Oshonaike now ready to give back to Nigeria
Top Nigerian female table tennis player, Olufunke Oshonaike, believes now is the best time for her to give back to table tennis, which she admits, has taken her to places beyond her imagination.
Speaking during the just concluded Lagos Open Tennis Championship at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Oshonaike said: “I am ready. I have a lot of things to give back anytime Nigeria needs me. I am ready to give back to Nigeria, my country.”
Oshonaike, who frowned at the attitude of some young table tennis players to the game, said most of the younger ones are lazy and do not show enough dedication to the game, adding that all the did is to hustle for money instead of working hard to become better in the game.
“When you get there first, money will come. Some will not want to go to competition where they will be given only medals or certificates. But they forget that money will finish but your medals will remain, you have to become a champion first and get endorsement, money will come,” she said.
Reminiscing on her early days, the 40-year-old player said discipline, dedication and hard work preached by the coaches in those days day helped her get to the peak of her game.
“Our young players need to be dedicated to this game.There is a lot of indiscipline among them, which cannot help them. There are exceptions though, but I want these younger ones to know that without hard work and dedication, you will fizzle out in no time,” she added.
She commended Aruna Quadri for his efforts in personally sponsoring himself to competitions, saying the Portugal-based star’s attitude was responsible for his successes.
On the development of the Nigerian game, the multiple Olympian believes adequate assistance from the government; especially to help the players attend international competitions would expose the players’ growth, which in turn will lift the country back to the top in Africa.
She, however, commends the efforts the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) board for the provision of facilities, which will help lift the performance of the players.
“The Egyptians have taken the table tennis glory from us, but we can get it back. How do we get it back? By training hard, dedication and coming up with international competitions for the players,” She said.
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