Investment In Grassroots Tennis Pays Off For Ondo


The Ondo State Table Tennis Association has said in Akure
that the success story of the association is due to its massive investments in
grassroots talent hunt and school sports.

The association’s Vice Chairman, Yemi Dada, told newsmen
that its emphasis on the grassroots made it the leading association in
table-tennis in the country today.

“We recognise the importance of cultivating talents from the
grassroots, not only in table tennis, but in other sports as well.

“The grassroots is our association’s major target; we really
believe in the grassroots and it is showing from the results we are getting.

“Because of our belief in the grassroots, we believe that we
shall be able to maintain our first position in the sport at the 18th edition
of the National Sports Festival in November in Lagos.

“We do not believe in old players; that is why we do not buy
players in Ondo State and we hope to continue to top the medals table in table
tennis as far as the National Sports Festival is concerned.

“Old players will not play more than two seasons and will be
out of the stage, but a player in his youthful ages can play for many seasons.
That is the reason why we invest in them,” he said.

The Chairman commended the association’s coach, Dotun
Omoniyi, saying that he was the best grassroots coach in the country today,
when it comes to discovery and grooming of talents.

“He plays with the players, trains with them and he knows
their problems; that is the more reason why he was rated as one of the best by
the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF),” he said.