SHILLONG: Table tennis is slowly emerging as a popular game in the State, especially in the capital city, with pool of talented youths excelling in the field.
The growth of TT in the past few years has been also been due to the efforts of the Meghalaya Table Tennis Association (MTTA) which is acting as a facilitator to the players participating in various national championships and national camps.
The MTTA has also been organising state level tournaments to scout new talents and encourage the existing ones to perform at the national level.
“Our players have been winning medals in the NE games since 2012 when Tanushree das Gupta (a national ranked player) bagged the first individual silver medal,” MTTA secretary Chiranjib Choudhuri told reporters on Saturday while adding that the sub-junior girls’ team has been performing credibly in the national arena since 2012.
He also informed that two players Ian B Sangma and Sameer Pandey were selected by the PSPB National TT Academy and Pandey was a member of the PSPB cadet National Champion team in 2012.
It may be mentioned that top players from the sub junior girls’ and boys’ category were recently selected by TTFI to attend a 21-day training programme in China.
Choudhuri said that the immediate goal of MTTA is to spread the game across the districts, particularly the schools, in collaboration with the government to identify talents capable of making distinct impression in the regional and national level.
President of MTTA, RG.Lyngdoh, expressed hope that the game of TT would excel further in the future.
“We would like to promote the game across the districts of the state in the near future,” he said adding that opening more TT centres in the State would enable players to fare better at the regional, national and international arena.
He further urged the parents to come forward and let the children explore their talents.
Meanwhile, national ranked player, Tanushree Dutta, who recently returned from the training programme in China said, “We learned a lot of new techniques, strokes and order of play.”
Talking about the infrastructure, she said,” The infrastructure was really good and we hope we get such facilities to enhance our skills better.’
Bivek Das was the other player from the State to have attended the training in China.
MTTA Coach, L.Nonglait called upon the youth to take the game as a career option while assuring coordination and support from the coaches.
The South Asian Federation junior table tennis championship held here in June, 2012 had given a boost to the game in the State.
The MTTA came into existence in the mid seventies and was registered officially on October 4, 1978.
The Association has conducted a series of national and an international championship and has been working tirelessly to promote the sport in the State.