KAMPALA. Table tennis tournaments in Uganda are dominated by the conventional schools. You hardly find there students from international schools. But with the introduction of TTX, a new version of table tennis, this gap may be bridged, soon.
During the TTX launch by the Uganda Table Tennis Association at Kampala International School of Uganda (KISU) sports director James Whinston expressed sheer excitement.
“It’s a great opportunity for our children to play a different version of the game, table tennis has a growing popularity within the school. It’s fortunate we have five tables and now this is a different experience for our children,” Whinston said. “Our children playing against those from other schools later on is a great opportunity.
“They are very excited, they love table tennis and I’m proud of the way they are taking on the challenge of the new game. Which one do they prefer is up to them in the long run. But I think this is a great initiative and a nice way to introduce new people to table tennis.”
UTTA chairman Robert Jjagwe, said they piloted TTX in international schools because they have always wanted to bring them closer to UTTA and TTX being a fun-filled version of the game, comes at just the right time.
This is a new simplified style of table tennis which was launched by the ITTF on the eve of the start of Rio 2016 Olympic Games to give pingpong a youthful image.
Unlike the conventional table tennis, in TTX there is no complications of spinning or chopping because the bats are just plastic without rubber.
A TTX set lasts only two minutes, which makes matches more fun and competitive. And what’s more, it bridges the gap between accomplished professionals who have perfected their art through years of practice and novices, who are simply learning.
“That gives players from developing countries like Uganda a chance to compete against those from developed ones like China,” Jjagwe said.
“In TTX the top seed in Uganda can beat the top seed I China and within two weeks you can become a top seed.”
Uganda is one of the first African countries where this format is being introduced.