Cross River State Table Tennis Association (CRSTTA) will, today, flag off a two-day talent hunt programme at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, aimed at discovering young, talented players in the state.
It is the second edition of the Edim Inok Table Tennis Championship, which the association is holding in collaboration with Cross River Paper Commission.
According to the association’s Head Coach, Richard Edem, the tournament has four categories, including, men’s singles, women’s singles, junior boys’ singles and cadet singles.
Edem appealed to parents, whose wards are interested in the sport, to support them with equipment, which, he said, are expensive.
“If we want to encourage the players as a commission, we can buy extra rackets to aid their practice when they come around.
“When the children come for training, we expect them to come with their personal kit, which they cannot share with others due to the peculiarity in persons, style of play and preference,” he said.
Also speaking, competition sponsor, Mr. Edim Inok, said he, as a table tennis lover and a beneficiary from sponsorships during his time as a player, is trying to set a precedence for others to support the sport in the state.
“It is not right that in Cross River, we expect government to do everything… if you are a lover of a particular sport, we can do something ourselves.
“In 1981, I represented this state in Port Harcourt in table tennis and badminton and also at Oluyole ‘79. These competitions were all sponsored by individuals and corporate organisations,” he said
Inok added that for the sports to grow, the nation needs to catch the players young.