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NSF '18: Opening Ceremony Was Very Embarrassing – Funke Oshonaike

German-based Nigerian Tennis Player, Funke Oshonaike, explains why she found the opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival going on in Abuja very embarrassing.

Oshonaike started her playing career on a street in Shomolu, Lagos State, in the early 1980s at a very young age / Photo credit: ITTF World tour event.
Oshonaike started her playing career on a street in Shomolu, Lagos State, in the early 1980s at a very young age / Photo credit: ITTF World tour event.

Six-time Olympian, Funke Oshonaike, shares her thoughts on the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival currently going on in Abuja. Excerpts...

What are your set goals at this Sports Festival?

Every athlete or player coming for a competition is after winning it and mine won't be an exception. I will however take it one game after the other until the final.

Could you say you are disappointed with the turnout of fans on the opening day?

That will be an understatement. It was so sad because it used to be a big event in the past. After the March pass of the states, nothing really happened again which made the opening ceremony very boring.

It was so sad because it used to be a big event in the past. After the March pass of the states, nothing really happened again which made the opening ceremony very boring.

What do you think should have been put in place to attract fans?

The thing is sports and entertainment go hand in hand, and performance by one or two key artists in the country would have made the fans to come to the stadium and also wait till the end because they will be entertained by the artists and also the athletes.

Any other disappointments for you on the opening day?

I will say the issue of lightning of the festival touch. I was informed that Chika Chukwumerije (Taekwondo) and myself would be doing that, but suddenly we just saw the light. It was so embarrassing and the glamour was not there at all.

I was informed that Chika Chukwumerije (Taekwondo) and myself would be lightening the touch but suddenly we just saw the light. It was so embarrassing and the glamour was not there at all.

What can you say about the facilities?

I can only talk about table tennis. Top class players, international umpires and good crowd. However the lights in the hall are not good likewise the floor, too slippery and that might affect the performance of the players.

Why are you representing Akwa Ibom and not Ogun or Lagos State.

There are so many young athletes in Ogun State and I won't want to affect their development, and Akwa Ibom State have been good to me.

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