by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Member Relations Media Officer
On Friday 28th May, a beneficiary of the TableTennisUnited concept, Derek Abrefa gave support to school pupils in his native country; he visited the Good Citizen School in Nungua, Ghana’s 18th most populous settlement.
Abrefa, a Ghanaian table tennis international, not only empowered the pupils but also enlightened them on the need to make informed decisions in life.
The event held at the premises of the school was attended by the President of Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Mawuko Afadzinu; GTTA Women’s Co-ordinator, Efia Oforiwa Owusu-Agyei as well as Ghanaian television personality Vivian Elorm.
Over 100 female students were coached via the initiative named “Star Girl, Building the Female Dream through Sports”, the dignitaries on hand to encourage the students.
“Table tennis brings enormous benefits to athletes such as educational scholarships, career employment, health, and also guides youth into making informed decisions that would help them achieve a better future.” Derek Abrefa
Likewise, there was a positive response from Owusu-Agyei.
“Young girls are a great resource to every society. It is therefore my duty as GTTA Women’s Co-ordinator to ensure the safety and welfare of all female table tennis players. Table tennis is what made me who I am today, I am ready to impact and empower female players to enable them to reach the level I am now today.” Efia Oforiwa Owusu-Agyei
The reaction from Vivian Elorm was no different.
“A girl should be two things, who and what she wants. Growing in the field of my career as a journalist requires the ability to be vocal and confident in my daily routines. Table tennis helped me build that aspect of my boldness. Young females are to build that self-esteem and confidence in order for them to become active in society.” Vivian Elorm
Mawuko Afadzinu emphasized the importance of education while charging the pupils to take their academic studies seriously in order to attain greater height in society.
Headmistress of Good Citizen School, Mrs Josephine Mensah, teachers and parents of some of the selected students were also there to witness their wards showcasing their talents in an exhibition match during the programme. The headmistress was excited about the programme which coincided with World Hygiene Day while promising to set up a table tennis club in the school in a bid to unearth talent for Ghana, charging GTTA to provide coaches to assist in training the students.
Abrefa donated shirts, balls and rackets to the Good Citizen School which was received by the Headmistress of the school. The highlight of the event was an exhibition match involving 12-year-old pupil of the school, Juanita Bortele Bortei against Owusu-Agyei with the pupil coming out on top against the former Ghanaian international in the tie.