Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Table Tennis Chief Coach, Olubode Ajayi, has solicited for the provision of sports facilities and equipment for players in the state.
Ajayi wants an indoor hall, table tennis board, bats and balls among others to be provided for players in the state as part of the drive to make Ekiti a force in the sport in the country.
Speaking on table tennis in the state during a working visit by the Exco of Ekiti State SWAN to the training ground at SUBEB office in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, he confirmed that Ekiti with eight international players has no good hall for training.
He urged philanthropist to come to the aid of the sport.
Coach Ajayi who led Team Nigeria’s Under-13 players to ITTF’s Cadet Challenge outside the country called on the state and federal government to give moral support to the players because most of the international competition they have attended are self-sponsored.
He called on government at the federal level to shift focus from football to other sports in the country for even development.
Chairman of Ekiti State SWAN, Mr. Deji Ogunsakin, whose trip to the training ground was part of activities marking the 53 years anniversary of SWAN in Nigeria, encouraged table tennis players in the state to be focused and discipline so that they can achieve their ambition in life.
The SWAN chairman pointed out that the visit was to motivate the players and their coaches to action and to thank them for putting the state on the world map. He commended all the players who have represented the state as world champions.
He said: “Take your education very serious, be studious and be discipline”, the body later presented a gift of “ping pong” balls to the players as a token of love from SWAN members to them.
Among the Ping Pong players who took time to play with SWAN members included Abayomi Animashaun, who is No. 2 ranked in the world in the Under-13 Category is also Africa’s number 1 player. Others include Oribamishe Tosin, Akinwande Ojo, Sunday Odunola, Bukola Ajayi, Apata Amos and Dada Taiwo.