31 Jan 2018

A graduate of Aix-Marseille University located in southern France, Sarah Hanffou holds a PhD in Law. She works in the public law and defence of health professionals department.

Despite her tight schedule and important role, Sarah Hanffou will be on duty at the 2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup to be staged in Nairobi, Kenya from Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd March.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Most importantly, she is still much in love with table tennis as she explained:

“I love this game and the values it conveys. Sport is essential in my life. Moreover, I do think that it is important that the older players continue to play to encourage healthy competition. I am sure young players will get their break in the coming years.

However, I have to say it is an everyday struggle to combine sport and work, not forgetting the volunteer work with Ping Sans Frontières. I am very lucky and grateful to Thibaud Vidal, the founding partner of the law firm I work in, he agrees to give time off. The law firm is very supportive and it helps a lot. Alfred Bagueka, the President of the Cameroon Table Tennis Federation, is very understanding, I must also thank him for that.

I feel good. I can’t wait and I am very happy that the tournament is organised in Kenya. Actually, I have never done better than fifth position at the African Cup; I hope at least to do as well. A medal would be extraordinary. I am very aware that I do not have the level I used to have but I will give everything and the main thing is to fight. I see this competition as a “benchmark competition”. The main goal is to be ready for the African Championships in September.

I am not really prepared but the goal is not to be prepared now. My goal is to be ready for the African Championships. Thus, I am currently working on my physical condition. I am doing physical exercises on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I can’t go to the club more than once a week.

Obviously, Egypt and Nigeria are the leaders by far and represent Africa well at international level. I have a lot of respect for them. Also, I have seen many young talents coming from all over Africa but frankly, at regional level the means are not given to the young players.

The situation is much more disastrous for girls and women. If we want to improve the level, a development plan must be put into place at regional level and it must start with the youngest ones, the countries where table tennis is not very developed. A radical change must be made in this matter. I am very eager to see any action from the African Table tennis Federation.”

2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Sarah Hanffou

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