by Adil Al Balushi, Oman Table Tennis Association
Table tennis will be introduced to the Oman school curriculum, reflecting the Middle East’s growing enthusiasm for the sport.
The Ministry of Education and Oman Table Tennis Association will collaborate to deliver the “Future Champions” project which aims to provide 282 schools with all the necessary equipment including tables, balls and rackets, in addition to delivering workshops for the teachers.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday 19th January, at a ceremony in the presence of Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr Yahya bin Khamis al Harthy, General Manager of the General Directorate of Curriculum Development and Abdullah bin Mohammed Bamakhalif, Chair of the Oman Table Tennis Association.
Also, the possibilities of introducing table tennis in festivals and similar will be pursued.
“Imparting the skills of table tennis to the students will boost the sport in schools and the community. We hope that table tennis will be one of the favourite sports and will be played by students during the classes in the sports’ syllabus. Our target for the “Future Champions” project is to discover potential faces that add value to national teams, eventually gaining top positions in tournaments.” Abdullah bin Mohammed Bamakhalif
Equally, Dr Yahya bin Khamis al Harthy was most positive, aware of the educational values offered by sport.
“The memorandum of understanding aims to achieve the comprehensive development of the student’s personality and contribute to Omani sports at all levels, including competitiveness. The project aims to enhance students attitude towards physical activity in various sports including table tennis. It will also diversify curriculum programmes and activities to be in line with the characteristics of the students’ age.” Dr Yahya bin Khamis al Harthy
Equally, the value of health was high on the agenda.
“Table tennis is one of the popular sports that can contribute to increase the physical activity for our students by practising at home or school; this will assist in raising the level of health as well as their physical and mental fitness.” Dr Yahya bin Khamis al Harthy
The table tennis family will head to Oman very soon as the country’s capital will host the WTT Contender Muscat from Sunday 27th February to Saturday 5th March.