by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Member Relations Media Officer
One of the most active national associations, with support from the ITTF Foundation, Naresh Rawal, an ITTF Level Two Coach and International Umpire, anchored proceedings in the south Asian country located in the foothills of the Himalayas.
He is the coach and founder of Saroj’s Table Tennis 4 All Academy, events were conducted in Bhaesipati, Lalitpur, Matatirtha and Chandragiri.
The participants, comprising girls from schools were taught the rudiment of table tennis. Mr. Chaturananda Rajvaidya, President All Nepal Table Tennis Association and Executive Director of Nepal Olympic Committee urged the participants to take to table tennis. Likewise, Mr. Ghansyam Giri, Mayor of Chandragiri charged them to embrace the sport.
Following the success enjoyed on World Table Tennis Day, a four-day FEMpowerment programme named “Awesome Blossoms” was held in Biratnagar, the provincial capital of the eastern province of Nepal. The event was organized by Biratnagar Table Tennis Club under the aegis of the All Nepal Table Tennis Association and Biratnagar Metropolitan City. Similar to World Table Tennis Day, the ITTF Foundation afforded support.
Most of the participants were girls under 12 years old, drawn from schools in the city; overall 26 primary school aged girls plus four Para table tennis female athletes attended.
Puspa Pudasain, the promoter of the event was assisted by three female volunteers who guided the players throughout the programme.
Sessions, such as the introduction of table tennis as a sport, elementary skills like racket grips, stance, different trajectories of the ball, racket angles, low centre of gravity, shadow exercises, cone and marker footwork drills, plyometric ladder drills, relay races and various aspects of table tennis were taught during the event.
The first three days focused on physical preparation, sessions on serve return and third ball attack were also part of the exercises.
A tournament concluded matters involving both able bodied and para athletes, certificates were awarded to the semi-finalists.
Huge support from parents and guardians, proceedings concluded with Mr. Biken Thapa, President of Biratnagar Table Tennis Club, urging the parents and guardians to encourage their children and wards to play table tennis.