Nigeria shows the way for table tennis to become the most popular indoor sports again

October 26, 2013 8:05 pm0 comments by:

Table tennis should be the most popular indoor game in world sports. It is a simple game, easy to understand and play. It is a sport for all and sports for all ages.

Table Tennis for all ages

Table Tennis for all ages

It is one of the sports that opposite sexes can play competitively together at all levels. Table tennis compare to other sports is value for money. The table is the only expensive equipment and lasts as long as you want it. You need at least 2 bats and tennis balls that come in a pack.

It has a few health benefits such as keeping your reaction speed and co-ordination. Players improve aerobic fitness as you use all body parts or muscles. This encourages circulation of oxygen around the body. You burn calories and thus loss of fat. It improves flexibility, as the mechanics of game; require players to move around the table. Table tennis also enhances hand eye co-ordination. This is common benefit with all racket sports. Table tennis players also require mental strength and concentration, which is health benefit.

Table tennis is an indoor sport and is not affected by the weather. You require a relatively small space to mount the table. The most popular indoor sport such Basketball, Lawn tennis requires a wider space. The modern table is also designed to be folded thus easily stored in the house.

It is a sport currently available all over the universe and players can play for exercise, recreation and social. It offers several benefits as a sport for life and should be more embraced by millions. This makes it difficult to understand why it occupies less media coverage compared to more expensive and physical demanding indoor sport.

It is refreshing that Africa is showing other continents (South America, North and Central America, Europe) that they should follow or match exploits of Asia. Asian players, particularly the Chinese table tennis players dominate the table tennis world rankings in both Men and Women. You have a few players from Germany and Belarus in the Top 20. It is not a coincidence that they dominate the game, as they coverage for local matches is huge with strong competition to be the best.

Recently, Nigeria hosted an international table tennis tournament from August 26th to 31st in Lagos. Nigeria has not hosted any international competition since 1991.
The Lagos classic brought together players from the host country Nigeria, South Africa, China, Cameroon, Egypt, Ukraine, Russia and many more countries.

The idea was to promote the game, increase participation and image of the Country and the Continent in general. According to the media report, it was successful in terms of media coverage; spectator’s turnout was high and thus gave a good image.
The objective of improving the technical ability of the African players will be measured very soon.
Following the successful hosting of the Lagos classic, Nigeria have been awarded the rights to host the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Top 16 Cup next year, it has been announced.

African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) President Khaled El-Salhy said that the decision to award the tournament to Nigeria was on the recommendation of its Executive Committee, and also of the success of the Lagos International Classic.

This international Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup due next year is a good opportunity for the Top African players and organisers. The organisers need to plan and prepare very well as host and the players have to train and be ready to compete against the best in the world.

For the rest, I hope the spectators at the Lagos classic turnout for the event. We should try and promote the game to everyone by our actions. The benefit of playing the game is wide ranging to ignore.
It is a low risk sports as a non-contact sports. This is assuming that you do not use the bat as throwing object. It is a risk free game in practice.
I have mentioned at the beginning of this article that it is not an expensive sport to participate. Once, you buy the most expensive equipment table that cost the same as a pair football boots. The rest is cheap to buy and lasts for a long period.

You improve your eye to hand coordination, as result of playing the game at your own pace. It has physical benefits for all ages, both male and female. It encourages mental concentration.
This is why it baffles me that it is not a popular sport around the world. I am glad that Nigeria is addressing this issue and will host the ITTF Africa Cup next year.

Obioma Aguocha
Self Publisher:The Guide to being the Best (Paperback) 2007 & Sporting Success Simplified (E-book) 2012

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