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Table tennis coach advises Ekiti govt on players’ welfare

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Faith Obazuaye of Nigeria hits a return to Australia’s Andrea McDonnell during their women’s singles table tennis game at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Oxenford Studios venue in Gold Coast on April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO

Ajayi Olubode, Head Coach of Ekiti Table Tennis Association (ESTTA) on Tuesday advised the state government to consider permanent welfare packages for outstanding players in the state.

Olubode said in Lagos that such packages were necessary following the state players achievements in major national and international table tennis championships.

He said that the introduction of welfare packages would also go a long way to encourage the players to do more for the state and the country at large.

“Our commitment to talent discovery and consistent training have produced competent players that have participated in various championships and brought honour to Ekiti and the country at large.

“Most of these players are still young and need all the motivation from the state government in order to identify with their successes as well as retaining them.

“Such welfare should be considered in the areas of employment and sustainable monthly allowances which will avoid loosing them to porchers, especially during major national championships,” he said.

He said that the juicy welfare given to existing players of the state, would go a long way to attract more youths to pick their sport career in table tennis.

The head coach said that the recognition and exploits of some notable players in championships should encourage the state government to make training environment attractive and motivating.

He said that ESTTA needs standard and permanent table tennis hall with kits for training activities to accommodate teeming players of the state.

“Table tennis is a trendy sport and it is making waves at all levels, upcoming players are also taking cognisance of the way the state welcomes and compensate victorious players.

“Presently, upcoming players are showing interest plus existing ones but we are faced with challenges of training hall and kits to enable us implement our programmes for these players,” he added.

Coach Olubode noted that Ekiti players have distinguished themselves and have always made remarkable impact in national championships, adding that Tosin Oribamise, African no 1 junior player and 2018 youth Olympics-bound Nigerian’s representative is a product of the state.

Also Bukola Ajayi 2018 award winner of the Most Valuable and Improved Player at just concluded national Junior League and Abayomi Animaseaun were all of Ekiti state indigenes. (NAN)

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