By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
To make the annual National Junior League competitive, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has placed N1m as prize money for the championship which serves off on July 27 at the National Stadium in Lagos.
According to breakdown of the prize money, the qualifying round would gulp N.5m with players expected to win cash prize each day of the competition.
The grand finale on August 4 which is expected to serve as a test run for the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open will see the top 16 boys and top 16 girls jostling for the N.5m for the one-day finale holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
For each day, the winners in the boys and girls events will get cash prize for their efforts while points garner during the qualifying tournament would aid their qualification for the grand finale.
The players are expected to arrive in Lagos on Thursday July 26 while matches for the qualifying tournament will serve off on Friday July 27. The qualifying tournament will end on August 2 for the top 16 boys and 16 girls to emerge for the August 4 grand finale.
Already, teams have started finalizing their registration for the nine-day tournament which also serves as selection of players for major championships.
For the President of NTTF, Ishaku Tikon, all arrangements have been concluded for a hitch-free tournament while 12 umpires has been named to handle proceedings at the championship.
“We are looking forward to see that Nigeria continues to be seen by the world as a table tennis hub in Africa and this is part of our target with the National Junior League which is to discover young talents that are hidden, bring them on board and develop them to face the challenge ahead. Table tennis on daily and yearly basis is moving in the world and we must be seen as moving together with the world,” the NTTF boss said.
The tournament is organized by NTTF in collaboration with WEO AllSports and supported by FCMB and Synerpet Limited.