by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Prior to TTX tournaments being staged, coaches gave basic instructions to the young aspiring players from the nine schools involved.
A most successful initiative, Robert Jjagwe, President of the Uganda Table Tennis Association, the driving force behind the project, was clearly delighted.
“We were able to successfully roll out a TTX project in Uganda with nine out of 10 international schools turning up; what we first did is to deploy coaches to these schools for five weeks training and this worked out very well. We believe if we had called for a TTX tournament without any coaching whatsoever, we would not get this kind of turn up for the new TTX format.” Robert Jjagwe
Most impressively, the numbers exceeded all expectations!
“At the grand finale, we had 168 participants turning up for the event which was very impressive for a brand new table tennis format that was totally new to the schools. Initially we targeted 20 students per school so we fell short of 180 players by just 12, from the nine schools that turned up. We consider this to have been a great success.” Robert Jjagwe
Moreover, with TTX a major reason, the event was much more than just another table tennis tournament.
“One of the key outstanding things that came out of the finale was that the students really liked the blend of competition with entertainment. Apart from the tournament, an acrobatics group called “Acrobatics Circus Troupe” thrilled the players with acrobatic tricks which were greeted with applause from the students. I must admit that this really proved that the TTX model of blending competition with entertainment works very well to give a better and more enjoyable experience to our players.” Robert Jjagwe
Despite being the last schools to register for the competition and travelling a long distance from their home, Horizons International School emerged champions in the boys and girls events beating Kampala International School and Kampala Diplomatic School to secure the titles.
Horizons recorded a 3-0 win against Kampala International School and also when facing Kampala Diplomatic School.
Matters concluded with Robert Jjagwe thanking the management of Aga Khan International School for their hospitality, explaining that he hoped more schools in Uganda would embrace TTX.