In this exclusive interview, President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria Francis Orbih Esq. fielded questions with Sports Intelligence Magazine. He talks about the impact of the covid-19 and prospects of the Federation. The excerpts reads
What has it been like for Badminton management during this lockdown period and what major setbacks will this pandemic cause?
It’s pretty obvious like in every aspect of our lives, everything has changed with the lockdown. The situation tough. Players have not been able to train or play badminton. We have not been able to have any activity. Everything has virtually come to a standstill. But we hope it gets better soon.
Did the BFN considered or negotiated any palliatives for athletes during this period of lockdown as a means of encouragement?
First, we reached out to the players at the beginning of the lockdown. The Federation gave palliatives to 30 players outside of the national team . Players got foodstuffs shared in the Lagos environs in collaboration with some members of the badminton section of Ikoyi Club 1938. We also sent out messages to the badminton family to help reach out to members of the badminton family around them and the response was encouraging. Some of our players also benefited from the palliatives extended by the Federal ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
What is BFN doing to attract corporate sponsorship to athletes of Badminton considering the fact that the Tokyo Olympics will take place in 2021?
This has been work in progress. Right from the inception of this board, we have tried to build a brand, create value and equity around the game of badminton. This is primarily to attract sponsors to the game. We have continued with this approach and is gradually yielding results.
As the board president, what are your expectations from already qualified athletes when they storm Tokyo for the Olympics
We expect them to do well.And I cannot talk about medal prospects but we leave it open. They have prepared hard and we will continue to do the needful to give them the needed support to make them excel.
You were one of the panelists in the just concluded post covid-19 Nigeria-impact and opportunities for the Sports sector, how will the programme affect Badminton
It’s not only badminton. It will affect every sport or sporting activities like the pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. The programme was basically to look at the opportunities that will be available post Covid-19 and begin to plan towards harnessing them. It was a very useful programme with a lot of takeaways.
Thank you very much sir for the time.
You are welcome