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South Bank student to take part in Olympics

She has more gold medals than she's able to count; she is an 11-time All African Champion, and she can be seen in this month's Olympics. She is London South Bank Universityâs own champion table tennis player, Bosede Kaffo.

Bosede Kaffo
Bosede Kaffo (middle) took gold at the British Universities National Championship held earlier this year having beaten Barbara Kiss (left) who took silver with the bronze going to Dorttya Nagy.


Bosede started playing table tennis almost 20 years ago when she was a young girl growing up in Nigeria. She didn't have an actual tennis table so she was forced to find substitutes. "I would use the kitchen table instead of a proper tennis table, and I used a stick instead of a net; but I always loved playing."

Bosede took that enthusiasm and entered local tournaments in Nigeria; she swept the competition. The next step was the All-African competition, which proved to be no challenge for Bosede either, especially after she won 11 times. "I don't focus on winning or losing, I just focus, I have fun, and I win."

She moved to London six years ago and was drawn to LSBU by the Sport Ambassador Programme and plays an integral part in the table tennis team. Bosede has attended countless competitions in the UK with the team, including the British University Games, where she placed 1st three times, including this year. "I enjoy doubles, but I prefer playing singles; you put in your all, give everything you have, and you get everything back."

Bosede is currently in Germany to begin training for the summer Olympics. She is working out and staying physically fit, but more importantly, she is staying psychologically fit. "Everything comes from within; I keep a positive mindset, I try not to think about problems, and I appreciate every opportunity I am given.” She insists there is no reason to be nervous about playing in the Olympics, especially when you have the right psychology. “I focus on the game. It wouldn't matter if everyone in the room were against me; it is all about what you choose to focus on."

The sports ambassadors scheme is designed to provide anyone competing at national or international level in his or her sport with the best possible chances of success. The programme provided Bosede with up to 3000 a year to fund her competition cost and purchase equipment, along with a flexible course timetable, tailored to her competition and training schedule, which required frequent visits to France. She was also offered sports science support in physiology, nutrition and biomechanics to assist with her personal fitness and well-being.

These benefits allowed Bosede to graduate in June 2003 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport & Exercise Science. After the Olympics Bosede will begin a Masters degree at LSBU to enable her to develop her career as a coach and health exercise therapist. The university has also provided Bosede with the opportunity to gain coaching qualifications and invaluable experience by working with the England Junior team.

London South Bank University

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