Cross River State government’s determination to get young raw talents from the grassroots to boost its sports sector is gradually yielding positive results as 14 young men and women emerged winners at a table tennis tournament in Calabar, weekend.
Our reporter who monitored the 2-day table tennis challenge, held at the U.J.Esuene Stadium, Calabar, said the event was organised by the Cross River State Table Association in collaboration with Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
Speaking shortly after the event, the Vice Chairman of Cross River Table Tennis Association, Mr Usen Umo said the event was part of the State government’s efforts to catch raw talents in table tennis and other sports while they were still young.
Mr Umoh said Cross River State was lucky to have produced Table Tennis Champions like Offiong Edem who is now playing professional in Italy, and that the catch them young gesture was also aimed at curbing youths restiveness in Calabar municipal council and its environ by getting young people busy in sporting activities.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Cross River state council, Comrade Nsa Gill, lauded the State government for the gesture and urged them to make the tournament and other talent hunt activities regular.
Comrade Gill said the State Council of the NUJ was ready to partner with the State Table Tennis Association to ensure the event remained part of sporting calendar in Cross River
PillarToday reports that cash prizes and assorted gift items were splashed on the winners in what organised said was to boost their capacity.
Those who won different prizes were Bright Joel, Akabom Ekpo, and Victor Sunday for the Elite Men Single, while Hope Udoaka and Vivian Ekpeyong came on top for the Elite Women single.
For the Cadet singles, Daniel Ekok, Samuel Eze and Victor Daniel took the day while Cadet girls category had Esther Ekok, Ela Ogabu and Precious Edem a winners.
Victor Edem, Jim Victory and sylvanus Irukwu emerged victorious in Boys Singles.