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Sports

The forgotten sport of Table Tennis

A kitchen table, a wall, a ping pong ball and a small round bat and you could be practicing for the next Island Games table tennis competition.
Table Tennis is among one of the sports whose exposure has been limited by years of demise which has only these past years seen a resurgence of the game. As fate would have it, the unfortunate predicament sports today lives forced even us to postpone a special feature we were working on to highlight the sport, however, we did manage to grab some insights into the game as it is at present.
After several years in which the sport had lost its way the emergence of the sport has seen new interest generated, not just among the die hards but also among the juniors and youth.
Packed sessions at Governor’s Meadow were seen before the implementation of the lockdown saw all sessions come to a halt.
For the first time in many years the sport has seen both a juniors and seniors league being played out. With all the tables full the ambience was one of excitement as the sport reignited following what was a successful relaunch.
A new website which would be providing information on league results and events was already in the pipeline for the GTTA whose board, headed by Joe Martinez, had taken the sport from some of its darkest days under the shadows of fading away into obscurity to having entered the last eight in the Island games after just months from its relaunch.
Hard work behind the scenes has seen a well planned development programme focusing on attracting new interest from younger players. Supported by the GSLA and with the backing from the funding available from last summers Island Games, the association now has the opportunity to push towards the future with its own premises at the Boathouse and professional tables across its key venues at the Tercentenary Sports Hall and Governor’s Meadow.
Although presently at a standstill, along with all other sports in Gibraltar, table tennis is among one of the emerging forgotten sports which could provide alternatives for the growing number of youngsters seeking new challenges in sport away from the core sports.
Its presence within the list of sports which gets a look it at the island Games it also provides for a chance to play at a comparable international level. It’s latest results last summer, after just a few months from its return, highlighting how the sport, with the guidance of its ITF certified coaches could reach in the future as it brings in new upcoming talent into its ranks.
Importantly, it is one of those sports which any youngster could enjoy even during lockdown capable of practising skills by bouncing the ball off a wall, and it’s a soft enough ball not to be too concerned of breaking windows.
For further information on the sport and how to join you can contact info@gtta.gi.

Watch our video of some of table tennis’ activities prior to the lockdown