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26.03.2004 Sports News

Sports Hall Ready For Ping-Pong Tourney

By Sadia Umar
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The Sports Hall of the Accra Stadium where the 13th All Africa Junior Championships slated for March 29 to April 4 will be held, is set for the event. The fiesta is expected to bring together over 18 countries drawn from the African continent to compete for honours.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has pumped over ¢100 million into the renovation to upgrade the Sports Hall to befit the occasion.Aside that amount, the government also voted ¢178 million to ensure adequate preparation of the Junior Black Loopers towards the competition.

Out of the amount, the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) has acquired some new table tennis kit including track suits purposely for the championships. For the Sports Hall, the wooden floor that appeared obsolete has been changed while painting and fixing of new plastic chairs among others, have been undertaken to give the place a new look.

The stage is now set for the competition to get underway on Monday, and the organisers are only awaiting the participating countries who are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.They are: Togo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, D.R Congo, South Africa, Liberia, Gambia, Algeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Burundi, Nigeria and Senegal.

In their bid to make a meaningful impact as hosts, players of the U-15, U-18 and U-21 categories of the Junior Black Loopers have been busy training daily at the tournament venue under the technical guidance of coaches Vincent Arhin and Owusu Ansah.

According to a GTTA official, the historic event will be used to create a new image for the sport which is now steadily rising to another levelThe Chairman of the GTTA, Sqn-Leader (retd) Ebo Bartels, has also assured that no stone will be left unturned to realise their dream.

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