In an effort to promote and develop table tennis across the sultanate, Oman Table Tennis Association (OTTA) recently signed an agreement with Salalah Club to establish a junior table tennis centre.
The deal was inked at the Al Saada Sports Complex in Salalah on the sidelines of a monthly camp organised to kick-start the junior table tennis centre. The Salalah Club centre is the second centre in Salalah with Al Nasr Club already having a similar centre.
Abdullah Bamkhalef, the OTTA chairman and Sheikh Ali Awadh al Rawood, Salalah Club chairman signed the agreement.
Junior table tennis centre is an ambitious OTTA initiative to focus on the potential youngsters who could later form the foundation of the national team.
The centre aims to target players in the age group from eight to 12 and will be under direct supervision of Mohammed Atoum, Oman national team head coach from Jordan. Ahmed Helmi has been named the coach of the Salalah Club centre and will report to Atoum.
Besides the Salalah’s centre, OTTA has other centres at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Al Ittifaq Club in Ibri, Saham Club and Seeb Club.
As part of the agreement, OTTA will provide four TT tables (Stag brand), which is approved by ITTF, 600 balls, 15 TT bats and outfits for players and coaches.
Speaking after the agreement, Bamkhalef said, “OTTA is keen to groom the youngsters with the required skills prior to their joining of the national teams. The existing junior centres are performing well. There is a continuous follow-up and monitoring of the players and coaches by the national team head coach.”