Players selected by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for this year’s ITTF African Junior Championships have appealed to Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung to help actualize their ambition of participating in next year’s world tournaments.
The African Championship fixed for Tunis between April 9 and 15 will serve as the qualifier for the World Junior Championships and Youth Olympic Games (YOG) billed for Argentina next year.
According to the players, their dream of climbing to the top hierarchy among the continent’s cadets would be threatened if they were denied participation in the African Championship, which is expected to feature 11 countries, including Nigeria.
The players are currently at the National Stadium in Lagos battling hard to keep themselves in top shape, while waiting for further directive on the trip, even as the NTTF has not secured the fund after its approval by Dalung.
The players in camp have said they hope to follow their role models like Aruna Quadri and Olufunke Oshonaike, following their exploits in the game both at the local and international levels.
While advising the players in the camp, former junior star, Olajide Omotayo has suggested they brace up for the new challenge in Tunis, adding that this is the time for them to exploit the chance the championship will provide for their career.
“These youngsters should bring to fore what they have been practicing and the instructions received during training. They should be focused and demonstrate confidence against any opponent that comes their way at the championship. I wish them best of luck in Tunis,” he said.