Association Explains Weekly Tennis Championships


The Ondo State Table Ten
nis Association has said that its “Every Saturday Championship’’ was purposely to prepare players ahead of national and international competitions.
The Head Coach of the association, Dotun Omoniyi, told newsmen that the weekly championship was also to constantly evaluate the players.
“The essence is to know how prepared the players are whenever they are needed for both national and international assignments.
“We are encouraging the sport at the grassroots by ensuring that there is a championship every Saturday in the state.
“They go to school Monday to Friday and train after school; we do not want the training to be in vain before any national competition comes up.
“The championship is like a pre-requisite to check the fitness and composition level of the state’s team.
“We are not waiting for competitions to approach before preparing.’’
According to him, cash prize attached to the weekly programme also makes it even more competitive.
“The cash prize of N20, 000, N15,000 and N7,500 for the first three winners boys and girls each is just to encourage the players.
“The cash prize is also to further enhance their interest in the sport,’’ he said.
Omoniyi noted that the state was currently dominating in table tennis and that it did not intend dropping the pace it was moving.
He said that Onaolapo Ojo of Ondo State, emerged champion at the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Pilot League, held in March at the National Stadium, Lagos.
He added that the boys’ singles finalists at the Toyin Okenla-Ojeaga Championships, also held in March in Lagos were from Ondo State.
“Amadi Umeh defeated Sunday Akomolafe at the final.
“Practice makes perfect and constant engagement is the way forward for table tennis,’’ Omoniyi said.
Omoniyi was part of the NTTF contingent to the just-concluded Africa Junior/Cadet Championships and Junior Olympic Qualification Series, held in Cairo, Egypt.