Winner of the women’s singles title at the African Championships staged in 1980 in Dakar, it is now over two decades since Esther Lamptey made her last appearance as a player on the international scene.
Now she returns to the stage, not as a player but as an umpire. She officiated at the recent 2019 Ghana Junior and Cadet Open, now on Sunday 7th April in the same venue, she occupies the best seat in the house at the African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships.
Resident in Oklahoma in the United States, she returns to her native Ghana. She is one of 21 umpires handling proceedings.
“My last outing as a player come coach for Ghana was at the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria; since then I have not been much involved in the game. Before I moved to United States in 2016, I was a Chief Inspector with Ghana Police Service and I voluntary retired from the service to move to America where I am now a certified nurse. In the United States, I am still involved in table tennis as a coach for Oklahoma Table Tennis Club.” Esther Lamptey
The 56-year-old mother was a member of a golden era for Ghana, players who set the standard for the continent.
“I can remember that when I started playing table tennis, we had an Indian businessman who had an interest in the sport. He ensured we had everything we needed to excel in the sport. The late D. G. Hathramani was a pillar for table tennis in Ghana in the 1960s and 1970s. He ensured that we went to school as well as attended international competitions. He did not wait for the government; he did everything for us from coaching to schooling and attending competitions. Among some of my mates then were Ethel Jacks, Joseph Quansah, the Quayu brothers, Anthony Onwusu-Ansah now a chief coach of Ghana and Comfort Eshun, among others. We had everything we needed and this really motivated us to excel in Africa then.” Esther Lamptey
“I think what I am today was made possible because of my romance with table tennis, I know a lot of Ghanaian athletes including table tennis players who are employed by the security services in Ghana; this alone helped the sport even when we were playing.” Esther Lamptey.
“I think there is no doubt that Ghana is blessed with talents in table tennis and what the players just need is exposure. I am so excited that Ghana is hosting junior tournaments which will surely help to unearth new players for the future; from my observation I have seen several talents, these talents must be nurtured to stardom.” Esther Lamptey
Support; it is what all young players need and that is exactly what Esther Lamptey is doing; she is supporting the country of her birth.
“When I saw on ITTF that Ghana will be hosting this tournament I made up my mind to come and be part of history. I am happy that this is happening and I must commend the Ghana Table Tennis Association under the leadership of Mawuko Afadzinu for taking a bold step to host this tournament which I believe will help in the resurgence of the sport in Ghana.” Esther Lamptey