Paddlers out to make a mark

J.R. Shridharan

Table tennis halls witness a flurry of activity

The response is good from schoolchildren

Participants learn basics during the month-long camp

VIJAYAWADA: Of all indoor games, table tennis is the most sought-after one by youngsters during summer vacation.

As not much physical activity is involved, the game attracts children instantly.

The table tennis halls at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium, Makineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium and Ch. Ramakotaiah Indoor Stadium at Patamata are witnessing much activity, with boys and girls thronging the venues to smash the tiny ball across the table.

The responsibility of imparting the basics of the game has been placed on the shoulders of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) coach Srinivas, senior player Mallikharjun and woman coach Ghausia Pyari.

“Compared to last year, the response is good from schoolchildren this year. We’re conducting camps at three places so that children from surrounding areas can learn the game without wasting time and energy in travelling to long distances,” says Krishna District Table Tennis Association secretary B. Uday Kumar.

As many as 40 paddlers each are undergoing training at IGMC Stadium and MB Stadium while another 30 are honing their skills at Patamata.

“We teach them fitness in the morning session and later make them push the ball to the other side. During the month-long camp, we teach them various serves, counters, rallies and ball control,” says Mr. Srinivas.

Encouraging talent

The annual summer camps are turning fruitful to the association, with many talented players being identified to represent the district and the State.

“Paddlers like Saira Banu, Sk. Mumtaz, Mrudula and Madhuri Reddy represented Andhra Pradesh in the sub-junior nationals and they were identified at summer camps,” points out Mr. Srinivas.

Encouraging the budding paddlers, the association has supplied imported plys and rubbers to the top eight ranked players at subsidised prices.

“Japanese-made Mark V. Yasaka rubbers and Jonyer plys have been given away to the players to enable them to improve their game with quality equipment. Balls are being supplied by the District Sports Authority,” the coach reveals.

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