The African Para Volleyball qualifiers for the 2024 Paralympic Games will kickstart today (Monday) at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun stadium as eight countries battle for the Paris Paralympic Games following the last-minute withdrawal of Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the press conference held in Lagos over the weekend, the President of the Nigeria Para-Volleyball Federation (NPVF), Kayode Ladele, confirmed the readiness of the federation to host Africa between Monday 29 January and Saturday 10 February.
While reacting to questions about the Nigerian teams’ readiness ahead of the qualifiers, Ladele said the NPVF has ensured that the teams (men and women) have prepared within its financial strength.
“Team Nigeria is very prepared for this qualifier; we have what it takes with our level of preparedness that we started years back. We are popular in other para-sports like Powerlifting, but Para Volleyball is ready to rival that sport in picking an Olympics medal because this is a sport we are well prepared for.”
He thanked the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Lagos State Government for providing the needed support to host the qualifiers historically and successfully.
Similarly, Dr Said Lamrini, Director of Sport, Para-Volleyball Africa thanked Nigerians and Lagosians for being a good host and volunteering to host the competition in Nigeria. According to the Technical Director of the 2024 African Para-Volley Championship, the continental body is proud of what Nigeria has done. He said they are optimistic that the best team will win.
Mohammed Sovabi, Head of Media and Communication from Para-Volleyball Africa described the qualifier as a big platform to build awareness around Para-Volleyball in Nigeria and the African continent. According to him, the Nigerian media will have to play a role in getting the sport the attention it deserves.
In Group A, Nigeria is grouped with Egypt, Morocco, and Kenya while square off against Rwanda, Algeria, and Libya in Group B. The women’s team will face competition from Kenya and Rwanda for a historic qualification for the 2024 Paralympics.