Olufunke Oshonaike, the most successful female table tennis player in Africa, is set to organise a clinic for young Nigerian players.
According to Oshonaike, the essence of the 10-day camping exercise is to inspire and motivate the players to be passionately committed to the sport.
“I love table tennis and the sport has given me all I need in life. Apart from the fame, I have made some fortune from the sport. All these were made possible because I was committed to the sport and this made it possible for me to achieve all I needed.
“Unfortunately these days, the Nigerian players are frustrated because of lack of exposure and this has discouraged most of them.
“I am hopeful that the clinic will help to re-launch them back to the track and I want to use the opportunity to inspire and also help them with some equipment that will aid them in training.
“I really want to focus on the female players because we have not been producing top female players like before and I hope that after telling them my story, they will be encouraged to aim high in the sport,” she said.
The six-time Olympian believes the gesture will surely give the players hope that with discipline and hard work, they can reap from their efforts in the sport.
“I believe when top players like us organise such programme for the young players, they can be inspired and motivated to take a cue from us.”
“I am hoping to arrive in Lagos, Nigeria on February 24 for the clinic that will begin on February 25 and end on March 5 at the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Training Centre of the Lagos National Stadium,” she added.
Over 20 players made up of 11 girls and nine boys have been shortlisted by the NTTF for the 10-day training exercise.
Oshonaike was a three-time finalist in the women’s singles event of the African Games and she’s also the only player to have won the women’s singles title back-to-back, in 1999 and 2003.