Mumbai: A nation-wide inter-schools table tennis team event is to be conducted on August 29, the birthday of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand which is celebrated as the national sports day, across 27 states.
Depending on the number of entries, the event would be carried on for two more days to identify the particular state’s schools champions, it was announced today by former national champion Kamlesh Mehta, director of 11Even Sports which is organising the event under auspices of the respective state bodies and the Table Tennis Federation of India.
The winning inter-school champion of each state would progress to the national inter-state finals, set to be organised between December 9-11 at a venue to be finalised by the middle of next month. “In all probability Indore would play host to the event,” said Mehta who explained that while the north eastern states of Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura will not be represented in this unique venture, Kerala and Meghalaya would conduct it at a later date. “The idea is to do it every year. We will be supplying balls, T-shirts etcetera,” said three-time Olympian Mehta at the Khar Gymkhana, venue for the event in Maharashtra. “Our aim is to provide school children the opportunity to play table tennis at a competitive level. We also want to spread awareness of the game among school children and provide a platform for young champions,” said the eight-time national men’s singles champion.
“11Even Sports and TTFI are working towards encouraging and supporting all state associations and to make table tennis the most played sport in schools,” the 56-year-old former national coach said. Events would be held for senior boys and girls and junior boys and girls but restricted to those students currently in the VIII, IX and X standards, according to Mehta. All the teams who qualify for the inter-state schools nationals would be provided with accommodation, food and local travel for the entire duration of stage 2 of the event. PTI
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook