Seven countries set for EA table tennis champs

Deborah Ikilezi is one of the top table tennis players in the country. File photo.

Seven countries have confirmed their participation at the forthcoming 2018 East African Junior Table Tennis Championship – slated for November 30 through December 2 – at Green Hills Academy in Kigali.

The seven countries include; Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Djibouti, Somalia and the hosts Rwanda.

According to Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF) secretary general, Innocent Bahati, the organising team expects more confirmations from the likes of Comoros, Madagascar, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.

The event will be the biggest table tennis competition Rwanda has hosted to date. It will be preceded by umpires and coaches’ clinic.

The three-day tournament is open to all International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-Africa affiliate federations. RTTF President, Jean Bosco Birungi, has revealed.

“We are confident that hosting this competition will be a big boost in terms of awareness of the sport in Rwanda, especially in youth population,” Birungu said.

He further noted that, “The federation is planning to organize training camps where parents can register their children who are interested in learning and playing the sport.”

The local table tennis body wins the bid to host the regional tournament just months after sending ten of its members – three coaches and seven players – for an eight-week training camp in China in July.

In September, the federation also started the national table tennis league as a way of spreading the sport across the country, especially targeting youths in primary and secondary schools.