Bayo Abubakar wins NUJ Inter-Chapel Table Tennis championship in Ilorin

NUJ logo
Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ logo [Photo credit: nuj.org.ng]

Bayo Abubakar of Sobi FM and Aminat Babatunde of the National Pilot Newspapers are the winners of this year’s edition of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) / Henry George Inter-Chapel Championship, which concluded Tuesday at the NUJ press center, Ilorin.

Bayo Abubakar defeated Yinka Ajia of State Information Chapel 3-0 to win the men’s event.

Babatunde won the women’s competition after defeating Nusirat Popoola 2-1 of Kwara TV.

Mosulmola Ayobami of the Correspondents Chapel won the third prize in the women’s competition, while Biodun Sinmire of the Federal Information Chapel and Biola Azeez of the Correspondents Chapel won third place in the Men’s category.

NAN reports that 12 chapels had participated in individual events for men and women.

Umar Abdulwahab, chairman of Kwara NUJ, said the contest was organised as part of the current Press Week for state journalists.

He added that the contest, which began in 2014, allows journalists to interact despite their busy schedules.

Tournament sponsor Oladimeji Thompson congratulated NUJ for submitting the contest and SWAN for allowing him to participate as a sponsor.

Mr Oladimeji, who said he was happy to be the sponsor, said he would still support NUJ and SWAN in their state activities.

Alloy Chukwuemeka, a former SWAN national officer, also congratulated NUJ and SWAN for their efforts.

Muhammed Rabiu and Olayinka Alaya, respectively chairman and secretary of the 2019 Press Week Committee, said the contest was part of the activities of the 2019 Kwara Press Week NUJ.

The committee stated that the competition was sponsored by a sponsor and honorary member of the Kwara Section of the Association of Sports Writers of Nigeria (SWAN), Oladimeji Thompson.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that Thompson is also the CEO of Henry George Construction Company Limited.

“The Committee is pleased to partner with SWAN to organize this competition to strengthen the working relationship between journalists and keep them fit.

“In addition, NUJ thanks our sponsor for identifying with the union and we hope to strengthen our working relationship,” the committee said in its statement.

He revealed that Thompson would be the special guest of honor at the end of the contest on October 8 at the NUJ Press Center in Ilorin. The competition also witnesses sports betting and online casino by onlookers.

In a similar vein, a community newspaper based in Lagos, Somolu Newspaper, in collaboration with Badallion Communications, has announced plans to organize a three-day “Catch them Young” table tennis championship.

The competition entitled “Somolu U-15 table tennis championship” aims to discover and train young talented table tennis players, organizers in Lagos said.

The newspaper’s editor/competition organizer, Sheriff Bada, said the event will take place from August 30 to September 1. “The Table Tennis Championship will be held at Mobolaji Johnson Indoor, Rowe-Park, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos, and will bring together young players from the metropolis of Lagos.

“The measure has become necessary to get more budding talent and reduce social vices that have affected the community in recent times. “It will also bring fame and fortune to the players, the community, the states and the country in general.

“There is no doubt that we still have names like According to Toriola, Aruna Quadri, Funke Oshonaike, Jide Omotayo, Ahmed Adeleye, Sunday Odukoya waiting to be discovered and we are ready to do so,” he said.

Bada added that the tournament would also help find those that fill the gaps of the old table tennis payers.

“We must not forget that some of these table tennis players are aging and need to be replaced.

“History tells us that the Somolu community has produced more table tennis players than any other local government in the country.

“We are happy with this album. With this in mind, we plan to keep up for many years.

“Even now, 70% of the national table tennis players come from Somolu. All these are great achievements for us in the community,” he said.

Bada said it was no longer surprising that the national table tennis team represented Nigeria in the Olympic Games more than any other sport combined.

“Table tennis stars like Funke Oshonaike will attend the Olympic Games for the sixth time, while Segundo Toriola will represent the country for the eighth time.

“These are thex records that no African country, with the exception of Nigeria, can boast.”

“Around the world, no European or Asian player in the men’s category can match the record of Segundo Tortola if they qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“He will accomplish a remarkable feat as an African player and second ping-pong personality behind the Chinese women’s table tennis legend Wang Nan in the history of the ping-pong game,” he said.

Bada said the contest was open to sponsors, which would help encourage players.

“We are also open to sponsors of corporate organizations to provide support and attention to football in table tennis. “Such sponsorships in table tennis and other sports are welcome to develop other sports,” he said.

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