Table tennis not for the elite- ZTTU

Shelly Guni

In order to advance the sport of Table Tennis in the country, there is a need for brand recognition and the creation of successful facilities all over the nation, Tinashe Duri, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union (ZTTU) says.

Duri made the remarks soon after the successful hosting of the Zimbabwe Open Tournament at Divaris Makaharis School recently.

“We need more brand visibility for our game. Table tennis is for all and not for only the elite. I grew up in Kuwadzana and played; now I’m in administration. Our strategy is to re-establish more playing centres in high density suburbs, schools, churches, hotels, city council parks and that way we will have more people to have access to the game,” said Duri.

He also noted that the tournament was a success as a number of affiliates registered at the tournament with the opportunity still open for the parties willing to be part of the sport.

“We managed to register 99 affiliates on the tournament. These include coaches, athletes and umpires. The tournament was fine, we saw the giants claiming back their titles from the juniors which means they have been working hard to retain their titles.”

“There was a good representation from our provinces: Mashonaland East, Manicalanad, Harare, Bulawayo and Mashonaland West. We also had ZUSA teams which came to participate. We look forward to having all our provinces being represented in the upcoming Zimbabwe closed tournament.”

“However, there was a low turnout from our government schools being our seedbed of athletes. Most of them were crying about economic hardships, as executives we agreed to engage schools early and plan together on modalities to have athletes participate. We do not want talent to sink, I am sure we will work out a plan with the schools that will see more government schools taking part.” 

He also thanked Divaris Makaharis school for their support in offering the venue for the tournament and all who made the weekend a success.

“We continue to thank Divaris for the established long lasting relationship. The venue is now our permanent Zim Open table tennis venue and our athletes enjoyed the good environment. We also want to thank athletes, umpires, TICs, coaches and the executive members from all provinces for keeping our beloved sport alive,” he said.

From all the categories, winners had cash prizes for seniors whilst juniors won table tennis each and playing kits.

From the under-10 girls and boys category, Talia Mahachi and Nyasha Dhliwayo claimed first positions respectively.

Naama Boterere and Trust Madoro also came first in the under 15 girls’ and boys’ category respectively.

Kudakwashe Chidhakwa was the champion in the under-21 girls’ category whilst Tinotenda Fambira also came first in the men’s category.

For open men’s doubles, open women’s and open men’s singles, Singh Vikram and Brian Chamboko, Ashley Dlamini and Vikram Singh were the winners respectively.

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