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16.12.2009 Tennis

GTTA in retrospect (I)

By Kwame Amponfi Jnr - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) remained very busy throughout the 2009 sporting year, with promotional and developmental activities, as well as local and international competitions.

The GTTA, during the year under review (2009), through its promotional activities and achievements, on June 24, held a meeting with the technical team and the national model team players resident in Accra, to brainstorm on the way forward for Ghana table tennis, at the D. G. Hathiramani Sports Hall.

It also held a table tennis stakeholders meeting in Accra, at the GTTA Secretariat, at the Stadium from June 2 to July 14, and on December 3, profiled some table tennis stars, past and present, in the media, used Table Tennis Celebrities in the promotion of table tennis from January to December, comprising of Derek Abrefa, Samuel Akayade, Efua Oforiwaa, Cynthia Kwabi, Isaac Davies, and Akosua Ketu.

Additionally, the GTTA encouraged all Regional Table Tennis Associations to use their District and Regional tournaments, as well as club championships, to promote the sport, made press releases on all GTTA local and international activities throughout the year, and granted live radio and television interviews on the local and international programmes of the Association.

In its developmental activities and achievements, it embarked on a pilot school project, launched the first GTTA pilot school project at Twifo Praso Senior High School in the Central Region in July. There is revival in the growth of the sport in that school, and those around it.

The Association, for the first time in its history, through the (National Model Team Weekend Training Camp), initiated a project dubbed “NATIONAL MODEL TEAM WEEKEND TRAINING CAMP,” where talented players scouted since 2007, were categorised according to their ages (Cadets U-15, Juniors U-18 and Seniors U-21 +) for a continuous weekend training camp, as national nucleus teams for future international tournaments.

The associations' quest to train the sport's trainers, successfully executed the table tennis aspect of the National Sports Council and Australian Sports Outreach Program - Training of Trainers Programme held at the Essipong Stadium, Sekondi, in September.

It also sealed a table tennis equipment supply deal for 2010 with the ATTF and ITTF at the 2009 ITTF Congress in Yokohama, Japan, which was realized in the association's equipment and materials program

The initiation of the sponsorship (equipment) deal at the 2009 ITTF Congress in Yokohama, Japan, with agents of reputable international table tennis manufacturers, namely Tibhar, Stag, Li Ning, Yasaka, Butterfly, Mizuno, Nittaku, Joola, Andro and Double Fish.

Follow-up sponsorship request letters initiated was also realised. The GTTA procured from the Tibhar Company in Egypt, rubber sheets, blades and glue, for Juniors and Cadet table tennis development.

The Association's youth and development program, saw it supervising and scouting for new talents at the 26th Inter-Regional Schools & Colleges Sports Festival, held in Accra in August.

It again arranged with the ATTF for a two-month international training tour in Egypt, China and Japan, for national a U-15 player (Samuel Akayade). GTTA delegates to the 2009 ITTF Congress discovered the understated email and web address of table tennis play techniques videos for access by local players and officials,

(Reflex Sports – www.tabletennisvideos.com and [email protected]) were some of its achievements.

By dint of hard work, the Secretary General of the GTTA, Mr. Kwame Amponfi Jnr, was nominated by the Ghana Olympic Committee to represent Ghana at the 49th International Session for Young Participants at the International Olympic Academy, Ancient Olympia, Greece.

His performance at the academy was highly commended by the IOA lecturers, and was confirmed by Prof. Susan Brownell, in a letter to the Ghana Olympic Committee, dated July 5, 2009.

Through sustained local and international excellent performance at the table tennis front in Ghana since 2007, the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) nominated the Secretary General, Mr. Kwame Amponfi Jnr, and Chairman, Sqn Ldr. Ebo Bartels, for SWAG Awards (Prestigious National Award for the Promotion and Development of Sports in Ghana).

The following are some of the achievements of the association it its international competitions.

In April, a 13-team junior side participated in the African Juniors and Cadet championship (U-15& U-18) in Egypt, where the cadet boys team won bronze, as well as improved its African ranking to the 4th position, while Samuel Akayade qualified in the cadet boys singles event, for the World Cadet Championship in Japan.

In April, it participated in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Annual General Meeting/Congress in Yokohama, Japan, where it was honoured at the ITTF Member Nations roll call, and contributed to discussions on the way forward for world table tennis during the congress.

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