The players listed by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the 2017 ITTF African Junior Championships holding in Tunisia from April 9 to 15, have pleaded with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung not to let them miss out from this year’s World Junior Championships and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
The players who are expected to depart for Tunisia this weekend for the championship said that their dream of making it to the top in Africa may be threatened if they failed to be part of the championship which serves as qualifiers for the World Junior Championship and the 2018 YOG in Argentina.
Already the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) through the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) has confirmed Nigeria and 10 others for the championship. The players have also been under training for the championship at the National Stadium in Lagos.
The NTTF is yet to secure the needed fund for the team to embark on the trip from the sports ministry as it was learnt that funds are not available for the trip.
Some of the players said that making the championship would help them to follow the footsteps of their role models like Aruna Quadri and Olufunke Oshonaike.
Meanwhile, former national junior champion, Olajide Omotayo has advised the players to make use of the opportunity to prove themselves.
“My advice to the players is that they should play what they have practiced in training and they should not copy what they see at the competition venue. They should also play without fear, listen to what the coaches tell them to do and take time to study their various opponents. But the most important is staying focus whenever they are in the court and I wish them the best of luck,” he said.