The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development on Thursday announced that this year’s North West Zonal U-19 Volleyball Championship would hold in Gusau, Zamfara.

Olushola Luke, the Zonal Coordinator, disclosed this at a news conference at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.

Luke said the annual event anchored by the ministry was to bring about all round development in the sport.

He said that the North West comprise of seven states and would be unfair to keep giving only one state the hosting right, while others deserve equal opportunities.

He praised the sponsor of the competition, Mr Musa Nimrod, who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Volleyball Association.

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“Because of the passion he has, our sponsor has once again decided to bring together the youth at the grassroots, which he has decided to improve their skills and value.

“Only few weeks ago, we gathered at this same stadium for the final of another competition, a football event, which he also sponsored.

“I told someone who was here then that with the army of unemployed youths, who were at the stadium, if not engaged positively, would become devil’s workshop,” he said.

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He explained that due to financial constraints, zonal offices have not been finding it easy, but he singled out the North-West Zonal office as one that stands out because of the support received from its zonal representatives.

“I want to tell you that this is the most vibrant zone in the country because of the people like Nimrod.

“We would be organising a handball competition which is organised by another zonal representative from the zone,” he said.

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In his remarks, Nimrod said that he personally prefers to develop grassroots sports because it helps in developing future talents.

He said that sponsoring competitions for elite athletes should be left for the federations.

“Today, we are sponsoring competitions from the grassroots, in the future, we would move to sponsoring open championships or league,” he said.

He was optimistic that the issue of age cheats would be completely eliminated from the competition.

The competition is billed to hold from April 26 to 30 at the Federal College of Education, Gusau.