Physically Challenged Players Celebrate World Table Tennis Day

Physically Challenged

Physically Challenged

Physically Challenged

The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) on Thursday joined its counterparts globally to mark the World Table Tennis Day in Lagos with exhibition matches for the able-bodied and physically challenged players.

April 6 every year is World Table Tennis Day to gather Table Tennis enthusiasts, attract people who usually don’t play table tennis, promote love for the sport and engage new players to the practice in the long term.

“I can’t wait for the entire world to play table tennis on April 6,” Thomas Weikert, President, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said in a statement.

NAN reports that the Indoor Hall Sports of the National Stadium, Lagos was packed with able and physically challenged players, who played an exhibition match to celebrate the day.

They took turns on 10 table tennis tables set inside the hall to hone their skills as they challenged themselves.

Also, the physically challenged were not left out as they played against their able-bodied counterparts.

NTTF’s Secretary-General Bola Adedeji said the celebration was to promote and create more awareness for the development of table tennis in the country.

Adedeji said that the sport still needed more awareness to discover more talents at the grassroots.

“Table tennis in Nigeria is still growing and needs more awareness to further popularise it. Table tennis in Nigeria hasn’t yet been where it should be.

“It is through this type of celebration that we can get more players introduced to the sport,” he said.

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There are currently 378 different events in 85 countries across all continents which aim to have over 60,000 participants in the celebration of World Table Tennis Day.

Similarly, April 6, is also the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

To mark the Day, Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said the International Day was an opportunity to raise the banner for the power of sport for development and peace.

“Sport is a passion shared by women and men across the world. It is a force for physical well-being and social empowerment.

“It is an engine for equality, especially gender equality, for including everyone, especially the most disadvantaged.

“There is no more powerful platform than sport to nurture the values we all share — solidarity, responsibility, respect, honesty, teamwork, equality motivation and self-esteem,’’ Bokova said in a statement at the UN Headquarters in New York.

She added that sport was a way to include everyone, including refugees and migrants, to fight against stereotypes, to strengthen the foundations for peace in healthy societies.

“As the world takes forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must do everything to support sport to leave no one behind.

This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, to ensure respect for the fundamental right to sport for every woman and man without discrimination.