15.02.2003 Sports News

Loopers need ¢200m for World tourney

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THE Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) can only partake in the upcoming World Table Tennis Championship if it secures an amount of over ¢200million before the end of next month.

The money is needed to enable the association acquire tickets for its players, as well as pay for the participation fee to enter the event which is scheduled to take place in Paris in May.

In fact, the GTTA is left with two months to prepare the team and get set financially, including getting all the necessary documents needed for the France tourney.

The World Championship, the major assignment of the year, is expected to give the Black Loopers the needed exposure and experience to face their African counterparts at the All Africa Games in Abuja in October.

Sad to relate, though the association has suffered series of failures in its attempt to give the players the needed exposure in major international competitions over the past year.

The Loopers saw three glorious opportunities pass by when they failed to make it to Tunisia, Manchester and the Africa Youth Championship held in South Africa, which was painfully cancelled at the 11th hour.

In an interview with the Graphic Sports, the General Secretary of the GTTA, Mr. Oteng Aboagye, said by hook or crook, the Loopers must, for once, achieve their lifetime dream by making their participation in the impending competition possible.

Mr. Oteng Aboagye contended that the nation's representatives are physically equipped and will only have to be backed by other necessities to enable them embark on a successful trip.

He said the Loopers are scheduled to be in camp by May 5, and noted that their camping on the scheduled date depends on the government's ability to release funds early.

Touching on what the association is doing to solve its financial headaches, the GTTA secretary said his outfit is seeking sponsorship from institutions and NGOs to ease some of the financial burdens faced by the state.

Mr. Aboagye disclosed that out of the ten companies they contacted, four have expressed interest in assisting the association in its local activities.

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