The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have unveiled Prudent Energy, as the new sponsor of the first phase of the Premier League that will hold from April 27- May 6 in Abuja.
For many, the revival of the game of handball may have kicked off with this development.
There will be 22 teams on parade – 12 male teams and 10 female teams will compete in the female category, with N4.5 million as prize money.
Prudent Energy signed a five-year contract with the Handball Federation as disclosed by the HFN President, Samuel Ocheho, who also said both male and female teams have the same prize money.
The winners will win N1 million; the second placed prize is N750, 000 while the third-place winner will go home with N500, 000.
Ocheho also revealed that as part of the overall sponsorship, all the teams would be provided with branded jerseys.
The list of male teams confirmed are Lagos Seasiders, COAS Shooters, Safety Shooters, De Defenders, Prison Key Boys, Niger United, Owena Kings, Kada Stars, Borno Spiders, Vipers of Plateau, Kano Pyramid and Sokoto Rima.
In the female category, there are Lagos Seasiders, Defenders Babes, Safety Babes, Edo Dynamos, Owena Queens, Imo Grasshoppers, Abia Valiant, Desert Queens of Katsina, Kada Queens and Peacocks from Plateau State.
Earlier this year, Mark Jacob, the president of the Handball Veterans Association of Nigeria (HVAN) had vowed to revive the game and restore Nigeria to the peak position in Africa after the national men’s handball team was unceremoniously dumped at the 23rd edition of the African Men’s Handball Championship that held in Gabon in February.
Jacob revealed the major challenge was getting people passionate about the game into overseeing the game.
“Over the years the leadership of handball in this country has been left in the hands of people that don’t have a passion for the game and instead of them to develop the game; they see it as a meal ticket thereby allowing handball to die a natural death,” he added.