Cross River Targets New Taekwondo, T’Tennis Talents


Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Cross River State Sports Commission has announced plans to take participation of youths in taekwondo and table tennis to higher heights.

Chairman of the commission, Mr. Orok Duke, said to achieve the objective, the state has gone into partnership with the private sector to encourage youths to take to the games of Taekwondo and table tennis.

Speaking with journalists at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar last weekend, Duke said the state through the commission has gone into partnership with the Royal International Farms and Estates Limited for the first Calabar Open Taekwondo and Table Tennis championships.

Duke said the open taekwondo championship would hold between January 19 and 21 while the table tennis championship would hold from February 8 to 10.

The commission’s chairman said both events would take place in Calabar.

Duke said he was optimistic that at the end of both competitions new talents would be discovered and groomed to participate in national and international competitions.

Speaking on a broader perspective as it affects other sports, Duke solicited support from corporate organisations and individuals for the development of sports in the state.

Duke said the commission has identified 43 sports that would be promoted, adding that taekwondo and table tennis championships would be the starting points.

“It is obvious that government cannot do it alone, so, we appreciate any corporate body that offers assistance.

“The concentration of the sponsors of this taekwondo and table tennis championships is from the grassroots.

“We have already contacted the Akwa Ibom State Government which is willing to provide some of the materials needed,” Duke hinted.

Duke also announced some other sporting events lined up for between January and June this year, saying they include the Professor Ben Ayade Under-15 Football Championship, and Etubom Charles Duke Lawn Tennis Championship among others.

Speaking on behalf of the sponsors of the taekwondo and table tennis championship, General Manager, Royal International Farms and Estates Limited, Mr. Usen Umoh, said the events would positively engage talented youths.

Umoh said that budding stars and young talents are expected to participate at the taekwondo event while participants in the table tennis championship will be drawn from primary and secondary schools across the state.

“We intend to use the two championships to discover new sports talents in the state and groom them for national, continental and international glories,” Umoh said.