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Olufunke Oshonaike-Irabor, also known as Funke Oshonaike (born 28 October 1975) is a Nigerian table tennis player. She competed for Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2020 Summer Olympics.
- I am pained that our female players are not matching up with their male counterparts in terms of standard and quality. When we started some years back, we were so disciplined and determined but these days, our players are not ready to work hard and maintain discipline. This is one of my priorities for now and that is why I will like to tutor them so that they can imbibe the characteristics that aided some of us to still be playing now.
- A Quote charging female table tennis players in Nigeria to step up their games and start winning again.
- I always remember where I am coming from and the fact that for me to move up in life I have to be focused and steadfast. I am not a star, I just want to be the best.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Nation Newspaper attributing her achievement to her background.
- I represented my school at a competition and was honoured by the headmaster of the school, Mr G.O. Taiwo, who asked me to come out and said a lot of good things about me in front of my school mates. I decided on that day that I stood to gain everything from the game of table tennis, so I must remain focused to be counted among the best.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Nation Newspaper recapping an episode that changed her perspective on the game of table tennis and set her up for greatness.
- He (my husband) is the reason why I am waxing stronger in the game because he did not ask me to replace my love for table tennis for him. He taught me how to multiply my love for table tennis and my family. I think my husband met me playing the game and l think the most important thing is love. He loves me so much and knows that l love table tennis so much. He has never for once, since we got married, attempted to stop me from playing the game. He appreciates what l do and would always be by my side when l am playing to give his support. I have a very good family and l am very proud of my family. Believe it or not, l don’t want to be in any other family than this and l thank God for that. I have a loving husband that can die for me and two wonderful boys that make me happy each passing day. I am happy and very satisfied.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Nation Newspaper on what keeps her going through her husband’s support and love.
- For the women, l think there are lots of up and coming players but the only thing they are lacking is exposure. They are a bit inexperienced such that they are doing it their own way. They need coaches that will guide them because the way they are playing here is not the same way they are playing abroad. There’s scientific approach to the game. We equally need better facilities. The tables we are using here are a bit slow to the ones that are used in international competitions. Our girls are coming up but they still have more to learn. Government must equally support the game.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Nation Newspaper on the future of table tennis in Nigeria.
- I was not happy that the ministry dropped the female team from going to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I allowed it and some other factors to affect me in Kenya and I lost in the quarter-finals; I came fifth for the very first time.
- A Quote from an interview granted on the Sports Ministry’s lack of support for Table tennis in Nigeria.
- My most exciting time was when I won four gold medals for Nigeria at the 2003 All Africa Games with my child only six months old, and also winning the Africa championship in 2016.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Punch Newspaper on her most exciting moments in sports.
- I won’t allow my kids to represent Nigeria of today. But if they want to, I won’t stop them.
- A Quote from an interview granted The Punch Newspaper on encouraging her kids to represent Nigeria after her challenges.
- I was physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally abused. This man beat me for more than three years and I remember always going to UNILAG [University of Lagos] with a battered face but I still never gave up on TT, men or life.
- A Quote extracted from an interview on how she turned her painful past and breaking point into a breakthrough.
- It doesn’t affect me in any way because what I’m doing right now is to enjoy myself, to play good table tennis, to see that I am motivating all the younger women that in any situation they can still be what they want to be. Even married, unmarried, with children whatever they are going through even with age they can still be what they want to be.
- A Quote from her response on playing table tennis with younger opponents.
- I’ve been going through depression in my life and people don’t know this. They see me smile and play table tennis, but people can’t tell what I’m going through.
- A Quote from her revealing how she has battled depression for years.
- I started playing table tennis on bricks, then I moved to anything that looked like tables.
- A Quote extracted from her shared story with ITTF Foundation on her passion for table tennis at the tender age of 9.
- Nothing gives me more joy than seeing all the young, poor players happy with the little I gave them.
- A Quote extracted from her shared story with ITTF Foundation on the successful hosting of the Funke Oshonaike Foundation’s first tournament and clinic in 2017.
- Nobody can understand young female athletes more than female administrators and female coaches.
- A Quote extracted from her shared story with ITTF Foundation on the call for more women in leading positions in the table tennis world.
- I’ve been through racism, discrimination, violence and abuses from men. […] I’ve been through a lot in my life as a woman. I gave love but I was abandoned when I needed help – but all that I’ve been through made me better and stronger. I am a survivor!
- A Quote extracted from her shared story with ITTF Foundation on refusing to allow all the low points of her life to bring her down.
- Always carry yourself in high esteem. You can be who you want to be with determination, dedication and discipline. Never allow anybody to pull you down. The world is like a rollercoaster, never give up on your dream. Stay away from negative people and anything or anyone that’s telling you that you can’t make it because you’re a woman. Remember, you’re you and you’re unique.
- A Quote extracted from her shared story with ITTF Foundation on her advice for women and girls.
- Table tennis gave me a better life.
- A Quote on what table tennis means to her and what it has done for her.