Listed as one of the three table tennis stars across the world celebrated by the ITTF Foundation in the first series and Aruna has been described, as a legend that leads the way for young players in Africa.
Other table tennis stars celebrated by the world table tennis ruling body include Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz.
They were tagged as heroes in tracksuits saying, heroes do not always wear capes. Sometimes, they wear tracksuits and swing a table tennis racket.
“With great anticipation, Tokyo 2020 is finally approaching. As we count down the days to a series of excitement and adrenaline rush, the greatness of some athletes manifests itself not only in the field of performance but also in their effort to make the world a better place."
Being one of the first articles in a two-part series, ITTF said the list of table tennis players in Tokyo 2020 whose desire for a better, more sustainable future is just as strong as for the medals.
On Aruna, the world body said: “The Nigerian international athlete Quadri Aruna supports young players in Nigeria with equipment every year. Despite his fame and well-deserved titles, Aruna has never forgotten his roots in Oyo State, Nigeria. In May this year, Aruna confirmed the supply of equipment for six table tennis players for 12 months, including Paralympics debutants Isau Ogunkunle and Faith Obazuaye.”
Also, Hanffou has been described as the one that wears many hats. “The French-Cameroonian table tennis player is a living wonder. Aside from representing her country at the Olympic Games, Sarah Hanffou is also a full-time lawyer, and the President of her non-profit organisation Ping Sans Frontières (PSF).”