AKURE – Some Ondo State Table Tennis players on Tuesday in Akure appealed for the state government’s sponsorship toward their participation in international table tennis championships.
The players told newsmen that it would require the government’s sponsorship for them to take part in the forthcoming senior and junior world championships.
“We were selected to represent Nigeria in the championships due to our excellent performances at the Nigeria Table tennis federation (NTTF) Pilot League and Toyin Okenla National Secondary Schools Championship held in Lagos recently.
“Both the senior and junior players from the state were to take part in the world championship and world tour in China and Portugal,’’ Ojo Onaolapo said.
Onaolapo said that it was not common for a state to be invited to represent the country in international championships, saying “this shows that we have a good track record.
The player commended Gov. Olusegun Mimiko for supporting the development of sports in the state.
He also called for the governor’s quick intervention in order for the players to participate in the championships to boost their career.
“We need to improve on our knowledge and skills,” Akinyinka said.
The NTTF in its invitation letter said the Sunshine senior team is expected to represent Nigeria in the GAC Group ITTF World Tour.
The other competitions where they are expected to feature are China Open, and Chengdu Super Series between June 4 and June 8, in Chengdu, China.
The junior players are expected to take part in the Funchal Junior and Cadet Open ITTF Circuit in Portugal between Sept. 3 and Sept. 6.
The state table tennis head coach, Adedotun Omoniyi, said the players needed the international exposure.
“More so, their participation will serve as part of our preparation for the forthcoming National Sports Festival slated for Calabar in November.
“Table Tennis remains the state’s number one area of advantage in any competition, so, there is need to expose players to modern techniques,” he said.
Omoniyi also said that there was penalty for non-attendance.
“The penalty for not honouring invitation is as a policy £150 (about N37,500) per player and coach.
“The cost cancellation will be added to the association’s invoice to be paid together with the hospitality costs to the organisers either by bank transfer or by cash on site.
“Also, the association will not be allowed to enter future World Tour events if any cancellation fees remain outstanding,’’ Omoniyi said.(NAN)