Lagos – The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Wednesday in Lagos described its involvement in table tennis as an initiative aimed at developing the sport at the grassroots.
Austen Ukaiwe, Pastor in charge of Lagos Province 3 of RCCG said this at a press briefing of Pastor E.A Adeboye National U-20 Table Tennis Championships held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
“We are focusing on the young ones to identify them in their primes by virtue of the programme, and to give them opportunity to showcase their talents,’’ he said.
Ukaiwe said that the quest to discover young talent through programmes that prompted the RCCG to step in to contribute its quota to the development of the sport in the country.
He said that the RCCG decided to partner with the Federal Government, Sports Federations, individuals and corporate organisations in scouting for talents that would bring honour and glory to the country.
“Nigeria’s performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a disappointment, so the Province 3 is further encouraged to join forces with other bodies to renew the image through this programme.
“In this wise, we are commencing our contribution with the game of Table Tennis as we present the inaugural edition of the Pastor E.A Adeboye National U-20 championships.
“Our vision is to produce good players from this championship who will represent the country at the next Olympic Games and come back with medals,’’ he said.
The pastor said that the championships were in conjunction with its partners such as Strategic Media Ltd., and the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) who he said made the dream a huge reality.
According to him, the championships, which kicks off on Jan. 17 2013 and are open to Christians and non-Christians who fall under the age of 20 across the country.
Special Isitua, Managing Director, Strategic Media Ltd., said that the star prize money was 1.5 million for the first position, 800,000, for the second, and 500,000 for the third and 250,000 for winners from each zone for male and female.
Isitua said that outstanding winners would be sent to overseas for exposure to further develop their skills in the ping-pong game, while assuring that the championships had come to stay. (NAN)