27th September, 2013
Some table tennis coaches at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sponsored training programme for grassroots players in Lagos have described the programme as a worthwhile venture.
The coaches were of the opinion that the programme would enhance the growth of the sport in the country.
The programme, tagged “Nigeria Hopes Week Intensive Training Programme,’’ for grassroots talents commenced on 21 September, it will end on 28 September.
Ifeoma Isaac, the Head Coach, Abia State Table Tennis Association, lauded the initiative, and stressed that it was quite appropriate for tender budding talents.
Isaac said that the training programme had provided a veritable platform for the participants to know more about the sport.
“The athletes have been doing so well and you can see satisfaction on their faces as they compete among themselves.
“I believe this type of programme will spur other young athletes who have interest in the sport to come out and be noticed,” she said.
Isaac added that the state was being represented by one female athlete and noted that she had improved tremendously since the commencement of the programme.
“Her skills have improved fast and I am happy with that,’’ she said.
The coach stressed that if such programme was replicated in all the 36 states of the country, Nigeria would eventually assume a dominant position in the international table tennis circuit.
Idiat Bamidele, the Head Coach, Oyo State Table Tennis Association, also said that she had seen remarkable improvements in her athletes, since the commencement of the programme.
Bamidele said that the programme had spurred the athletes to improve their skills, and encouraged them to put more efforts into the programme.
“The initiative of the federation has instilled more improvements into the athletes and they are geared to get better,’’ she said.
Friday Abah, Head Coach of the Kogi Table Tennis Association, appealed to parents in Kogi to encourage their female children to participate in the sport.
Abah noted that many of these children were willing to play table tennis; but interference from their parents had made them to lose interest in the sport.
“In the state, the sport is being dominated by males and this is because parents do not encourage the females to participate in it.
“The few ones that have shown interest in it are not allowed to concentrate by their parents,’’ Abah noted.
He added that it was one of the reasons why the state was being represented at the programme by just two boys.