“Deaf Eagles of Nigeria”: How Did The Name Come Into Existence

The male football team of the Nigeria Deaf Sports Federation had qualified for the deaflympics tournament in 2011 and was looking up to seek sponsorship after facing series of challenges in 2008 when they qualified and failed to make it to the tournament due to the absence of funds.

The then Secretary-General Lukman Agbabiaka and Coach Kamiludeen Banjo who had worked tirelessly by carrying the burden of the team on their shoulders also felt that having a media officer to assist in publicity of the activities of the team will help them get noticed so they could get support and not miss out on the next edition. so they approached a young Nigerian Sport Journalist  by name Joseph Odoekwu, who was then the Editor of Sports Intelligence Magazine.

Joseph Odoekwu who was also working on his first print edition of Sport Intelligence Magazine accepted to be the Media Officer of the team and incorporated the Deaf team in his publication. He also identified that since the team did not have a name, there was need to come up with a name that the team will be known for, to enable publicity easy.

The Deaf EAGLES of Nigeria taking instructions during a training session in 2011

As part of his job description to publicize the team he sat than and worked out on several names, before he finally came up with the name “Deaf Eagles of Nigeria”. But when he forwarded the name for approval by the Federation, Coach Banjo was okay with it but the then Secretary-General Mr. Agbabiaka disagreed with his suggestion and moved that the “Indomitable Football Team of Nigeria” be rather accepted.

There was series of discussions to look into the naming of the team, but Odoekwu noted that “Deaf Eagles” will give the team a sense of belonging to the Eagles family, since the national football teams of the country have always been associated with Eagles.He argued that it only becomes proper that the Deaf Football Team be named the “Deaf Eagles of Nigeria”.  He also noted that it will give the team an edge in its publicity and marketing.

Agbabiaka finally heeded to the submissions of Joseph Odoekwu and it was agreed that the name suggested by the Nigerian Journalist be adopted. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Odoekwu officially granted Coach Kamiludeen Banjo an exclusive interview which was published on pages 5 and 6 of the very first edition of Sports Intelligence in 2012.

In the publication Odoekwu who got the team picture of the deaf football team with their officials officially names the team “Deaf Eagles of Nigeria” on page 5 of the magazine. He also placed the photograph of  Coach Kamiludeen Banjo and two other officials of the team with the trophy which the team won in continental championship on the contents page of the magazine. By doing this, he named the team “Deaf Eagles of Nigeria”.

Copies of the print publication was well appreciated by many of the Deaf when it was eventually published and also, the then President of the Nigeria Deaf Sport Federation was captured posing with the maiden edition of the magazine in the next edition. The Deaf Eagles eventually went for the Deaflympics in Turkey, but lost out in the group stage after recording a point following two losses and a draw.

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