Okenla-Ojeaga U-17 Table Tennis Tourney: 25 states begin hostilities as tournament serves off
The Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium will be agog on Monday March 24, as 25 states across the country will begin hostilities as the second Toyin Okenla-Ojeaga National U-17 table tennis championship serves off.
The players made up of two boys and two girls including a coach will represent each state at the one-week tournament organized by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).
According to the sponsors of the competition, Okenla-Ojeaga, the tournament is part of her support to sports development especially, table tennis, in which she made her name.
Speaking during ahead of the championship, she said: “Like I had said during the last year’s edition that the sponsoring of this championship is my own way of giving back to the society that made me and also to help the young ones in fulfilling their dreams as table tennis players. We started the competition in Lagos with the players drawn across the state, but this year, we want to give players from other states of the federation the opportunity to showcase their talents, so that we can widen the scope of the championship.”
Beside unearthing talents, Okenla-Ojeaga said: “I am a passionate advocate of youth empowerment through education and sports. I believe that education and sports are fundamental to development. This will help to fortify people and help in achieving desired goals in life. Grassroots sports development is essential for our youths in order to have a bright and rewarding future.
“This is why we have come up with the initiative. Having a good education will complement the inherent skills and talents in our youths. This in turn will elevate the economic and social status of these players in their respective communities and will further contribute to the growth of sports in the country sooner or later.”
For the President, NTTF, Wahid Oshodi, the competition would compliment the efforts of the federation to discover talents as well as showcase the talents for further growth.
Meanwhile, the four players that would represent Nigeria at next month’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Hope Week holding in Nairobi, Kenya, would be part of the competition as part of efforts to tune them up for the training/competition.
Players would compete for honours in seven events made up of singles, doubles and mixed doubles.