The Assistant Director of Programmes at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Funke -Treasure Durodola, has announced a table tennis championship, a pet project aimed at empowering the girl-child.
The project, which is billed to commence by September 2018 in Ibadan, was initiated to help the girl-child upscale from poor family background through sports and empowerment sessions in life skills.
It is titled ‘Funke-Treasure Table Tennis Championship’ (F3TC).
According to a statement signed by Yomi Opakunle, Chairman, Media Publicity Committee, before the championship kickoffs, there will be a table tennis novelty match in Lagos and Ibadan with the theme: ‘Media for F3TC ‘ in August.
According to Durodola, the maiden edition will involve more than 100 students, launching them from School to Spotlight.
“We want to reduce the rate at which girls drop out after Junior Secondary level in schools.
“We want to keep them engaged through sports and give them the opportunity to use sports to create value for themselves and negotiate their continued stay in school.
“We hope to double this every year until we create a critical mass of awareness, informed and fearless girls who will mature into womanhood with knowledge and key skills,” she said.
Durodola further said that the empowerment sessions would address participants in financial literacy, drug, and reproductive health education including cervical cancer vaccination for all the girls and women.
“Besides creating awareness for F3TC, the aim will be to engage accomplished female media professionals, as championship ambassadors to support the girls” she said.
The Championship, which is in three categories, will have competitors from public and private schools in the 13 local government areas of Ibadan city, while the Basic Learners, aged between eight and ten years who cannot play the game will be picked randomly and mentored over a period of eight years to prepare them for global competition like the Olympics.
Also, girls will be trained as coaches to fit easily into the F3TC as well as the Tennis Federation in Oyo State, however F3TC will be working with Ms. Bosede Kaffo, a Level Two certificate coach (ITTF) and Sports and Exercise Analyst amongst others.
During the four-day programme, which includes a coaching clinic, the championship hopes to host, on a daily basis, about 145 girls in the three categories; 46 teachers/games masters, 10 coaches and 10 officials.