The Uganda Table Tennis Association – UTTA is opting for locally made playing tables to help in boosting the game and popularize it across the country.
World table tennis body – ITTF gave Uganda permission to develop the home made cheap tables to help in the spread of the game with the presence of equipment.
The biggest limitation in the spread of table tennis in the country has been lack of equipment, and many think having home made tables is a mile stone in contributing to the growth of the sport .
According to UTTA chairman, Robert Jaggwe, they opted for the locally based tables because they are fairly cheap compared to those imported.
“When you produce a table here it costs about UGX600,000 compared to those we import which cost UGX1.5m and above,” added Jaggwe.
He however said the step to make tables locally is also meant to make it easy for the new recruits from schools to easily adopt to the game without using complicated equipment. “Most of the schools cannot afford the expensive tables,” he added.
Although Jaggwe admitted that the locally made playing tables cannot have the same quality like the imported ones, it will be important to have as many locally made ones to be able to spread the game across the country. He said they had already attempted to make a playing table before COVID-19 affected their plans early this year.
He said COVID-19 distracted their campaign of recruiting 1000 players in 2020 where they had targeted schools in another attempt to promote the sport.
“As you know we were just starting the campaign and then COVID-19 disorganized the whole country. Now we have not managed to do much because schools have been locked since March,” said Jaggwe.
Jaggwe also disclosed to Pearl fm that they are planning to unveil their new high quality equipment they acquired from the world body. The equipment includes tables, balls and chairs for umpires.
The Uganda Table Tennis Association earlier submitted their budget of 680m for the year 2020, however according to Jaggwe they haven’t received the facilitation to help them carry out their activities.
However, the National Council of Sports (NCS) general secretary, Dr. Patrick Ogwel few weeks ago said the government was going to fund 25 percent of each Federation’s budget.