KAMPALA-When the International Table Tennis Federation brought the Talent Development Project Africa in Uganda in 2006, its cardinal aim was to foster grassroots table tennis and allow as many children as possible thrive on the table as well in academics.
Amina Kibone, a former Commonwealth Games representative and now a Masters’ degree holder, epitomizes that dream.
Table tennis won her scholarships throughout her education as one of the pioneer beneficiaries of the first project that aided Mbale Tigers Table Tennis Club with equipment and capacity building in schools like Nabumali High and Nabumali Boarding schools.
In 2018, ITTF helped Slum Ping Pong bring slum children to the table, a success that was celebrated on the World Table Tennis Day in April 2019.
Currently it’s dedicating its resources to the Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs (HONECRIC) with special interest in supporting children with disabilities learn and play pingpong.
It for such projects that, the State minister for Sports Hamson Obua commended the ITTF at luncheon yesterday.
“When Jesus healed 10 men, only one came back to thank him. But I want to thank ITTF for the three projects you have sponsored with Ugandan Table Tennis, and we welcome more and more support to this sport from you,” Obua told Rowan Fajerman, the ITTF field programmes coordinator.
“We want to see table tennis spread nationwide to Arua, Moroto, Kisoro and on islands.”
Robert Jjagwe, the Uganda Table Tennis Association president, acknowledged that it was the first time table tennis hosted a minister of sports and thanked Obua for honouring the invite, though on short notice. Obua in turn pledged his commitment to not only table tennis but to all the 51 sports associations registered with the National Council of Sports.