by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer
A most encouraging entry of 120 players has been received for the 2018 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open; a fact that underlines there is great faith in the quality of organization now in place in Africa’s most northerly country.
Lotfi Guerfel, President of the Tunisian Table Tennis Federation explains:
“Certainly the large number of participants and countries that will take part in our 2018 Tunisia World Junior Circuit tournament and the participation of the Chinese team, being the first time for us, makes the tournament unique this year.
The tournament offers a valuable opportunity to have media coverage and to publicise table tennis on the television, in newspapers and on radios; therefore it will make this discipline more known to the general public.
Nearly 140 players and over 37 countries comprise both events; the World Junior Circuit tournament and the Youth Olympic Games qualifier. Our place in the sports’ scene in Tunisia is growing from year to year. We are gaining recognition through our work, dedication and results.
There are several challenges. We want to return Tunisia to the place it had on the Arab and African scene, participate again in World Championships, organize in Tunisia important tournaments and events. Also to make table tennis more popular and give the sport the place it deserves. Our main target is to simply make table tennis, Tunisia’s number one sport.
Generally in Africa, there are improvements and an increase in boys and girls playing but we still have a lot of work to do together as a continent. In terms of organization of tournaments and events with international standards in Africa, we need to make progress. We need to use digital screens and quality media coverage of events.”