It was fanfare galore as winners emerged at the Prince Dapo Abiodun Table Tennis Closed Championship concluded on Thursday at Alake Sports Complex, Ijeja, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The two days event organised by Ogun State Sports Council (OGSSC) led by the Director of Sports, Mrs Folakemi Oluwarotimi Iyabode, was supported by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Oluwadare Kehinde to commemorate the two years anniversary of Governor Abiodun in office.
In the cadet girls single category, Kareem Karimot from Premier Grammar School, Abeokuta emerged winner after defeating Babatunde Busola from Catholic Comprehensive High School in the final.
Adebowale Janet of Igbore High School and Adetunji Damilola from Premier Grammar School placed joint third.
Similarly, the cadet boys cadre saw Bamgboye Joseph of Catholic Comprehensive High School, Abeokuta claiming the first prize while the second place went to Obadele Ayobami of Glorious College, Abeokuta. Just as Femi Ogunjobi of Kayofunmi School and Roqeeb Bisiriyu of African Grammar School settled for third place.
Popoola Mariam from Ebenezer Grammar School, Abeokuta won the first place in the junior girls singles, with Yekini Yetunde of Command Secondary Schools Abeokuta taking the second place while Karimot Kareem (Premier) and Busola Babatunde (Catholic) won joint third.
Likewise, in the junior boys singles category, Adeyemi Olamide of St. John Private School, Kuto, was victorious over Akanbi Ebenezer of NUD High School, Isabo. Bamgboye Joseph (Catholic) and Friday Destiny from Ijemo Titun High School were third.
In the same vein, the novelty match between the SSG and commissioner witnessed an overwhelming performance from SSG, who displayed his artistry skills and speed on the table.
However, in his votes of thanks, Prince Abiodun represented by the SSG thanked the organizers and everyone that contributed to the success of the program, and congratulated all the winners. He also advised the younger ones to adhere to their coaches instructions.
He further implored everyone to spend more time on sports. According to him: “I think it is also good to organize professional matches, as sports makes you feel youthful again both in mind which reflect in your body.
He made known that sports especially table tennis has been his passion since childhood which he still enjoy till present.
Prior to this, the Director of Sports, Mrs Folakemi Iyabode Rotimi in her speech said “To us as an organization, this event is not only to celebrate the two years in office of our sport loving governor; His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun, but also to celebrate the two years of a wonderful and excellent working relationship with Mr. Governor.
“Right from the inception of this administration, the governor has been showing an uncommon passion and a tremendous support for the sports industry in the state. Judging from the arrays of programmes and policies that were already being worked upon for the betterment of the sports industry in the state.
“Among many other laudable initiatives of this administration are the Sports Trust Fund, and the Sports Commission Bills. We are very hopeful that by the time all these come to reality, the sky will not be the limit of what we can achieve.
“Another important support we got from this administration was in the area of funding, during our preparation and participation at the just concluded National Sports Festival that was held in Edo State.
“Every member of the state contingent to the festival could attest to the fact that the welfare packages that was given to us was superb. And to a very large extent we were all motivated to give our best at every competition that we featured.
“We will like to use this opportunity to thank our amiable governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and like the proverbial Oliver Twists, we are still looking forward to see more of such patronage and support from him and we will continue to reciprocate the good gesture by always giving our best at every opportunity that we have to represent the state.”
She further applauded the sports commissioner, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun. “We extend our appreciation to the our commissioner, Dr. Kehinde for his support and well mannered administrative style.
“He has always been there for us. Whenever we have cause to call on him for anything, even at a very short notice, he will make himself available for us and he will be ready to go to an extra mile to assist us.
“A very good example of such instances was his physical presence at the just concluded Edo national sports festival in Benin City. His presence did not only provide the desire leadership that we needed at that point in time, it also served as morale booster and a motivating factor to our team.”
Meanwhile, other dignitaries at the final event were: Commissioner for Local and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Afolabi Afuwape; Commissioner for Transport, Engr. Gbenga Dairo, represented by Engr. Tosin Akinleye; Special Assistant to Governor on Youths and Sports, Hon. Olamide Lawal as well as all the management staff of Ogun State Sports Council.