Ghanaian Star Derek Abrefa Motivates Local Girls
Encouraging girls to play Table Tennis recently appeared most prominently in Ghana, with the promotion of the 2021 ITTF Foundation FEMpowerment campaign; one of the country’s star players Derek Abrefa decided to take the action to a local school.
- by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Member Relations Media Officer
On Friday 28th May, a beneficiary of the ITTF TableTennisUnited Fund, Derek Abrefa gave support to school pupils in his home country; he visited the Good Citizen School in Nungua, Ghana’s 18th most populous settlement.
Abrefa, a Ghanaian Table Tennis international, not only empowered the pupils but also enlightened them on the need to make informed decisions in life.
The event held at the premises of the school was attended by the President of Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Mawuko Afadzinu; GTTA Women's Co-ordinator, Efia Oforiwa Owusu-Agyei as well as Ghanaian television personality Vivian Elorm.
Over 100 female students were coached via the initiative named “Star Girl, Building the Female Dream through Sports”, the dignitaries on hand to encourage the students.
Table Tennis brings enormous benefits to athletes such as educational scholarships, career employment, health, and also guides youth into making informed decisions that would help them achieve a better future. - Derek Abrefa
Likewise, there was a positive response from Owusu-Agyei:
Young girls are a great resource to every society. It is therefore my duty as GTTA Women's Co-ordinator to ensure the safety and welfare of all female Table Tennis players. Table Tennis is what made me who I am today, I am ready to impact and empower female players to enable them to reach the level I am now today.
The reaction from Vivian Elorm was no different:
A girl should be two things, who and what she wants. Growing in the field of my career as a journalist requires the ability to be vocal and confident in my daily routines. Table Tennis helped me build that aspect of my boldness. Young females are to build that self-esteem and confidence in order for them to become active in society.
Mawuko Afadzinu emphasized the importance of education while charging the pupils to take their academic studies seriously in order to attain greater height in society.
The Headmistress of Good Citizen School, Mrs Josephine Mensah, teachers and parents of some of the selected students were also there to witness their wards showcasing their talents in an exhibition match during the programme.
Notably, the headmistress of the school, Mensah, was excited about the programme which coincided with World Hygiene Day. She promised to set up a table tennis club in the school in a bid to unearth talents for Ghana, asking GTTA to provide coaches that would assist to train the students.
Abrefa donated shirts, balls and rackets to the Good Citizen School and was received by the Headmistress of the school.
The highlight of the event was an exhibition match involving 12-year-old pupil of the school, Juanita Bortele Bortei against Owusu-Agyei with the pupil outplaying the former Ghanaian international.
Read about how TableTennisUnited Fund made training possible for future Paralympic athletes during Covid-19,
or discover how the Table Tennis community celebrated FEMpowerment on World Table Tennis Day this year.