Nwadike (4th from right) with National supporters club in Benue
Hi readers! I hope you have enjoyed some of the past series of sports men I have featured here. Some of them are sports promoters, Referees, commentators, coaches and many more. I will like to talk about a sports promoter called Emmanuel Uwadike. Emmanuel Uwadike loved sports so much that he made so many personal sacrifices for the country, especially in Benue state where he spent all his life. Dear readers, Uwadike may not be the best we have had so far, but it is important to consider the little efforts people make in life, just because of their love for sports. I hope you enjoy some of his sports experiences in this edition. Emmanuel Uwadike is the most senior in his family and he hails from Ichi in Nnewi in Anambra state. He was born in Benue state and had his early childhood experiences from Benue state. He was born in April 23rd, 1958 and has been an organizer, coach and promoter all his life.
Uwadike was the Chairman of Unique Flash Promotion in Makurdi; organizer of Unity Cup competition, Invitational Soccer Tournament and he is into sports Publicity and promotion.
Nwadike (2nd right) at a match in Bayelsa
In August 2002, Uwadike Emmanuel received an award as an organizer of grassroots soccer championship by Makurdi Football Referees Society for his immense contributions to sports development in Benue state. He received the certificate of attendance from 14th- 17th August, 2007 for a Sports Coaching Course. Uwadike had his auxiliary coaching youth programme for Catholic Youth FC, Makurdi between1984- 1985; Boys United FC, Makurdi in 1985- 1991; Joe Ameachi United FC, Markudi between 1991-1994 and Mock Algeria- Mock Nations Cup between 1993- 1994.
Mock Nations Cup (Mock Algeria); Kendo Soccer Cup Competition Quarter Finals; Evans Soccer Cup Competition in Semi Finals; Evans Soccer Cup Competition (2nd edition) Semi Finals; Bishop's cup Benue state (finals) are some of the sports he participated during the Youth Soccer Championship between 1985- 1994.
Uwadike was also the organizer of youth soccer tournament in Unity Cup competition between 1994- 2005, invitation soccer tournament between 2005- 2007, Unity selected vs Benue links FC in Makurdi in 1997. United selected vs Lobi Stars FC in Markurdi in 1998, United Selected Vs Tunde Disu led Dream Team for Nigeria in 1999.
He was also the FA coordinator of Benue State Football Association of Governor's cup 2000/ 2001. He was also the FA coordinator between Avengers FC, Tyowanye and Mighty Junior FC, Gboko; Gwer Local Government and Gwer West Local Government; Konshisha Local Government vs Obimini Local Government and Opa Adoka FC vs Kwade FC, Adikpo. Uwadike has discovered many talents like Onaivi Shaperah, Late Samuel Okoye, Tar Akombo, Napoleon Gabriel, Umar Farouk and many others.
He has headed many Delegation of Nigeria Football Supporters Club. He was the Benue State coordinator for the Annual General Meeting of the NFA Board members and states FA held on the 13th January, 1999, Nigeria 99'Lagos Zone (World Youth Soccer Championship); 2000 Nations Cup between Nigeria Vs Cameroon finals, Lagos; Kanu Heart Foundation Match (Kanu selected Vs Pepsi selected) in Lagos . Also, he coordinated the Last lap FIFA World Cup qualifying series of Nigeria vs Ghana in 2005 at Port Harcourt.
Uwadike attended the official unveiling of Mascot and Logo of Coja at Asokoro, Abuja in 2005. He attended the 8th All African Games, Bauchi zone and later attended the first ever international football friendly between Nigeria and Brazil in Abuja. He attended the last lap FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano and also, the Africa Nations Cup in Ghana 2008. In 2010, he was nominated for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa
He was a member of the organizing committee of Sir. Akpoo Memorial Football Championship (maiden edition), Makurdi, 2008. He was a copted member of the 1st edition of Dooshima Suswan Youth Football Tournament, 2008 and also, an organizing committee member of Jamaica U-15 maiden football championship in 2009. He was a copted technical official of Benue SWAN Soccer Cup Competition in 2000 and coordinating chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Benue state chapter. Because of his great skills in organizing sports, Uwadike was made the financial secretary of Grass root soccer development and member of Benue State Football Coaches Association, Markurdi. It is important to note that Emmanuel Uwadike is also a sports promoter and have received merit award from various groups for his immense contribution to sports development in Benue state.
When asked about what makes him fulfilled, he said that organizing events made him feel fulfilled and happy. He recalled one of his happiest moments in Ghana as a member of the supporting club and as a member of the delegation for the Kanu selected match and so many other happy moments he couldn't remember. He recalled some of his challenging moments to be his moment of financial struggle due to the fact that he ran an independent organization in Benue state. He also wished that he could run such independent organization in Anambra even though his ill health has kept him down for some time.
Uwadike met his wife through a friend and he got married in August 2004 to a very lovely woman. They both expect their children soon. He said that he was able to manage both his sports life and family responsibilities perfectly because of the wonderful nature of his wife. Uwadike favorite colour is white and his best type of food goes with the common name 'Swallow'. He loves football a lot and likes reading too.
When asked on how Anambra sports could be improved, he said that experienced hands in Anambra sports will be better especially if the selection of those experienced hands come from the three senatorial zones in Anambra who will engage in grass root development.
His experiences in Benue sports were good aside from the fact that he was discriminated against especially when it comes to promoting, nomination and award just because he wasn't an indigene of Benue state. This also formed part of the reasons why he moved down to Anambra state this year. He commended the Anambra state government for a new turn in Anambra sports and visualized a great progress in Anambra sports in the next five years. He said that the loyalty of Nigeria players lie within the individual player and that some of the players rely on coach, their fame and many others due to many factors.