Help has come the way of young table tennis prodigies, Musa and Mustapha Mustapha as the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, yesterday adopted the young players, less than two weeks after Daily Trust published an exclusive interview granted by their father, Engineer Mustapha Saheed, in which he called on government to take over the sponsorship of his sons.
Adopted along with the Mustapha brothers was another table tennis champion, Usman Okanlawon.
The players were led to the Minister by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Table Tennis Federation of Nigeria, Engineer Ishaku Tikon.
While adopting the trio, Dare reiterated government’s commitment to supporting the immensely talented young players through the Talent Hunt Programme to enable them win more laurels for Nigeria.
He said the adaptation of the players into the fold of the Table Tennis Federation is very important as they would be sponsored to attend international tournaments that would expose them and sharpen their skills.
‘‘We are excited because our emphasis on other sports is paying off. I’m excited and thrilled that Nigerian athletes are performing excellently.
“Nigeria is proud of your performance which is an indication that our grassroots sports development is yielding results.
‘‘The Talents Hunt Programme of the Ministry will adopt and support the Mustapha brothers and Usman Okanlawon. They will be supported anytime they are to take part in competitions. They will be closely monitored so that they can continue to excel’’.
The Caretaker Chairman of the Table Tennis Federation, Engineer Ishaku Tikon expressed delight that the Minister’s talent hunt programme was already yielding results.
He also thanked the Minister for lending the necessary support to table tennis and other sports.