Joseph Odobeatu, the Executive Director, Lagos-based O’Jez Fast Foods and Restaurant, on Sunday in Lagos said he has renewed his sponsorship of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).
Odobeatu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) this was to help the federation in its preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games scheduled for April at Gold Coast in Australia.
He added that he was fully out to identify with the sport’s development, especially in its build-up for the Games.
NAN reports that the O’Jez and Friends Open Table Tennis Championships, sponsored by Odobeatu, was held on Saturday at the National Stadium in Lagos.
“I love sports and one of my favourites is table tennis which I play very well. This has been the reason I sponsor the sport, in order to identify with players and its general growth.
“Although, my sponsorship has not been regular due to some circumstances, but this time around, I am back because I believe that my little contribution counts.
“Also, I have used the preparations for this year’s Commonwealth Games to do what I have been doing, because this is the time the players need the support which will enhance their preparations,” the sponsor said.
“The players and their coaches are doing the needful in camp, but I believe they need regular active competition like this to balance training and motivate them.
“It will also help them to be in top shape to face the bigger challenges as I understand that the foreign-based players will be part of the final trials.
“While the players are desirous of making the team for the games, the NTTF also wants to get the best that will make us proud at the Games,” Odobeatu said.
He urged players and coaches presently in camp to be focused in their preparations ahead of the final phase of the trials programme which would later involve foreign-based players.
Nasiru Bello, NTTF’s National Coach, while commending Odobeatu for his assistance in the build-up to the Games, said his support has come in handy.
Bello said the players were exited to be in the competition, and it has served as an avenue for the coaching crew to evaluate the players who had resumed camp in December.
“We really appreciate the support from O’Jez, because we really need competitions now to regularly assess players and improve their form for the task ahead.
“He (Odobeatu) even went the extra mile to make cash prizes available, just to help the players. But they are happier with taking part in the championships, which is vital,” he said.
NAN reports that Gold Coast 2018 is an international multi-sports event for Commonwealth nations, and will hold from April 4 to April 15.