Friday, January 21, 2022
MARKET UPDATE

TheCable

Advertisement

INTERVIEW: My election as ITTF VP an endorsement of Nigeria’s strides in table tennis, says Oshodi

INTERVIEW: My election as ITTF VP an endorsement of Nigeria’s strides in table tennis, says Oshodi
November 28
08:34 2021

Wahid Enitan Oshodi recently made history as the second Nigerian to be elected vice-president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). In this interview with TheCable’s REMI SULOLA, Oshodi speaks about his electoral success, what the victory means to him, what he hopes to achieve in the new position, and his plans for improving the quality of the game in Africa.


When you first decided to run for ITTF vice-president, how high did you rate your chances? 

The plan to run came from promptings by a lot of people in other federations that I had interacted and worked with in the ITTF over the last few years. Our hosting and organisation of various events in Nigeria had shown that we had the needed skills to grow our sport. A lot of the African federations believed I could help at the top level and so we moved ahead with our plans.

How does your victory feel? 

Advertisement

A bit overwhelming to be honest. We had done our homework and there was fantastic unity within our continent and this encouraged our friends across the world to support Africa’s two candidates. We hoped to win but it was really heartwarming to poll the kind of numbers we did. It really was an endorsement of the work we have been doing in the sport in the last few years.

What improvement in African table tennis do you plan to drive with your new position? 

Advertisement

Two major plans are youth development and creating top-class events across the continent. Africa has a lot of fantastic young players and we need to help them develop their skills and grow to become top players. We have been doing this for a while but this position will assist greatly in sourcing resources to assist these young boys and girls in their development. We must continue to produce top events that will attract the best players to come to Africa.

There’s been a dearth of young female Nigerian players in recent years. What is the cause and how can it be rectified? 

The NTTF has a lot of work to do in this regard. There are various problems militating against girls playing. We are lagging behind Egypt Algeria and a few other countries. The NTTF is working hard to fast-track the development of some young girls who we discovered in our tournaments earlier this year. There is no way around it. We must start to create more opportunities for these youngsters to play at an early age. This will help the coaches in setting out programmes for their development. The NTTF is on the right track but more funding needs to be found to do this work.

Nigerian-based table tennis players often complain that there aren’t enough competitions to keep them at the level needed to compete with their peers around the world. What is being done to change this?

Advertisement

These are issues of funding the game locally. The federal and state governments can’t fund all events, so we need to work harder in seeking alternative funding for competitions. This is the only way we can develop our own events. Funding is hard because of the economic situation but the federation must seek more partners that can help to sponsor our events and the players’ training. I believe we will start to see more as the economy starts to improve.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment