The Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) has rolled out a partnership program for talented players in both Primary and Secondary Schools.
KTTA President Andrew Mudibo said that the partnership with the three leading schools, Visa Oshwal Primary School in Nairobi, St. Monica Girls School, Kitale and St Joseph Boys High School, Kitale, is the first step in what he said will be a journey towards nurturing junior table tennis players to cover the full circle in their pursuit of world class standards.
The partnership is an extension of the ‘Tucheze Tebo’ initiative that was started by the association in 2017, which aims at identifying talented players in Primary and High School, who will be put on a five-year full scholarship program.
“This is an initial five-year plan and we want to nurture players from primary school to Secondary school and eventually into university. It will definitely be a tall order considering the travel and training program that the students will undergo. We are calling on corporate partners to come onboard because we wish to give them exposure at the global stage to get the best out of them and this will mean that they have travelling expenses and their coaches too will have to get the best training to be able to impart the best tactics in them,” Mudibo said during a press conference at the Visa Oshwal Primary School in Nairobi.
St. Monica Girls and St Joseph Boys High Schools in Kitale have over the years served as the backbone for KTTA in the western region of the country and therefore it was paramount to start the program there. Kenya Table Tennis Association, is targeting to have in each of the 47 Counties one Primary School and two High Schools (Boy and Girls), to be included in the program. The Association is already in talks with some of the leading Universities to also agree to offering full scholarships to the talented players, who would have come through the program.
If the program gets the proper corporate support, a full circle of training and exposure will make this a world class program.
Visa Oshwal Primary School principal Njoroge Ithagu called on past players to come on board and offer technical support for the program to flourish.
“Most of our teachers who are our trainers in schools only played the game during their days in school. If past players can come in through the Association and offer technical support, we will be able to achieve the desired results from the program,” Njoroge noted.
St. Monica Girls School principal Grace Ataro expressed enthusiasm at the program noting that it will further help cement her school’s position as a powerhouse in Table Tennis. “St. Monica has been a table tennis powerhouse for close to 20years and we are very happy to join this partnership. We hope it will be of great benefit to us and we can make table tennis a household sport just like football and athletics,” Ataro said.
Also present was St Joseph Boys High School, Kitale Chief Principal Godfrey Awuori who said that the program will help in the development of the game which the school has embraced over the years.