The President of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, said yesterday that they were going to turn their attention to building the capacity of promising female table tennis players.
Tikon spoke at the ongoing Summer Sporting program titled “Awaken the Giant, She Can 3.0,” a free three-week summer table tennis and mentorship clinic for girls five and older.
The programme, held at the Knock-up Hall, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in partnership with the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, as well as Additional Plus Sports and Education (APSE), has over 50 girls in attendance.
Tikon said the federation is ready to identify with private initiatives aimed at the development of the game. “We are delighted to adopt and support this initiative. For us, it is time to focus more on development programs for girls and women by supporting state athletic commissions in all 36 states.
“More emphasis will be placed on initiating and supporting age programs to empower more girls through table tennis without omitting national players and professionals. More attention will also be given to capacity building promising table tennis players in training, camps, tours and national and international competitions,” he said.
Tikon said the ITTF, as part of a long-term policy, had plans in place to ensure its athletes were well prepared for retirement. “We will also make sure to prepare athletes for retirement, build capacity in the area of coaching and officiating. We will also ensure that more women are given the opportunity to officiate at national and international competitions. We are happy to be able to hire young girls at this time and hope to replicate this in other states of the federation,” he said.