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By Gideon Ayodele
The ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Ambassador Stuart Symington has commended the entire management of the Baseball Tomorrow Academy for their passion for the development of the young ones as reflected in the organisation of the ongoing National U-15 Baseball Tournament.
He made this commendation during the official opening ceremony of the tournament, which took place at the park”B” Baseball pitch of the national stadium, Abuja.
Symington said that the Baseball Tomorrow Academy has convinced the people of United States of America that baseball is played in Nigeria.
He charged the players to imbibe the spirit of team work as the game requires a great deal of concentration, communication, using the body, mind and spirit to work together as well as building respect for self and others.
The representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development, Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa thanked the United States of America Embassy, Nigeria for the support given to the development of Baseball in Nigeria through the various activities of the Baseball Tomorrow Academy.
According to him, the game Baseball gave Nigeria a silver medal in the All African Games Abuja in 2003 and that baseball will be played as an optional event in the fourth coming national sports festival in December this year.
Earlier in his address, the CEO of Baseball Tomorrow Academy, Mr. Peter Immonike John said the the championship will afford the players an opportunity to test their skills and feel a part of the great support enjoyed from the Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria, Indommie Noddles, Moyin Net IT Solution, Lombard Group U.S.A, Nigeria Baseball and Softball Association, and other that would not want their names mentioned.
Charging the players, he said that the motive of playing in the tournament is not to desperately be the champion of the tournament but to show the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play in building their Baseball profile with an opportunity of making new friends from other regions of the country, playing in same cadre.
He explained that the academy will start to build data base for every player that partake in its developmental programs. Despite the unrest in some parts of the country, Baseball Tomorrow Academy is using the tournament to preach peace and love among youth and also reaching out to the internally displaced potential athletes in IDP Camps in Abuja.
The climax of the opening day event was a visit by the Baseball Tomorrow Academy, with the players to one of the IDP camps in Durumi area of Abuja.
He however thanked United States of America Embassy in Nigeria, Nigeria Baseball and Softball Association, Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Ambassador of South Korea in Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development, Represntative of the Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Russell Brook of the Public Affairs department of the USA embassy in Nigeria, Mrs. Yetunde Afelomo from Ibadan, the members of the organising committee and everyone that have contributed to making the tournament a reality.
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