By Oluwaseyi Oduneye
Lagos – Anderson Bankole, the Technical Dircetor, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), on Sunday urged the country’s young female table tennis players to emulate Olufunke Oshonaike, the current Africa’s longest serving player.
Bankole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the female players had a lot to learn from her to be recognised in the sport like her.
“Oshonaike is a household name in not just Nigeria but Africa as a whole. She is one respected female player that I want our female athletes to emulate.
“She’s been long enough in sports and has so much knowledge to enlighten the younger players.
“She has been actively involved in table tennis for not less than 25 years and that’s a commendable achievement.
“Oshonaike has what it takes to mentor the present crop of young female players. She has been through it all and is well equipped with knowledge and experience,’’ he said.
Bankole, who is also a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), said that the current set of female table tennis players had a whole lot to do so as to be respected and recognised like Oshonaike.
“Our set of female players is not like Oshonaike. They need to be more committed so as to make a name in the sport.
“If we follow Oshonaike’s record from age 16 when she ventured into the sport, you will know she had been a shining light and is still,’’ he said.
He, however, advised Oshonaike to encourage and tutor the younger female table tennis players on how to achieve feats in the sport.
“I am charging her to rally round the females and offer words of advice and share her experiences over the years with them.
“Her words of encouragement will spur them into striving hard for recognition in the sport,’’ said Bankole.