A Table Tennis sensation, Tosin Oribamise, on Wednesday commended the Ekiti State University management for putting in place programmes that allowed university athletes to combine sports participation with academics.
Oribamise told our reporter on telephone from Ado-Ekiti that the institution made it easier for sportsmen and women in the university to combine schooling and pursuing their careers in sports.
“I would like to appreciate the school management for its undying support and encouragement for I and other sports men and women to combine our studies with sports participation.
“Since I gained admission into the school, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sam Oyenbandele, has been a father to me.
“He has been assisting me both in my schooling and in sports career. I was offered a scholarship that covers my costs for the first degree programme.
“The V-C sponsored my trip to Egypt for the World Cadet Challenge training camp and also financed my participation in other national competitions,’’ she said.
The 200-Level Human Kinetics and Health Education student said the lecturers in her department also show a lot of understanding towards her.
“Some times, while I’m away for tournaments, I miss some attendance; in fact sometimes I do miss some tests.
“But anytime I return, they give me special consideration in the area of attendance and also allow me to write the tests I missed,’’ she said.
Oribamise, however, appealed to the school management to assist her in preparing for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
“I will appreciate it if the university management can sponsor to some major international competitions, as part of my preparation for next year’s Youth Olympics.
“I want to start my own preparations ahead of the preparation by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation.
“Honestly I feel I am already behind in my preparation for the games. But it’s better late than never.
“It’s only with adequate preparations that I can do exceedingly well at the games, and I need all the support I can get.
“As it is now, the Sports Ministry has yet to come up with any programme for the YOG Games.
“My event is an individual game and I need to start preparation now, as I can’t continue to wait for the federation,’’ she said.
Our correspondent reports that Oribamise won two gold, one silver and two bronze at the World Junior and Cadet Circuit held in Egypt, this year.
The youth player also won one silver and three bronze medals at the Africa Junior Championships held in Algeria in 2016.
Oribamise, Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun, Egypt’s duo of Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Marwa Alhodaby, will represent Africa in the table tennis event at the YOG, scheduled for Argentina from Oct. 6 to Oct.12.