In Summary

  • Table tennis has in recent years been marred by administrative dogfights which have greatly crippled the once-blossoming sport. But UTTA chairman Robert Jjagwe said the new arrangement will boost competition and build a stronger team for the 2020 Olympics.

KAMPALA. The Uganda Table Tennis Association (UTTA) relaunched the National Club League after eight years of absence.
The league that will be embraced by seven men’s teams and five ladies’ teams including Sekanyolya Systems, M-Kopa, Mbogo College and Ndejje, among others, begun at the national training centre at Kololo SS on Sunday evening.
Top players enthusiastically welcomed the league which will run on a round-robin format at Kololo every weekend for five months.
The two Ronalds, Nyaika and Andira, are the few who featured in the league the last time it was played. Upon its return, the aforementioned stars are optimistic it will improve the sport, especially ahead of future international engagements.
“I’m happy the league is back after some years; it comes just in time as we prepare for the more competitive Commonwealth trials,” said Nyaika, who was the star of the previous league.
2014 Commonwealth representative Ludia Natunga has bigger ambitions. “It’s timely as we prepare for bigger tournaments—that’s why I want to give it my best I think my team will win,” said the Kata Technologies player.
Youngster Rayan Ssekulima, the U13 champion, was the star of the opening day with two convincing victories against senior players, which helped his club Betsurfers tie 5-5 with Ndejje.
Defeating Daniel Minjo was not news per se but Ssekulima’s resilience and the eventual 3-2 victory against elite top seed Stephen Karamagi was outstanding.
Table tennis has in recent years been marred by administrative dogfights which have greatly crippled the once-blossoming sport. But UTTA chairman Robert Jjagwe said the new arrangement will boost competition and build a stronger team for the 2020 Olympics.

assemugabi@ug.nationmedia.com