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SPORTSBIZ: First wheelchair basketball league in Nigeria gets betting company as corporate sponsor

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Things might well be looking up for wheelchair basket ball in Nigeria after it managed to attract corporate betting firm to sponsor its first national league, it has been learnt.

BetKing, a big name in betting in Nigeria, according to information, will sponsor the new league.

Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced and exciting sport that is played by individuals with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs.

The rules of the game are very similar to traditional basketball, with a few modifications to accommodate the use of wheelchairs.

Players must have a permanent physical disability that limits their ability to play stand-up basketball in order to participate in wheelchair basketball.

The sport is played on a regulation basketball court with teams consisting of five players each.

Nigeria, though big in the game bought poor in supporting growth of the game as sports business.

The sponsorship deal appears to be the beginning of new things to come for the sport.

President of the country’s wheelchair basketball federation, Seyi Johnson, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Ilorin, north central Nigeria, during the National Technical Workshop for coaches and officials.

In itself, the workshop is big news for the game, the city and stakeholders in wheelchair basketball, newsmen were told in the city capital of Kwara, Nigeria.

Johnson said that the officials for the BetKing League will be selected from participants of the workshop

“The workshop is a precursor to our new agenda, which is the Wheelchair Basketball League. We will be introducing the Wheelchair Basketball National League, and we are starting in March.

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“The officials that are participating in this workshop will be the referees and officials to handle the league. The League will be supported by BetKing.

“We are doing our best to resuscitate the Federation, just like the ongoing workshop. It’s been a long time that we have the workshop, and we are bringing it up so that we can put ourselves up to speed, for future references.

Johnson also doubles as Chairman, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) West African Region.

He also stated that the dream of his board is to operate independently, devoid of any financial issue.

“Before we announce any tournament, there must be cash backing that will see us through the competition. What we need now to develop the sport is capacity building and welfare of players through competitions”.

He added that in the next three months, the Federation will announce international competitions, adding that the Federation is working on acquiring equipment to aid the development of Wheelchair Basketball


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