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Disabled but Able in Every Other Way

by Filipe

For the first time in four years, the Junior National Championships for disabled athletes took place in an atmosphere of intense rivalry, extreme competitiveness and friendly confrontation. That, in a nut-shell, was the spirit de corps present on the 25 April at the Boskruin Centre, Randburg – home of Gauteng Central Table Tennis - during the hosting of the aforementioned championships.

Teams of disabled athletes from as far a field as O R Thambo, KZN, Free State and Gauteng North assembled to compete for the various accolades on offer – some to show that their infirmities are nothing more than a mere hiccup in the path of life, others to show experienced athletes that they are worthy of taking over their long held crowns.

The championships also attracted Umpires from across the spectrum of certification – Provincial, National, International and Blue Badge candidates. An eventuality that ensured that all challenges were dealt with efficiently and with no down-time.

The one unplanned portion of the championships, was the hosting of an all-class, all-ages Open knock-out tournament. This event was held with the permission of the SASAPD Executive members that were present on the day. This addition was also well praised by all the Classifiers present, as it offered them an opportunity to view all athletes playing in situations outside their respective comfort zones.

The day was made that much more special by the presence of the President of SATTB, the Vice-President and the General Manager of SASAPD and the Table Tennis Convenor of SASAPD.

At the end of the day, after the medals and trophies were dished out to all the deserving winners, all the sponsors and administrators thanked, and the games were declared closed with a “See you all again next Year.”  

Given the level of play in evidence on the day, and the future augers well for South African Table Tennis as a whole.

Thanks to:

Boskruin Centre Management and Staff, City of Jhb, Lotto, SATTB and GCTTA, Nedbank

All Table Administrators and Umpires

SASAPD Executive and Members, SASAPD Classifiers and Caterers

Athletes, Coaches, Supporters and all Bus Drivers