Over 750 paddlers to participate in Sr National C’ship from Mar 20 at Jammu

Jammu: More than 750 paddlers are expected to participate in a week-long 84th Senior National Table Tennis Championship starting on March 20 scheduled to be held here at Gymnasium Hall, University of Jammu.

Flanked by Sanjay Wahi, President J&K Table Tennis Association and N Ganeshan, the competition manager of the event, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Youth Services and Sports Department, Sarmad Hafeez on Saturday evening said that the national event is all set to begin from March 20 to 27 in which more than 750 players and officials from 34 States, Union Territories, Sports Boards and Institutions are taking part.

“It is yet another feather in the cap of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as in the last two years, we have successfully hosted the 22 national championships in different disciplines,” Hafeez told reporters in a curtain raiser press conference.

The Secretary stated that being organized by J&K Table Tennis Association in close coordination with J&K Sports Council, it is a matter of privilege to be hosts of yet another major event in the sports calendar of the country.

“Successful conduct of Veteran Masters National Table Tennis Championship in Srinagar last year has consolidated the claim of J&K to be one of the most sought after sports destinations in the country and the allotment of 84th Senior National Table Tennis Championship-2022 by Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) only authenticates the claim,” he asserted.

Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is hosting Senior National Table Tennis Tournament after a gap of almost 25 years, he said that in the past one year, J&K has hosted 22 National level tournaments in various sports disciplines, adding he attributed rise in sports activities across the union territory to the boom in sports infrastructure and in the days to come sports activities will amplify manifold.

Many former and ex-International stars and Arjun Awardees like Monalisa Mehta, S.Raman and Kamlesh Mehta are going to witness the event and this in itself should be a biggest motivation and inspiration for the Table Tennis stars waiting in wings to realise their potential, Hafeez added.

President J&K Table Tennis Association, Sanjay Wahi said, “many prominent paddlers of country shall take part in the event which includes star players like Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra and Sathiana Ganaesekaran who collectively bagged 6 Gold medals in recent CommonWealth games.”

The competition manager of the event, N. Ganeshan, who hails from Kerala was all praises for the growing sports culture in the union territory of J&K.

Recalling his first visit to J&K in 1997, Ganeshan said sports infrastructure has not only improved but increased in number too and the facilities put in place during his recent visit last year during Masters Table Tennis Championship motivated him and other participants to frequent J&K and contribute to the sports in whatever capacity they can.

The championship carries a total cash prize of Rs 16 lakh and for the first time the bounty shall be equally distributed among the winners from women and men categories also setting a standard to curb the gender bias in sports also.

Around 33 men and 32 women teams besides 65 technical officials from all over the country are going to take part in singles, doubles, mixed doubles, and team championship events.

Secretary J&K Sports Council. Nuzhat Gull however, in a message said that the championship will provide healthy competition to the participating athletes and send a good message of J&K hospitality for which is known world over.

“J&K Sports Council is for the upliftment of sports in the union territory and it shall level no stone unturned to change the sports landscape of the Jammu & Kashmir,” she said.

The championship will provide a platform to the Youth of J&K to showcase their talent and rub shoulders with the reputed players of the country and shall be an opportunity for them to hone their skills, said Ajay Sharma, Organising Secretary J&K Table Tennis Association.

He also said that adequate arrangement for boarding and lodging and local transportation has been put in place for all the participants.

Ajay Sharma while appealing the locals requested them to visit the venue and support the participants.

Among others present on the occasion also included Rakesh Mangotra, Special Secretary YSS, Rajeev Sharma Member J&K Sports Council, Dr Zaffar Iqbal Chief Accounts Officer, Parul Khajuria Under Secretary YSS, Sheikh Riyaz Ahmad Administrative Officer J&K Sports Council and office bearers of J&K Table Tennis Association including Rajan Sharma Secretary, Satbir Singh Senior Vice-President, Narinder Singh Treasurer, IP Singh and Saleem Bandey Vice-Presidents, Vasu Dewan and Hanumat Sharma Joint Secretary.


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