Foreigners carted away the top prizes at the just ended ITTF Nigeria Open, but Union Bank Table Tennis Club says it will soon change the situation by producing more quality players for the country.
Speaking at the weekend, head coach of Union Bank Table Tennis Club, Samson Ajayi said the Stallions will keep playing a leading role in the development of the sport, adding that it has in its camp young and skillful players, who will soon start rubbing shoulders with the best from anywhere in the world.
Ajayi said, “We were encouraged by the fact that two of our past players, Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun (Portugal-based) clashed in the quarterfinals of the men’s singles. As Abiodun won, we held our heads high because it was a Union Bank beat Union Bank or Nigeria beat Nigeria situation.”
Reflecting further, Ajayi said, “Our present players were also very impressive in various categories. It is exciting that Hassan Nurudeen got as far as round of 16 with the likes of Azeez Solanke, Augustine Emmanuel, Aina Alimat, Bose Odusanya and Limota Aregbesola got to the round of 32 and queuing for improved rankings soon.
“Surely Union Bank’s management has proved the best in Table Tennis development policy in the country. The total sports development programme produced Aruna Ouadri and Bode Abiodun. We are determined to do more after this ITTF Challenge in Lagos.”
An elated Ajayi, who revealed that Union Bank players will participate in a Junior Tennis Festival coming up soon, is soliciting more encouragement, better facilities and regular exposure for Nigeria to improve her profile in Table Tennis.