Table Tennis: Oshodi Unveils Plans To Retrain Coaches


President of Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, NTTF, Mr. Wahid Enitan Oshodi has said that one of the priorities of his new administration is to ensure that ping pong coaches are exposed to trainings in order to get the best out of them.

Oshodi, Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, who was elected the president of the NTTF in last election of the sports federation in the country last month, said that it is so sad that despite being gifted, Nigerian coaches are working under unfavourable conditions that have prevented them from excelling.

According to him, “Our coaches have been subject of criticism and I think this is very unfair. To be candid, these coaches are working under very sad conditions. Most of them get their NIS certificates and thereafter we do not assist them to further their knowledge and catch up with modern techniques. We cannot blame people that we have not equipped to do their work. We have to improve the lot of the coaches and ensure that they are constantly being retrained.”

He disclosed that he had “mandated the federation’s Chief Coach, Nosiru Bello, to come up with necessary international courses to improve the lot of our coaches. We must also tap into the experience of some our more experienced coaches with regards to training the younger ones. We also have to encourage some of our top professionals, who are coming to the end of their careers, to pass on the knowledge they have garnered over the years to the upcoming coaches.

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“We have some talented young coaches and we must also assist them to develop. Let me commend the developmental work being done by some of our young coaches such as Dotun Omoniyi, Samson Ajayi, and Razaq Hamzat.”

The president said that during his tenure, he would work hard to ensure that table tennis is popular like football in the country.

“We have to stage more competitions. We have to expose our top players. We must engage the public and get them back into the stadiums to watch and support our young players. It is the fans and the media that will make stars out of these players. We need to fill the stadiums and to do this we have to package our competitions in a way in which they are sufficiently attractive to the fans such that we can lure the fans away from their televisions and football.

“We obviously cannot compete with football and the English Premie League, EPL, but I’m working on a plan that when the fans are not watching football they are watching Table Tennis. It is a fact that in the 70s the likes of Atanda Musa, Obisanya, Lasisi Kasali, Late Yomi Bankole, Olawunmi Majekodunmi, Ethel Jacks, Cecilia Arinye were household names and were as popular as the likes of Christian Chukwu and Segun Odegbami,” Oshodi said.

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