By Patrick Obia
Nigeria female table tennis representative to the reversed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan, Asia, Offiong Edem, has said her dream is to see champions spring up in her community, Bayside, Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State.
She stated this at the climax of “Bayside Youths Street Table Tennis Tournament” by Offiong Edem Table Tennis Foundation, held at Native Court, Eton street, Bayside, Calabar South LGA, where young people were trained on the art of playing table tennis.
Offiong who is based in Madrid, Spain said she came down to her community to give back to her root and help young talents aspiring to make a career in sports, achieve their dreams at all cost.
While reiterating that she will represent the State and county well in the forthcoming tournament said: “I’m using table tennis as a tool to impact into the life of young talented children in my community, Bayside, Calabar South Local Government Area. I don’t want a situation were table tennis will end with me.
“We have a whole lot of young players here which I’m using table tennis to speak with private sponsors, Table Tennis Governing Bodies to help them because these children are good.”
The Efik daughter who is only the female to fly the Nigerian flag in the table tennis category in Japan, when the international multi-sport event scheduled to hold from 23 July to 8 August 2021 commence, beckoned on parents and guardians to make their children available as there will be massive talent hunt from next edition of the event.
“For them, I will say, let them come into sports because through sports they will go a long way. It is very easy but some of the children are very shy. When I was speaking to them about coming to the stadium to practice this and learn something, they were very shy but they should come out of their comfort zone and learn something; there is so much to benefit in sports.
“I just wanted to do something for my community people but, next year, it is going to be for the children because I want this children to grow up and to embrace a whole lot, not just growing up and feel life is difficult; a lot of them play without shoes.
“When they come into sports, they will learn and understand a whole lot. I want to make it strictly for children because we are going to do talent hunt and that will be next year. Like I told them if you know you have a child and you want to push them through sport, we will be here, I personally will be here to push them.
“I have told everybody in my community for them to start learning little by little; they can also come to the Stadium, the door is open to them because I want to encourage them, I want somebody to come out from here also to become a champion. That is the reason for this project.” The Chief Executive Officer of Offiong Edem Foundation said.
She expressed gratitude to those who supported her for the successful event.
Highpoint of the event was prize presentation in the following order:
₦40,000 for first prize, ₦20,000 for second prize, ₦10, 000.00 to both third and fourth winners. ₦5,000 was given to the fifth, sixth, seventh and eight runner-ups.
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