The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has listed Nigeria’s national U-21 champion, Taiwo Mati among the awardees of 2021 With The Future In Mind (WFIM) scholarship.
Mati is one of the two African players listed alongside Egypt’s Hana Good who is the world’s number one U-15 player in girls’ category.
A statement by the world table tennis body over the weekend said WIFM has been a core component of the Athletes Development Model since its inception, targeting prospects from all over the world in the pursuit of their Olympic Dream.
The scholarship support according to ITTF High Performance Elite Coach Massimo Costantini, is intended as an additional source from their existing planning with national teams and clubs commitments among others, so they (athletes) can use the scholarship for strengthening overall preparation by participating in specific training camps and competitions.
For Mati and 12 other youth players, the target of ITTF is to support the athletes for their qualification for Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games with the aim to qualify for their first taste of the Olympic spirit.
It is worth noting that Mati has been consistent with his performance in recent times and was among the 13 players under the Prominent Youth Players category by the world table tennis ruling body.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Ishaku Tikon described Mati’s scholarship as a plus for Nigeria.
“Mati’s consistency has paid off for him. My advice to other players is that they should also emulate Mati and work harder to get noticed globally and enjoy the chance to compete and train with the best in the world under the WFIM Scholarship scheme of ITTF,” Tikon said.