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GCTTA’s Outreach Initiative touches hearts and minds

The first in what is envisaged as a series of public exhibition matches by some of the Association’s leading players proved to be a crowd-puller at Sportsmans Warehouse Fourways Crossing on September 30.

Store manager Daniel Hink, assisted by staff members Clifford and Cameron, made space for a team of players in national, provincial and club colours to strut their stuff on a table next to the checkout tills.

Players of the calibre of Anver and Shereen Lyners, Margie Luckay, Don Pearton, Chetan Nathoo, Lareen Louw and others turned out to provide entertaining stroke-making. Members of the public were invited to pit themselves against the stars and came away bemused by the skills needed to master this challenging game.

Several potential new players, including one who has played league in India, were identified and at least one school has shown interest in learners receiving coaching and possibly joining the schools league.

Apart from exhibition stroke-making and playing against members of the public, GCTTA players also utilized a series of fun bats – the dinner plate, the pumpkin and the microbat – to graphically illustrate the fun nature of the game while show casing the skills needed to play with bats which, despite their size and shape, still fall within the rules of the game.

Members of the Association’s Outreach team handed out scores of promotional leaflets that provided contact details of clubs and of coaching opportunities.

Around three table tennis tables are sold every week at Sportsmans Warehouse Fourways Crossing and store manager Daniel is keen to continue promoting the game (and other sports) by hosting ‘reality’ in-store events. A representative of a well known sports clothing and shoe brand also approached the Outreach team to discuss the possibility of holding a sponsored in-store tournament before the end of the year.

Many thanks to the players (and their families) who donated their valuable time on a Saturday morning to promote their sport, and to members of the Outreach team who put time and effort into making the first public exhibition match a success.

The current Outreach initiative follows similar initiatives in past years which were aimed at bringing table tennis to the community with the objective of injecting new players of all ages into the sport.

Further promotions are in the pipeline – watch this space.