The Rivers State Governor, Similanayi Fubara, has announced a cash reward of fifty million naira (N50,000,000) to Rivers Queens, the state female handball team for winning the 2023 National Division One Handball League.
Governor Fubara made the pronouncement when the Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, led the management and players of the team to hand over the coveted trophy to the Governor at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
“You know things are very hard now but I also have to also encourage you people. For this particular victory, this government is going to support the team, in a way of donation, [with] the sum of N50m,” Governor Similanayi said, adding that it belongs to the team and not the sports ministry.
The Governor, who was obviously excited with the girls’ achievement, said their record has further proven that Rivers State is not only good at infrastructure development but also in sports.
“The success is not just for the team but also for the sports image of our dear state,” the governor said. “It shows that outside the numerous work, we are doing in terms of project delivery, we are also delivering projects in sports. So, let me congratulate you again.”
He revealed that part of his policy in developing sports in the state will be to revive sporting activities in public primary and secondary schools to catch sportsmen and women at a young age.
“We will on our own part see what we can do to encourage sports at all levels” to rejuvenate sports in the state.
On his part, Mr Green said the victory calls for celebration, as the team “is winning laurels of this nature for the first time”.
The Commissioner commended Governor Fubara for releasing the needed funds as and when due but pleaded for the recruitment of coaches into the State Sports Council since most of them have retired.
Rivers Queens were crowned the champions of the women’s category of the National Division One Handball League which was held in Benin, Edo State this year.