The Anambra Table Tennis Association has expressed concerns over the likely failure of the state in the sport at the upcoming National Sports Festival in Abuja.
The ATTA’s Technical Director, Bonny Akunna, expressed the worry in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Monday.
Akunna said that the association was not aware of the plans of the Anambra Sports Development Commission as it prepared for the sports festival.
The former Spain-based national table tennis player regretted that Anambra did not have a coach for the sport.
He told NAN that the sports commission had “refused’ ’to partner effectively with the ATTA in the search for budding grassroots talents that could be nurtured to prominence.
He said: “The association is afraid that the coming National Sports Festival may turn out to be another jamboree for Anambra.
“As the technical director of table tennis in Anambra, I want to tell Nigerians that we do not have a coach for the game in Anambra, and what that means is that somebody who neither played the game nor knows about it is in charge.
“You need a qualified coach with clear programme for training before you can win.
“But in Anambra, we have a footballer masquerading as table tennis coach, we don’t know the person they are parading in the Nigeria Table Tennis family, the sports commission should stop encouraging mediocrity.’’
Akunna added that the holiday programme which the association had wanted to organise for students between ages six and 13 could not hold because it did not get endorsement of the ASDC.
He said: “All we need is a telephone call or letter from the sports commission, but a director refused to give us the letter because, according to her, there is no letterhead.
“Anambra has huge potential in table tennis and the association wished that the state excels at the festival, it is not too late to correct the mistakes.’’
NAN reports that Team Anambra table tennis players crashed out in the first stage of all the competition at the recently concluded National Youth Games which held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State in September.