11 May 2018

A highly successful ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament staged earlier this year, the efforts of the Oman Table Tennis Federation have been recognised officially by the Ministry of Sport.

Every two years the achievements of sporting organisations and individuals are acknowledged by the government; recently the Oman Table Tennis Federation won the award for having developed programmes during the period 2016 to 2017 that encouraged youth leadership and thus prepared for the future.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

On Monday 7th May, under patronage His Excellency Dr. Abdulmunim Al-Hasani, Minister of Information and in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Saad Mohamad Al-Saadi, Minister of Sport and His Excellency Rashad Al-Hinai, the Under Secretary from the Ministry of Sport, the award was presented.

Present for the occasion was Abdullah Ba Makhalef, the President of the Oman Table Tennis Federation plus local officials, members of the media and various interested parties.

“The award adds to a series of achievements that have been realised throughout the game in the Sultanate of Oman. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our local and international partners who support us. I thank Omantel, Oman Fiber Optic, Oman Sport Channel, Muscat Municipality, Sabco and Oliban plus our international partners Stag, the International Table Tennis Federation and the Arab Table Tennis Union.” Abdullah Ba Makhalef

In the past two years seminars and courses have been held to increase the number of umpires; the officials being regarded as pillars of the sport.

Furthermore, a total of seven training centres have been established with a coaching structure in place and targets established for players. It is anticipated that a further four such centres will be opened during the period 2018 to 2019.

“Gaining the award has required hard work and diligence over the years, maintaining the level will require more work and this is what we will do in the coming years.” Abdullah Ba Makhalef

The focus is on youth, Oman has 12 governances, it is proposed that a competition is organised for players under 12 years of age. Players finishing in first and second places in each local tournament will qualify for a final event.

Thus with the competition in mind, the Oman Table Tennis Federation has distributed 24 table tennis tables and will organise both trophies and prize money for the winners.

A just reward for the efforts of the Oman Table Tennis Federation, prosperous times appear to lie ahead.

Dignitaries at the award ceremony (Photo: courtesy of Mohamed Atoum)
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