April 22, 2024

Nigerian Wrestling Federation lauds COAS on upgrade of Bayelsa-born referee

Nigerian Wrestling Federation lauds COAS on upgrade of Bayelsa-born referee

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (ÑWF) has lauded the support from Lt-Gen Abiodun Lagbaja Chief of Army Staff towards the upgrade of Lt-Col Timipre Okou as an internationally certified wrestling referee in the Armed Forces.

Dr Daniel Igali President of NWF made the commendation in a statement on Saturday, ahead of Nigeria’s contingent arrival at the 2023 International Military Sports in Azerbaijan.

The commendation was reacting to a letter from the United World Wrestling body announcing the elevation of Okou.

Igali also thanked the federal government and the Chief of Defence Staff for sponsoring 10 athletes and 7 officials, including Okou, the only certified Armed Forces of Nigeria International Referee.

The contingent is to represent Nigeria at the biggest world military wrestling championship after Olympics in Europe.

Igali said Okou’s upgrade has bridged the gap of mentorship in the officiating component of wrestling in the country as well as providing a voice on the international mat.

Okou had served as Assistant Director on Fitness and Physical Training under Lagbaja while the later was the General Officer Commanding First Division, Kaduna.

Lagbaja had approved and released Okou for the international level one refereeing course in Alexandria, Egypt in 2023.

Igali revealed that Nigeria has been saved from paying a fine at the World Military Wrestling Championships by attending without a certified referee.

The statement quoted Okou as speaking on expectations at the World Military Wrestling Sports in Azerbaijan as saying that the Nigerian contingent is in high spirits.

Okou represents Africa to the International Military Sports Council with over 138 member countries.

Okou thanked the federal government, the Armed Forces leadership and the President of the NWF Igali for their support.

It would be recalled that in August, Okou officiated at the Indian Oceania Island Games in Madagascar which he said also provided him with more experience and expertise.

The World Military Wrestling Championship is billed to be held from November 27 to December 4, 2023, in Azerbaijan where the Nigerian contingent is expected to participate in 10 events.

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