ITTA happy over local development
International Table Tennis Association (ITTA) in its official web
site praised Sri Lanka Table Tennis Association (SLTTA) Secretary
Chandana Perera for his untiring service for the development of Table
Tennis in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami devastation. ITTA in their web
article' Table Tennis Thrives as Sri Lanka Recovers from Tsunami and
civil war' commended the recent tournaments held in Jaffna and Kegalle.
Sri Lanka Table Tennis Association
(SLTTA) Secretary Chandana Perera. Picture by Sumanachandra
When contacted by Daily News Chandana Perera to gather more
information on new developments and future plans for Sri Lanka Table
He said "we have conducted two very successful Novices and
Intermediate tournaments in Kegalle and Jaffna Districts. Nearly 500
children participated at the Kegalle tournament in 16 events on December
27, 28. The matches were played at St Mary's College hall. Under the
patronage of Sabaragamuwa Province Chief Minister Maheepala Herath, 14
TT tables were distributed among the schools in the district. This will
be a fore runner to popularize the game in the country. Due to the good
organizing skills of Kegalle District TTA President and Member of the
Parliament Kanaka Herath the event was a great success", said Chandana.
"The Jaffna tournament which held on December 29,30 was disturbed by
heavy rains. We have lost nearly 35 entries from Mannar, Vavunia and
Batticaloa districts and had to confine the tournament for a single day.
Former president, Board of Control for TT in Sri Lanka and Abans Senior
Director P M Pestonjee sponsored the Jaffna event. There was a keen
contest between Jaffna and Trincomalee players during the matches.
Jaffna TTA Secretary J Mohan, the one who is also do coaching in the
Jaffna district must given the credit for moulding these freshers to
become fine paddlers.
"We have been conducting regular training sessions in Trincomalee
with the support of the Asian German Sports Exchange Program Chairman D
Doering who is a resident in Sri Lanka for the past 25 years. While
helping our paddlers over the years have also arranged many
international tournaments for our local paddlers. Unfortunately the
Trinco training program came to abrupt end due to lack of funds. We have
requested Doering to re-start the training sessions and expect a good
response from him.
"After the Tsunami in 2004, the Norwegian TTA and ITTA built Sri
Mathumai Ambal College, a new school in Trincomalee comprising of a hall
specially for TT practices. They have donated internationally approved
TT tables and eight tables which can be accommodated in the hall. The
Nilaveli Peace Village Indoor Stadium has also brought many into the
sport. We have witnessed new talents emerging from the area. Even though
Trincomalee is well equipped with material assets but the TT development
program came to standstill ue to financial difficulties.
"Pestonjee has agreed to sponsor another North and East Tournament
and we are making arrangements to conduct the same in September. As we
have seen a great potential in Jaffna and Trinco we hope to support them
in every sphere to reach National level. There will be a large number of
ranking players from Jaffna and Trincomalee in the future tournaments.
"When compared with schools in other districts, it is much easier to
popularize this game in Jaffna and Trincomalee schools. School children
in these areas have so much of free time but less opportunities to
participate in sport activities. Our focus is to bring them into TT.
"When I joined as an administrator of TTA in 1993 the game was only
popular in Colombo, Kandy and Ambalangoda. With great effort we have
brought the game to Kegalle, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Ratnapura,
Gampaha and Kalutara Districts. Even when the war prevailed in the
country, we carried out TT programs in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa
and Ampara districts.
"We have a very high standard of TT in school level in Sri Lanka,
specially up to under-18. But the progress of a school players often
weaken by the high competitiveness in crucial exams. Many talented
youngsters partly or fully give up the game in order to prepare for the
year five scholarship exam. Then at the O/Ls stage we lose another
batch. The worst period arises at the A/L stage as most of the players
do not participate in tournaments during these two years. But this is
the best period for them to become a ranked player. A ranked player is
given marks at the university entrance. Many players and their parents
are not aware on this matter. We have come across many incidents that
very talented players have lost this marks as they didn't participate in
tournaments during O/L and A/L classes. This situation is common to all
sports in our country", said Chandana.
Speaking about Sri Lanka's position in the international TT scene
Chandana told that we are number two in the South Asian region. "We got
very close to number one at the South Asian Games in 2006 here in
Colombo when Deepika Rodrigo played the final against India. Till 2009
we didn't have fully committed professional TT players. But thanks to
the three Forces nearly 20 National level players have given jobs in
Army, Navy and Air Force. As the war has ended those players will be
able to commit themselves to the sport and bring a couple of gold medals
at the South Asian Games 2011. We are expect a high standard of play in
the ranking tournaments when the season begins in March," told the