by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Offcer
Reported by Daniel Ruziga, RTTF Media Officer, the equipment comprises donations from the Chinese Embassy, the International Table Tennis Federation and John Bosco Birungi, RTTF President.
He thanked the donors for their support while hoping to strengthen co-operation in his efforts to advance the sport.
“By way of enhancing exchanges and co-operation at all levels and sharing development experience, we will be able to cement the foundation for the sound, steady and sustained growth of the sport.” John Bosco Birungi
Now the RTTF aims to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Embassy to provide more equipment as well as to educate local coaches.
“The equipment is part of the Federation’s Schools’ Development Programme aimed at developing and promoting table tennis in schools. Our focus is at grassroots level, especially young people so that the sport can be played professionally.” John Bosco Birungi
A National League recently started, the next focus is a secondary schools competition.
“The schools’ competition will be organized in partnership with Rwanda School Sports Federation (RSSF), so we can start nurturing players. Also schools need to send spectators for competitions, so that we can attract sponsors.” John Bosco Birungi
Supporting the initiative is Festus Bizimana, Vice President of the National Olympic and Sports Committee. He applauded the RTTF and urged school officials and administrators to make use of equipment.
“The Federation has come from far; today the body is vibrant since they are doing something to develop table tennis. It is good to see RTTF involved in schools and grassroots programmes.” Festus Bizimana
He urged the school officials who came to collect the equipment at the Amahoro National Stadium not only to promote football but also table tennis as a competitive Olympic sport.
In addition, Father Jean Bosco Ntagungira, the Director of Petit Seminar Ndera thanked RTTF for the initiative, explaining that his students used to play table tennis but that they stopped because of lack of equipment. Now times can change.