S’African govt plans to take table tennis to schools after ITTF event in Durban

South Africa Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nocawe Mafu, has said that efforts would be geared toward pupularising table tennis across schools in the country.


The Minister who was visiting the ongoing Durban 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships on Thursday May 25, said she was impressed with what the South Africa Table Tennis Board (SATTB) under the leadership of Joe Carrim put up with support from the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the second World Championships to be staged in Africa since 1939.

However, ITTF President Petra Sorling promised that the world body would support the efforts of SATTB to make table tennis for all for life which is the motto of ITTF.

According to the minister, the uniqueness of table tennis as a sport for all has endeared itself to South Africa.

“First of all, let me thank the South African Table Tennis Board for actually having bid for the world to come here. We are told that this is the second time the championships have come to Africa,” said Mafu.

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“But it is the first time in South Africa. And so far, everybody that we spoke to be it the executives, the players, they are so happy and excited. I think some of them when they came here were apprehensive, that they were coming to South Africa. They have never been to South Africa but everybody is happy first of all.

“Secondly, of course some of them are complaining about long trips because South Africa is right at the deep end of Africa, and there are no direct flights but be that as it may they cannot take away the experience.

“We are quite happy as a country, if it goes well for us. Because it is about marketing the country throughout the world and sport as you can see, it puts our country in the limelight.

“It is very good that South Africa is all out there it does not matter what federation and sport code we are dealing with and right now table tennis is out doing itself,” she added.

Apart from the physical benefit of table tennis, the minister said the hosting of the tournament in Durban has aided the economy of Kwa Zule Natal.

“We also visit schools because sports help to channel the minds of our kids in making sure that they are actually disciplined and do things that can help them even in a later stage.

“We also encourage our youth to play table tennis because this is a big sport in the world and we are also to ensure that our schools are liaising with those who understand the importance of playing table tennis as we can even have either an African or world champion coming from South Africa in the coming years,” she enthused.

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