The Chairman of Nigeria Park Volleyball Commission, Major General Taritimiye Gagariga has revealed that the Abuja Invitational Volleyball Challenge is purely a development volleyball championship.
The Abuja Invitational Volleyball Challenge is billed for 13th to 19th March, 2023 at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Maj Gen Gagariga said the challenge will expose the academy players to competitive volleyball outside their comfort zone.
He noted that various teams that participated at the previous challenges have become league clubs over the years.
The board member of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation said, “The volleyball challenge will give young players the simple opportunity to be on a wider playing exposure. From the first time I started organising this private tournament, I have always reiterated it was for grassroots.
“The Abuja Invitational Volleyball Challenge is no longer an open championship, which we did from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Rules changed in 2021 when the focus became grassroots, rules are becoming more stringent and the IVC improves in its purely grassroots mandate.
“It is purely a developmental opportunity for about 450 teeming youths for just 7 days. Many teams have begun academies (the real grassroots) from our challenge, some clubs have graduated to become NVBF Division 1 and 2 teams while other clubs produced players directly into the national teams.”
“We have succeeded in bringing some lesser known teams to compete with clubs whose names appear in the NVBF Premier League. There are so many advantages to what we want to achieve in Invitational Volleyball Challenges,” he added.
Gagariga said the joy of the challenge is to see upcoming players showcase their talents for the technical department of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation to identify.
He said, “It is the volleyball game of upcoming players we want to see; let them play at their level, not comparing them to premiership or league levels.
“Every player at this level is actually not championship graded until the player enters the league, and that is what we also wish to achieve: that grassroots players graduate one day to the NVBF leagues or national teams if invited.”