by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The cities of Ajmer, Gandhidham, Indore and Siliguri form the schedule; the course conductors are Christian Lillieroos and Richard McAfee.
Matters commenced on World Table Tennis Day with Dhanraj Choudhary, the Secretary-General of the Table Tennis Federation of India, welcoming everyone.
Introductions completed, the Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal Sanstha School in Ajmer was the destination, an establishment which includes amongst its pupils those with both physical and learning disabilities.
“It was the second year in a row the programme had visited the school. They have a table tennis table in the school, the children play every day. A special beautiful welcome song was sung by a group of children when we arrived. The traditional red spot in the third eye was given to all guests as sign of respect and as a protection from all evil. Mrs Kashma the director and Principal of the school addressed the group and explained that the school has a goal to create a vocational experience for all the children so in the future they can all make their own living”, Christian Lillieroos
A total of 12 children attended the coaching session led by Christian Lillieroos; basic skills being on the agenda; pertinently, there was a cake to celebrate World Table Tennis Day.
All improved quickly, a fact which surprised the coaches; furthermore the children received a table tennis racket, a case and a ball each sponsored by Stag.
Play concluded, in the evening a bronze statue of the late Moolchand Chouhan, former Secretary-General of the Table Tennis Federation of India was unveiled. He was the founder of the local Petroleum Table Tennis Club; one of the very few dedicated full time training centres in India.
The equivalent of three star accommodation, the venue accommodates 12 table tennis tables plus a conference room which can seat 60 people. The premises are also the offices of the Rajasthan Table Tennis Association and of Dhnraj Choudhary, the Secretary General of Table Tennis Federation of India.
“A total of 20 people prepared the venue all day for the event. The statue was sorrouded by flowers hanging down from the ceiling, the floor was covered in red flower pellets, a remote controlled drape was installed to cover the statue. Food was served to the about 300 guests.” Christian Lillieroos
Dignitaries at the occasion included Shri. Gaurav Goyal (famous Ajmer collector), Shri, Nitin Deep Blaggan (Deputy Inspector General) and Shri. K. Panwar (India Administrative Service officer and Chairman of Rajasthan Public service) plus Shri. Dharmendra and Hanraj Choudhary.
This event concluded the festivities of the 2017 Table Tennis day in India.