Despite facilities, academies, UP short of TT champions
The Uttar Pradesh Table Tennis Association’s own academy at the UPTTA Complex has a poor record in terms of achievements as officials and coaches are not aware of the actual reason behind their failure.Updated: Jun 30, 2018 14:46 IST
For former UP player Vibhore Khare, the day starts at as early as 5 am and ends at 8 pm daily. Vibhore and his team of coaches meet 80-odd trainees and discuss their success and failures in detail.
The process continues since 2006 at the JKG Table Tennis Academy at Indirapuram in Ghaziabad. The mission of the academy is to create TT champions. The academy has produced talented players, including international player Sarthak Seth.
“Training table tennis players is my bread and butter so I put my best foot forward to let every player feel that he or she can be the champion of tomorrow,” Vibhore said on the sidelines of the UP Ranking Tournament here on Friday.
Like Vibhore’s academy, other former UP paddlers Saurabh Poddar, Ibadur Rehman, Anil Sen, Shyam Kumar, Yogendra Agarwal, Parag Agarwal, Amit Singh, Sudarshan Prabhakar, and Hemendra Srivastava are running academies in places like Moradabad, Allahabad, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Agra.
However, only a few have succeeded in producing stars for the state.
The Uttar Pradesh Table Tennis Association’s own academy at the UPTTA Complex has a poor record in terms of achievements as officials and coaches are not aware of the actual reason behind their failure.
“We have good coaches, top class facilities and we even charge a small token amount for coaching but still we lack players at the UPTTA Academy,” UPTTA secretary Arun Banerjee said.
“It’s really difficult to understand why the game is getting such a poor response here,” he added.
Secretary of the Lucknow District TT Association NK Lahiry, while accepting a low turnout for the game at the academy, said that players found it difficult to come and play at the academy on regular basis.
“Parents as well as players want training facilities close to their respective areas. Most of them don’t want to travel to the academy daily,” said Lahiry, adding, “We charge only Rs 10 per day for coaching and provide all facilities like tables, balls and uninterrupted power supply.”
He said LDTTA as well as UPTTA conducted regular events at school and district level so that players in Lucknow get the opportunity to sharpen their skills in the game.
So far as Lucknow’s rich history in table tennis is concerned, a number of former ranked paddlers like Bishwajeet Gon, Tapan Bose, Vinod Mehta, SK Dey, Sanjeev Kapoor, Sujeet Gon, Gambhir Kapoor, and Rajeev Kapoor hail from this place.
Ever since the establishment of UPTTA Academy in 1993, it has managed to produce only top international officials, including the only Blue Badge umpire Amit Singh.
“We have produced 20-odd international technical officials, including myself, and I find that establishment of a training centre of the Sports Authority of India at the Colvin College from 1988 to 1999 robbed UPTTA Academy’s success. Most of the top players had joined the centre then,” said Banerjee, who claimed that establishing residential academies for the game would be a better option for the uplift of game’s standard in Lucknow.
“If someone comes with the idea of setting up of residential academies, UPTTA would support it fully,” said Banerjee.
First Published: Jun 30, 2018 14:46 IST