By Abubakar Hassan

ABU HASSAN2

Prof Faruq Haruna Rasheed addressing stakeholders of badminton game during his endorsement as the next President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), at COE, Minna Multipurpose Indoor Sports Hall.

Stakeholders of the game of Badminton in Nigeria have endorsed the candidature of the Provost of Niger State College of Education (COE), Minna, Prof. Faruq Haruna Rasheed in his bid for the presidency of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN).

The Badminton stakeholders include coaches, umpires, administrators, players both young and veterans, cutting across the geopolitical zones of the country,  converged at the multipurpose indoor sports hall of the college to endorsed Mr. Badminton, as he is been referred to.

Speaking during the event, the campaign coordinator of Prof. Faruq who is equally a veteran player of Badminton from Kaduna State, Alh Mohammed Sodangi said elections into sports federations used to be a quiet affair and for the bigger federations it is money politics, but said that has not come to Badminton.

He disclosed that about 50 Electoral College will vote for the President of the federation, but that the aim of the gathering was not to canvas for votes but to showcase the rich credentials of Prof. Faruq as regards to Badminton in Nigeria so that the electorates will take a decision on who to vote for.

Alh Sodangi said Prof. Faruq is a household name in Badminton circle in Nigeria and beyond, adding that they believe he will take Badminton to the grassroots thereby moving the game to a greater height in the country.

The campaign coordinator also disclosed that Prof. Faruq had been in the Badminton family for over four decades, from a player to an administrator, adding that Prof. Faruq had played up to international level representing the country during his youthful days.

He also disclosed that Prof. Faruq was among the first set of players to brake the jinx of regional barrier in Badminton in Nigeria, adding that since they started the journey they have been seeing lights because those they thought were not with them have actually identify themselves with the team of Mr. Badminton.

In his address, Prof. Faruq Haruna Rasheed observed that the Psychological norms in Badminton is lacking in Nigeria and this was the reason the game was still where it is today in the country, but that he believed he has all it takes to bring about the desired changes required to move the game to the next level in Nigeria.

He said he knows the physiology, psychology and scientific aspects of Badminton and that as a former national player, a coach and sports administrator with a wide reach to national and international arena, he will use his experience to raise the status of the game to the highest standards of performance and excellence.

Prof. Faruq said he had observed a glaring mismatch between our potentials as a badminton nation and our achievement and placement in Africa and the world at large, adding that sports in general and badminton in particular have became competitively more intense and challenging in recent years that even countries that have been traditionally known for their successes at international badminton competitions are finding it difficult to sustain their dominance in the sport.

He added that in view of this it has become necessary for Nigeria to work hard to break into the clique of new champions, saying in the coming years, with him as the BFN President, they shall work assiduously towards achieving it.

Prof. Faruq acknowledged that Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources in the game of badminton and that successful boards of BFN had tried their best to achieve international standard, but the result have been sporadic and epileptic rather than systematic and predictable.

He further stated that the main problem that have been affecting the efforts of Nigeria to achieve greater successes has not been lack of efforts but the systematic direction of the efforts towards realizing excellence in the game.

He disclosed that to get to the desired level will require a very competent and seasoned sports administrator who will combine technical and scientific knowledge in talent identification, nurturing and development as well as the systematization of different training methods and their applicability at different periods towards realizing the desired goals.

“Sustenance of competitive excellence in different sports is only possible when processes and practices are founded on sound knowledge and focused talent development, I believe I have what it takes to provide such leadership,” he said.

He mentioned the key areas his leadership will focus on if given the mandate which includes encouraging mass participation through community efforts, identification, selection and development of talents by establishing norms, development of badminton in schools, colleges and universities, organizing competitions at all levels, regular coaches education and training among others.

Those in attendance at the event include students of Prof. Faruq at ABU Zaria, players, coaches, and administrators in the game of badminton from across the country.

TAURARUWA