The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), says it will begin next year with two cadet championships preparatory to the African Junior Championships in Congo in April.
NTTF Secretary Segun Oguntade saidÂ Monday in Lagos that plans had been concluded to organise U-13 and U-16 Open Championships in January.
Oguntade said that outstanding players at the championships would be called to camp to prepare for the continental competition.
â€œThe camp will open immediately after the championships to avoid distractions so that the athletes could have intensive preparation for a good performance,â€ he said.
â€œWe are starting early next year to scout for talents and the only way to achieve this is by organising this and more competitions.
â€œOur objective, just as other federations scouting for talents is to discover athletes who will eventually take over from ageing players,â€ he said.
Oguntade said there would also be zonal competitions that were aimed at talent hunt.
He said one of such discoveries from grassroots competitions was Aruna Quadri who became the new African champion in July at the African Singles Cup in Morocco.
â€œThat boy is a player who was discovered during one of our local championships and today, he has proved that he is talented in the game,â€ he said.
The NTTF scribe appealed for sponsorship to enable the federation carry out its activities in the coming year.
He called on lovers of the game and the National Sports Commission (NSC) to assist in promoting the fast growing sport.
Oguntade said that in 2010, the federation would focus on grassroots development programmes, adding that it planned having quarterly national competitions