Abuja – Adeyemi Bamgbose, President of Para-Table Tennis Federation, on Thursday said lack of equipment in the sport has hindered athletes development in the sport at the grassroots.
Bamgbose in Abuja said that para-sports as a whole was in dire need of assistance from government and corporate bodies.
“It is a fact that the physically-challenged athletes in the country are suffering. The equipment needed to engage in the various sports activities are not what they (athletes) are using.’’
He said Nigerian para power-lifters only excelled at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio because they were used to moving about with their clutches.
“Most of our power-lifters use clutches on a 24-hour basis. The clutches serve as training for them, but they may not know this.
“Putting all your strength on a stick or aluminium and allowing it to lift the whole of your body is synonymous with power-lifting.
“Compared to table tennis or athletics, those competing in power-lifting will always excel in the event and that is why we need equipments to master the various skills needed in all sports,’’ the federation president said.
Bamgbose however added that government needed to provide funds for the Nigeria Paralympics Committee (NPC).
“If the committee has funds to run its activities, then we can talk about grassroots development, trainings, competitions, equipment and so on.
“In the case of table tennis, government can invite a coach from one of the countries where the game is well played or send a few athletes to learn new skills in the sport.
“This is the only way we can excel well in sports generally,’’ he added.
NAN reports that Nigeria featured in table tennis, athletics and power-lifting at the Rio Paralympics Games in September, winning a total of 12 medals.