After years of absence from the National Sports Festival (NSF), international table tennis star Funke Oshonaike says her return and participation in the Festival’s 19th edition is to inspire young talents.
Oshonaike, who is representing Akwa Ibom at the 2018 edition, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that she is targeting winning a gold medal in the singles event.
NAN reports that the 19th NSF got underway on Thursday in Abuja.
“I am very eager to participate here because I think my last appearance at the NSF was in 1989 in Lagos.
“But I am here to inspire the young ones, play with them because most of them don’t get the opportunity to play with me since I am usually out of the country.
“I am also here to win a gold medal for Akwa Ibom,” she said on Thursday in Abuja.
The African champion however urged governments and corporate bodies to properly harness talents discovered at the festival, saying she “had benefited from such opportunities’’.
Meanwhile, the commencement of the table tennis events in the able, para and deaf categories scheduled for Thursday has been postponed till Friday.
The events were scheduled to take place at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium.
NAN reports that the 19th NSF scheduled to begin Thursday and end on December 16 will feature 37 sports.