomplished several notable goals since its conception, just like the Football CDS.
The Kogi State Volleyball CDS is one to reckon with in Nigeria, having pulled off impressive outings at the Director General Cup in Abuja, winning (2 medals) 1 gold and 1 bronze in the last 5 years.
In a chat with the treasurer of the team, Owadia Precious, she was all praises for the stride made by the CDS group.
“The Volleyball CDS has been wonderful, it’s a CDS where we come and learn how to play and master volleyball skills and techniques, its somewhere we come to improve ourselves sport-wise and then teach children that are based in the state.
“It has improved my spirit of sportsmanship and it has made me a better team player.”
To cap off a fantastic service year, the CDS group hosted a volleyball competition for Girls in Primary and Secondary Schools in Lokoja before their passing out parade (POP). They also helped in discovering and grooming young and talented volleyball players during the event.
The 2016 Batch ‘A’ set, also plans to partner with Primary and Secondary schools this year and surpass the efforts of the 2015 Batch B’s
Only time will tell, if the Volleyball CDS will be able to cope without the 2015 Batch ‘B’, as Kogi State looks to maintain its identity so carefully built over the last 10 years.
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Congratulations to all members of the Football and Volleyball CDS groups.
See you at the top.

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