A Germany-based table tennis manufacturing company – Gewo has signed a three-year deal to kit Nigeria national teams (junior and senior) to major competitions across the globe.
The deal which was signed in Halmstad, Sweden by the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon and Gewo’s representative – Florian Wehner at the just concluded ITTF World Team Championships.
According to the deal, the Hamburg-based company would provide ITTF approved equipment for the duration of the contract (2018-2020) while 10 junior players will be supported with clothing, blades and rubbers. Also two Nigerian top players will have once in a year training camp in Europe with Gewo offsetting the expenses.
An excited NTTF boss described it as a step forward for the sport. “I am so excited about this contract and this is a result of the efforts our players have made at global level in recent times. We believe this will take away the burden of equipment from us and empower our players to play with the latest equipment in the sport. I hope that this will inspire our players to aim higher in order to attract more international companies to the sport,” Tikon said.
Nigeria’s Captain Segun Toriola admitted that the contract would help the national teams when it comes to equipment and kits to major tournaments.
“We hope that this is the beginning of good thing to come to table tennis in Nigeria. We are excited and we hope it will be a continuous alliance,” Toriola said.
For Gewo’s Wehner, the decision to sign contract with the NTTF was based on the quality of table tennis in Nigeria.
“We respect Nigeria and they are one of the best table tennis playing nations in the world. Their players are among the world’s best and for us at Gewo, we are the best and we want to be identified with the best. We would have loved to sign for more years but we believe that this is a start of a good thing ahead. We are at home with Nigerian players because they are polite and respectful and this for us are traits we want to be identified with in the world,” Wehner.
The Hamburg-based company is also kitting top playing nations like Serbia and Iran.