30.01.2003 Sports News

Loopers dissolved

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THE national table tennis team, the Black Loopers, has been dissolved.This follows the expiration of the 2002 calendar year. National Chief Coach, Vincent Arhin, disclosed this to the Graphic Sports in an interview.

He said players in the team have, therefore, lost their rankings accordingly and would have to fight for places in the national team together with all other players.

He said players would be ranked according to their performances in the monthly championships to be organised by the association beginning from February.Although the dissolution has come in the wake of the impasse between the players and members of the associations following the abortive trip to South Africa last December for the Africa Seniors and Youth Table Tennis C hampionships, Mr. Arhin denied any linkage between the two developments.

He explained that the practice over the years has been to dissolve the team after the expiration of the calendar year."After that, players fight for rankings by participating in various activities organized by the association," he said. Acrimony characterized the relationship between the coach and the players following the inability of the team to make it to South Africa last year.

The players accused the coach, who then doubled as the Secretary General of the association, of being inefficient and at one time alleged that he had gone into hiding.

But Vincent Arhin has hit back at those publications, describing them as ill-intentioned.He said the only time he was absent from the region was when National Sports Council acting Chief Executive, Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, permitted him to travel to the Eastern Region to organize a course for other coaches in that region.

"How could I have been at large when the Chief Executive is aware of my where abouts?" he queried.He described the whole saga as unfortunate and expressed the belief that the incident would not be repeated in the future. "I believe the boys were misled into believing that I was responsible for the cancellation of their trips in the year without recognizing that I acted as the Secretary General for only five months," he said.

The Loopers could not make it to the Commonwealth Games in July/August, the Africa Youth Championship in Tunisia in July, in addition to the South Africa competition.

Vincent Arhin started acting as Secretary-General of the GTTA after the Commonwealth Games although he was officially mandated to do so from May.

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