To ensure table tennis players blended their education with sports career, the Alakoro Table Tennis Academy says its daily training programme for players has been adjusted in line with school calendar.
The academy’s Head Coach, Nasiru Bello, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the training would henceforth hold at the National Stadium, Surulere, on Fridays after school hours.
It will also hold on Saturdays and Sundays, Bello said.
He said the modification became necessary because many of the players were in primary and secondary schools and were also interested in building their career in table tennis.
“The school holidays gave us an opportunity to train players that participated in our just-concluded comprehensive programme, organised to sharpen their skills and encourage them to achieve their career.
“Now that schools have resumed, we really want to identify with one of the visions of grassroots programme, especially in Lagos State, where academics and sports go together.
“We begin the training on Fridays because they close early and to also sustain the tempo of training we have set for them during the long vacation,’’ he said.
Bello said some of the players who took part in the programme had no technical knowledge of the sport, noting that their commitment had helped them to understand the basics.
According to him, the catch-them-young and developmental academy is approved by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).
“We had an impressive turnout in the holiday’s programme; initially, some of the participants couldn’t handle the bat.
“But at the end of the training, they were playing with ease,’’ the coach said.
He urged interested children to register with the academy to enable them to develop their career in the sport.