Nigeria’s first female University Director of Sports Dr. Cecilia Arinye has gotten an official invitation to officiate at the forthcoming 21st Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia, 2018.
Speaking with Sport Intelligence recently in Lagos, Dr. Cecilia Arinye confirmed the authenticity of the information. Arinye simply said “It is true, I got an invitation letter as one of the officials in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and by God’s Grace, I will be there”.
Arinye who qualified as an International Blue Badge Umpire in 2009 is the only Nigerian to get the invitation to officiate in the Gold Coast, Australia 2018.
The former ex-international first participated in a Commonwealth Games as a player in 1975 during the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship which took place in Sydney Australia, alongside Babatunde Obisanya, Olawunmi Majekodunmi, Kasali Lasisi, Fatai Ayinde and Ethel Jacks.
During the 20th Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014, Arinye became the 1st Black Woman to Officiate in the Table Tennis Event and also the 1st Black Woman to officiate in the Summer Paralympics during the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games.
Arinye made her debut as an Umpire in an ITTF World Table Tennis Championship during the All African Senior Table Tennis Championship in 2007 at Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo. And later in Guangzhou, China (2008), Madrid Spain (2008) and numerous ITTF sanctioned events.
Since assumption as Director of Sports of the University of Lagos in 2009, Dr. Cecilia Arinye has officiated over 15 International Table Tennis Sporting Engagement, which includes Paralympics, All Africa Games to mention but a few.
It will also be recalled that Arinye led the University of Lagos to achieve her best ever performance at the NUGA Games in 2014, where UNILAG finished second on the medal table behind UNIPORT with 13 Gold, 10 Silver and 7 Bronze medals.