The General Manager of Imo Synage and Advertisement Agency (IMSAA) Honourable Chibuzor Umunnakwe has revealed the reasons why for the Okwelle Women Football League.
The maiden edition of the tournament which was organized by the Okwelle Progressive Youth and held at the Okwelle stadium in Onuimo Local Government Area was introduced and sponsored by Hon Umunnakwe who is a son of the soil.
In an exclusive interview with the Statesman Newspaper at the City School training pitch, Owerri in Imo state, Umunnakwe revealed reasons behind the tournament.
“Apart from being a guru in advertising which i have practiced for years, I am also passionate about football though I didn’t play football at the top level during my youth days in Lagos but football has always been part of my passion,” Umunnakwe said.
“At the end of every year back here in Okwelle my home town, we use to have football tournament organized for the male by the Okwelle Progressive Youth and most times the price money might be too small, it could be N10,000 Naira or almost nothing and for this reason I decided do something different by introducing women football tournament which gave birth to the Okwelle Women Football League.
“This is the first of it’s kind, nobody has ever thought about organizing women football for Yuletide season. It is my brainchild and first of its kind here in Okwelle in Onuimo Local government or any other place in Nigeria, You can verify. “ He stated
He went further to reveal how tough it was giving the little complications that comes with dealing with the female gender and the need to have a well planned outing with the help of the Community youths.
“Ranging from making provisions for the jerseys, marking of the pitch, providing the nets for goal posts, providing the balls, logistics, medical bills and equipments, and above all the prize money for the tournament it wasn’t that easy but to God be the glory, we pulled it off and it was a huge success story.” He said.
Statesman learnt that the Tournament was made up of four teams namely; Umunnakwe Angels, Dikko United, Abbas Ladies FC and Chinonye Babes.
and it was played like a league format to determine the winner.
The prize money for the winner was N100,000 Naira, the first runner up was N50,000, the second runner up was N30,000 and the last of them was N20,000.
“We made sure every partaker of the tournament went home with something and the jersey was given to the players to go home with as participant Souvenir.
“Some of this girls you see training now were the best of the two final teams selected by scouts for further training and development.
This is the personal task i have given myself, so it does not just end with me just organizing the tournament, but also to generate something out of it my positioning this youngsters on a path to success.
“Having successfully hosted the maiden edition, the next edition will be bigger which will happen at the end of this year 2023.
“The selected 10 players has been camped for further training while all needed welfare for camping has been provided,” he concluded.
Our correspondent witnessed Coaches and scouts from different female clubs such as Heartland Queens, First Mahi FC and so on who where on ground to scout for potential players.