Prudent Energy, for the third year running, has sponsored the National Handball Premier League which started on October 31, at the MKO Abiola Stadium (Package B) in Abuja, Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the development of handball is slow with no commercial appeal. Compared to other sports such as football, the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) does not enjoy the patronage and support of private bodies and the government.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which includes sports development, Prudent Energy, in 2018, signed a 5-year sponsorship agreement with the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN). Prudent Energy signed the agreement with the HFN because of its main objective of developing a virile and Functional handball league in Nigeria and more importantly as part of our commitment to youth and sports development.
“We are optimistic that our involvement will go a long way in rejuvenating and attracting more corporate bodies and government attention to all sports and handball in particular. Our Involvement and sponsorship of the handball league represents a step further in cementing our commitment to corporate social responsibility especially Youth and Sport development because we believe this in a way will boost employment and empowerment,” says AbdulWasiu Sowami, Managing Director of Prudent Energy.
“We are also delighted that within the short time of our partnership with HFN, the sport handball has recorded great performances and trophies have been won at international competitions.” He adds.
Compared to other years when the handball league was played in two phases; the first phase in April and the second phase in October, the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League teams for 2020 has been playing a single-phase of games because of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, all the teams in the women and men categories play in turn against each other and winners will be crowned the 2020 champions both in the male and female categories of the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League on November, 13, 2020.
The total number of the team for this year’s league is 22; 10 female teams and 12 male teams. The first prize winner of the league for both the male and female category will receive a cash amount of N1.25 million, the second prize, N1 million, the third prize, N750,000.
“I feel very delighted by the commitment of Prudent energy for improving the game of handball in Nigeria, says Sam Ochebo, the President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN).
“This year the prize money increased and even the subsidies given to all the competing team has increased from N250,000 to N300,000 per team. For me 2020 is just a better edition, the quality of the jersey is far better than what it has been before now. Prudent Energy sponsored all these efforts even though the pandemic affected many businesses. I want to thank them once again for their efforts and I would love to see subsequent editions better than what we have even done in 2020.”
Prudent Energy’s decision to not only sponsor this year’s league but to also increase the prize money for the winners and subsidies for competing teams despite the COVID-19 pandemic – was inspired by its commitment to supporting and developing the league.
“We did not only sponsor this year’s league, we also supported Government’s efforts aimed at stemming the spread of the virus by making donations in form of Ambulance and palliatives at both National and State levels. Palliatives were also donated to cushion effects of individuals whose livelihood were affected particularly HFN players and officials because their welfare and sustenance is paramount to us,” AbdulWasiu adds.
Since the league started in October 31, 22 teams across Nigeria have been playing against each other and the game has been played in accordance to the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, as instructed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD).
In the male category, the Safety Shooters has been in a good run of form winning a total of 10 out of 10 games – and sitting at the top of the table at the end of day 12 game. In what is considered as a shock to handball plaudits, Niger United – the Champion of the maiden edition of the Handball League and the home to handball game in the north – is yet to register a win, sitting at the bottom of the league table.
The Safety Shooter has now been confirmed winners of the 2020 Prudent Energy Handball Premier League.
For the female category, the Edo Dynamos has been the surprise performer, displaying consistency and professionalism through its performance, winning eight out of eight games –with a game in hand. The league comes to a close on Friday, 13, November 2020 when the winner of the league (both the male and female categories) would be crowned champions of the 2020 Prudent Energy Handball Premier League.