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Table Tennis: Not Just A Game

By Filipe

The recently held SA Combined Inter-Regional and Open Championships proved the above axiom beyond a shadow of a doubt - try and pacify a parent whose son or daughter was supposedly disadvantaged by some or other official pronouncement, and the word ‘game’ goes straight out the window. Not that sportsmanship was any better amongst the athletes themselves who mostly used any opportunity to bombard the opponent with antagonisms, emotional outbreaks and time-wastage techniques.

Yet, in between the power disruptions, disciplinary actions, arguments, heated tempers and veteran intolerance, all was concluded on Saturday night (07/07/07) with a humdinger of a final, where the ageless Anver proved his metal by wining the 40+ and 50+ age groups in style, deposing of Rainer and Alan in quick succession respectively.

As tournaments go, the 2007 SA Combined Championships was historic in the sense that not only were all age groups and genders catered for, but also the disabled. And what gallant athletes these people proved to be. In amongst all the madness, they kept their cool and waited patiently for their matches to be scheduled and played.

From a GCTTA perspective it was a tournament of note. Our Juniors and Senior Ladies did us proud, our Senior Men proved their focus in their individual matches and our Vets showed the rest how the game is to be played. Most impressive was the showing by our up-and-coming Juniors over the brazen Western Province contingency.

Of course there where some disappointments such as some GCTTA Team Members not showing up for team matches, and other members having disciplinary action imposed on them.

To all who attended, supported and assisted; thank you. Your kind support helped overcome some setbacks, acidic sportsmanship and, most of all, ensured that the whole bang-shoot reached an amiable conclusion.

A question was posed by the SATTB Executive: Should we have such a tournament again? To date, the answers have been an emphatic, No!