The President, Nigeria Table-tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, on Saturday said that the body would shift attention to capacity building of promising female table-tennis players.
Tikon gave the insight in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing Summer Sporting programme tagged ‘Awaken the Giant, She Can 3.0.’
NAN reports that `Awaken the Giant, She Can 3.0’ is a free, three-week summer table-tennis and mentorship clinic for girls, starting from the age of five.
The programme, holding at the Knock-up Hall, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in partnership with Nigeria Table-tennis Federation, as well as Additional Plus Sports and Education (APSE), has over 50 girls in attendance.
Tikon said that the federation was ready to identify with private initiatives aimed at the development of the game.
“The Board of the NTTF is delighted to embrace and sustain this life changing initiative “Awaken the Giant, She Can 3.0” organized under the platform of ITTF My Gender , My Strength.
“For us in NTTF, it is time to focus more on developmental programs for the girl child and the women by supporting the State Sports Councils/ Commissions across 36 States of Nigeria.
“Area of focus will be more on initiating and supporting age grades programs to empower more girls through table-tennis without leaving out the national players and professionals.
“More attention will also be given to capacity building of promising female table-tennis players to national and international training, camps, tours and competitions,” he said.
Tikon stated that the ITTF, as part of a long plan policy had set up plans towards ensuring that its athletes were well prepared for retirement.
“We will also ensure that we prepare our athletes for retirement, build capacity in the area of coaching and officiating.
“We will also ensure that we give more women opportunity to officiate at national and international competitions.
“I want to appreciate the National Coordinator and ITTF-Africa Women’s Committee Secretary, Oluwaseun Nariwoh, for her commitment to the success of the program.
“Special thanks to the ITTF executives for the platform and financial support to be able to meaningfully engage our girls at this critical period and we hope to replicate in other States of the Federation,” he said. (NAN)