As one of the longest running sports tournaments in Africa, the 51st Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Cup is to serve off on Monday 25 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The tournament which has become the breeding ground for national players continued to attract young players across Lagos State and this year, the family of the initiator, Late Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas has promised to keep faith with the bankrolling of the championship.
Speaking at the press briefing to herald this year’s edition, Ayodeji Okoya-Thomas said this year would be the fifth edition without the initiator who passed on after the 46th edition in 2014.
“This of course will be the fifth, after 46 years that is not being addressed by the initiator and sole sponsor of the tournament, Sir Chief (Dr.) Molade Okoya-Thomas. One of his greatest wishes while alive was that the family should continue the sponsorship of the tournament after his demise. We would therefore like to give thanks to God for giving us the enablement to continue this noble legacy for the fourth year running since he was called to glory,” he said.
For this year, 24 titles will be at stake in three categories – cadet, junior and senior. “In line with the tradition of the championship, there will be cash and material prizes for the most valuable players in both male and female events.
Acknowledging the unwavering support the tournament has received since its inception in 1968, Okoya-Thomas said: “It is noteworthy to mention that in the past 50 years that this journey has gone on for, you have all stood by our father and the family, we earnestly appeal therefore that as we move forward in anticipation of many more years of the tournament, we continue to enjoy the same love and support.
He added: “I am most convinced that our sports loving Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will ensure that sports under his leadership in Lagos will experience a big growth. This year’s championship, the 51st in the series of uninterrupted sponsorship, is scheduled to hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium from Monday November 25 to 29, 2019.