16 Sep 2018

Located in West Africa, for seven days from Friday 31st August to Thursday 6th September, the Youth Centre in Cotonou, the capital of Benin, was the host for training camp aimed at igniting interest in table tennis amongst young people.

Overall 50 boys and girls aged from seven to 15 years attended; Wilson Lionel Gbian, Dine Wakilou, and Monday Olabiyi, who had recently returned from China having spent two years in the country to improve his table knowledge, were the coaches on duty.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer

The camp, according to Ferdinand Sounou, the President of the Benin Table Tennis Federation was organised in collaboration with Hope by Sports, a non-governmental organisation; the initiative was aimed at teaching the children the fundamentals of the sport in a bid to spur their interest.

“This was the perfect opportunity for children to discover a racket and for the first time learn the fundamentals in order to later become great table tennis players. The goal of the camp was to give children under 15 years old, the desire to play table tennis, learn sound technical skills and be motivated to continue enjoying the sport.” Ferdinand Sounou

Most certainly the response was positive and most encouraging.

“They were young table tennis players who played well and who showed a willingness to learn. We tried to give each player the same level of attention; that was a goal of our camp.” Dine Wakilou

Most importantly, Ferdinand Sounou wishes to see such activities take place in other areas of the country. He invited parents who have children in this age range to encourage their sons and daughters to play table tennis.

“If and when an area has such an idea of for training, the federation will support and make such an initiative possible.” Ferdinand Sounou

A splendid initiative; no doubt more will follow.

General News Ferdinand Sounou Wilson Lionel Gbian Monday Olabiyi Dine Wakilou