The players listed by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the 2017 ITTF African Junior Championships holding in Tunis on April 9 to 15, have pleaded with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung not allow them miss out from this year’s World Junior Championships and 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 fail to be part of the championship which serves as qualifiers for the World Junior Championship and 2018 YOG in Argentina.
Already the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) through the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) have confirmed Nigeria and 10 others for the championship while the players have also been warming up for the championship at the National Stadium in Lagos.
At it is NTTF is yet to secure the needed funds for the team to embark on the trip after the approval from the Minister, while 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 display 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.