Lagos – Nigeria and some other African countries have been undergoing intensive training /competition at the 2014 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) U-12 Africa.
An ITTF statement released in Lagos on Sunday said the event was under the auspices of the Hopes Week and Challenge taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nigeria’s four-man team is made up of Michael Obayanmi, Ibrahim Umar (male) and Rophia Jimoh and Habibat Olawale (female). They are being coached by Friday Abah.
Besides the four-day training exercise being handled by a top ITTF coach, the participating teams would compete in a two-day tournament to decide the eight players to be offered scholarships.
The scholarships would enable the winners to attend the 2014 ITTF World Hopes Week & Challenge to be held in Otocec, Slovenia, in June.
The event, organised by ATTF and the Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA), would hold at the Safaricom Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi.
Each participating team would be represented by a maximum of two boys and two girls, while the host, Kenya, would be represented by four boys and four girls.
According to Africa Development Officer, Ahmed Dawlatly, the top four players in the singles tournament for boys and girls would automatically be selected for the scholarships.
The President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi, said efforts would be geared toward more grassroots development, as it was obvious that other nations were now catching up with Nigeria in the game.
“We have identified that we need to start encouraging our young players and this is one of the visions of the federation.
“This kind of programme will help us to expose our players to top class training and competition.
“We were lucky to have such programmes last year and we hope our players will also garner more knowledge by taking part in this exercise holding in Kenya,” the statement said. (NAN)