The President of the Ghana Table Tennis Association, Mawuko Afadzinu, has expressed optimism of a successful 2020 season for the sports in Ghana.
The local table tennis calendar commences with the season opener, ‘The Chairman’s Table Tennis Cup’ on Saturday, 15 February 2002, at the Fantasy Dome of the Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
Interacting with the media during a session and Open Board at the Fantasy Dome’s new Accra Table Tennis Centre, Mawuko Afadzinu revealed plans for the tournament.
“We are going to have our season opener of Table Tennis here for 2020 on Saturday with the Chairman’s Cup as is the tradition. We open it up to every Ghanaian who plays table tennis and believes that he would be able to compete. So, that is at championship level and that is competitive table tennis. In addition to competitive table tennis, what have done is to create the right space for recreational table tennis”, he noted.
He added: “The registration fee is GHS 20. So, you need to register to compete in the Chairman’s Cup. The total championship pack now is GHS6,000 but as is the case we are telling them to expect more surprises because on top of the GHS6,000, there will be additional surprises”.
Why the choice of Fantasy Dome of the Trade Fair Centre?
“We now a facility which is like none other in the whole West Africa sub-region. This is a result of a positive collaboration with owners of the Fantasy Dome who also lovers of table tennis. They have partnered both Accra Table Tennis Centre and the Ghana Table Tennis Association to have this facility. What this partnership has brought is the space where at every point in time we can have up to thirty-two table tennis courts. We can help people from all walks of life come to play. We can have a very brilliant professional time championship and an ordinary guy on the street”, Afadzinu remarked.
The Chief Executive Officer of Fantasy Dome, Leslie Quaynor, also admitted that his passion for the game of tennis ignited the idea of collaborating with GTTA to spot talent and host several tournaments as a means of enhancing the growth of the sport.
“I am only doing this hopefully to enhance the game for Ghana. For me, it's more of a fitness issue. I want the regular guy like myself to come here and play table tennis as a fitness initiative because it’s very important. So, obviously we provided world-class equipment and hopefully, Ghana’ Table tennis teams will come here and practice.
I'm a very a good friend to the president of the Ghana Table Tennis Federation, Mawuko Afadzinu. He brought the idea to me that we both love this game so how can we contribute to enhancing the services in Ghana. So, that's what gives us the idea of starting this Accra Table Tennis Centre which hopefully will have the average table tennis lover have a place to come and enjoy the game”, he added.
What does this leave table tennis competitions at the Accra Sports Stadium?
Mawuko Afadzinu believes the national edifice will still be opened to the populace who love the sport.
“This [Fantasy Dome] is going to be our primary place for events. But the Accra sports stadium is still available. We have some tables there and you can always go there to play.
What we have here [Fantasy Dome] is a world-class facility. At the Accra stadium, on the upside, we were doing five boards. Here, on the upside, we can do 32 boards. That's an exponential jump.
What other competitions can we look forward to?
“In addition to the National League being hosted here, we would have a series of tournaments. We looking at starting a corporate league amongst all the Corporate Bodies. We looking at bringing our communities competitions here so we can have inter-community contests and championships here.
“We are looking at encouraging the schools and corporate institutions and different people. By doing this, we believe that we going to open up the pipeline in terms of the talent and opportunities and also in terms of good health for people who love good table tennis.
“So, this is just another step to push the game of table tennis up where it belongs. And, also, this is another step in the fact that he believed that there is so much opportunity in table tennis which for us as individuals in terms of our health and for the nation which we could win a lot of laurels for the country. We could fly the flag of Ghana very high”, Mawuko Afadzinu commented.