THE hunt for the next big thing in table tennis has taken a more defined approach with the formation of the Table Tennis League of Champions.
“The Table Tennis League of Champions was born to provide more opportunities for sports participation and to complement the existing Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union system which trains and develops players and affords worthy athletes the opportunity to represent the country on the world stage.
“Participation in the league will therefore encourage and motivate athletes to aspire to represent Zimbabwe in competitions at a higher level,” said the new league’s secretary Rujeko Bara.
A brainchild of Gracian Bara and Tinashe Duri, the TTLC is affiliated to the Harare Table Tennis Association and already has 40 players on its books. Competition got off to a thrilling start at the University of Zimbabwe two weeks ago.
“The quality of matches was impressive and we are confident that in the coming years some of the players we have in the league will be representing the country and doing us proud on and off the table tennis arena,” said Bara.
“We also strive to inculcate the Ministry of Sports and Recreation’s values of unhu/ubuntu, professionalism, teamwork, excellence, fairness and life-long learning in our sportsmen and we also encourage them to live out these values within and beyond the Table Tennis arena.
“The League games started on 4 March 2017 and run parallel to the semesters so that the UZ students can also benefit. League matches are played on a Saturday after every fortnight. There is a break during the season. During this time the students will be on vacation.”
Like most sporting codes, lack of sponsorship is suffocating table tennis.
“Sponsorship is always an issue but we cannot sit down and mourn,” said Bara. “For the TTLC there is not much sponsorship for now. In addition to subscriptions and affiliation fees, the executive committee members chip in as and when there is need from their own personal coffers.”
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