THE Zambia Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) has hailed 2012 as a successful year and is already strategising on having a fruitful 2013 season.
ZTTA patron Haroon Ghumra said in an interview that the year 2012 saw the association host seven local championships while its players participated in two regional competitions held in Gaborone, Botswana.
Ghumra said 2012 was an action and excited year which should be recorded in sports history books because of the number of tournaments held and new sponsors that were sourced to sponsor the various competitions.
"2012 will go down as one of the successful years in the history of our sport as we managed to find new sponsors who helped us stage seven tournaments and the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) should be commended for proving to be a reliable partner in the promotion of the sport," he said.
He named the tournament held as ZTTA Closed sponsored by Decotext Paints held in April, the Open tournament sponsored by Zayan Investments Limited in July and the Non-Fe (NFCA) Zambia-China Friendship tournament held in Kitwe.
The ZTTA also held the inaugural Zambeef Open followed by the three editions of the National Junior Championships sponsored by Habib Industries, Modern Fabrics and Amigo Foods Limited respectively.
Ghumra, who is also Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) board member, also paid tribute to the ZTTA members for ensuring that all programmes were implemented as planned especially the vision of tapping talent among the youths.
He said it was nice to see the table tennis simulating interest among the young players and that the association was looking on building a strong team to compete at the 2014 Youth Olympics to be held in China.
"We have continued to see the number of these kids growing with each tournament that we held and that was very encouraging to us as it gives us the impetus to forge ahead with our programmes.
"The equipment at Olympiafrica has also greatly helped to accord kids from the surrounding areas the opportunity to practice," he said.
Looking ahead to 2013, Ghumra said there was need to ensure that the sport was popularised and spread the tentacles of the sport to other areas adding that table tennis was an easy sport to run as it was not costly.
Ghumra said there was need for officials to work hard this year by ensuring that other sponsors were found to help stage the various tournaments aimed at improving the sport among the kids.