As different countries and sports associations are preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics , the dream of the Nigerian Baseball and Softball Association to participate in the number one sporting event in the world would have been dashed even before it began but for the intervention of an indigenous oil and gas company, GCA Energy.
GCA Energy, the 30 something year old company, which has been rendering cutting-edge support service in the Nigerian oil and gas sub-sector, bankrolled the trip of the Nigeria National Teams to Ghana to partake in the first stage of the qualifiers.
According to Chairman, Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Qualifiers, Engr. Chris Dic-Willie, the support of GCA Energy was instrumental to ensuring that the National teams scaled through the first zonal hurdle.
“This last competition we played in Ghana was such an eye opener for us in terms of achieving growth in Nigeria and internationally.
He told the Guardian that Nigeria is exchanging ideas with other West Africsn as it moves ahead towardd its Tokyo goal.
Dic-Willie who is also the Chairman of the Rivers State Baseball and Softball Association stated that the body also received support from some individuals too. He specifically mentioned General Ishola Williams (Rtd) and Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyuike.
Also speaking on the development, the National Coach, Ike Magnus said that the assistance of more corporate bodies and government would see the team go far. He urged other corporate bodies to emulate GCA Energy.
In his words ” if we can get more support, we can crossover to the Euro/Africa Stage and battle for tickets to the Olympics.We are more competitive now.
” The European Challenge makes it look quite tough but we are capable .Funding challenges left us camping for.just 10 days before we went to Ghana but more support will make things a lot easier.Incentives too will ginger players to extra levels”
He also revealed that possible sponsors including GCA Energy have been contacted to support the teams’ participation at the pre-Olympic qualifiers in Johannesburg, South Africa between May 1-5, 2019.
In South Africa, the ladies are billed to take on hosts South Africa, Botswana and Kenya to earn a ticket to play in Holland for Softball spot in Tokyo while the men will take on Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Congo and hosts South Africa.