Not less than 103 primary and secondary schools in Cross River State are participating in the 2017 Calabar Open Table Tennis Championship holding at the Sports Hall of the famous, Hope Waddel Training Institute, Calabar.
The events have been holding from Feb. 8 to Feb. 11.
The three-day Championship, sanctioned by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) is bankrolled by Royal International Farms and Estates Ltd, Triple Star Printing Press Ltd and First Royal Micro Finance Bank Ltd.
Only last week the same companies sponsored a weeklong maiden Calabar Open Taekwondo Championship.
The Championship formally commenced on Wednesday when the chairman of Cross River Sports Council, Orok Duke and representative of the state commissioner for sports, praised commitment of the sponsors toward sports development in the state.
As part of the opening ceremonies, an exhibition match was staged between two young national champions, Charles Etim of Government Secondary, Barracks Road, and Orok Etim of Government Secondary School, Akim.
Etim had won gold medals at National School Sports Festival, Port Harcourt 2013, Ogun 2014 and Benue 2015.
According to Duke the state dominated the game in the country for 18 years.
He added that it was on account of those previous successes that prompted the Royal International Farms and Estates Ltd., in bankrolling the event.
He said that aim was to discover new talents to succeed the likes of Offiong Edem and Cecilia Otu-Akpan who are already African champions.
Usen Umoh, the General manager, Royal International Farms and Estates Ltd., said their deep involvement in sports was to give back to the society and empower the youths in order to help discourage them from taking to crime.
Before the Championship proper, the sponsors had donated complete set of one Joola 5000 table tennis board, 8 packs of Das table tennis balls, two pairs table tennis rubber. ##