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UAE Table Tennis Team unveils plan to grow game in Dubai

posted on 23/05/2013: 2597 views



A new initiative which may one day see the sport of table tennis as popular in the UAE as it is in China, was launched yesterday by the UAE Table Tennis Team.

Standing alongside his fellow sportsman from the Chinese National Table Tennis Team, which starred at the recent World Championships in Paris and is supporting the programme, UAE player Rashid Abdul Hamid unveiled details of the project, which aims to increase grassroots participation in the UAE.

"Table tennis has a rich tradition throughout the world for bringing people together and the great thing about the game is that anyone - regardless of age, ability and fitness - can enjoy playing," said Abdul Hamid, who this week enjoyed beating the USA to achieve the best ever finish for the UAE in a World Championships. "Ping Pong Dubai is a community initiative with a simple aim - to encourage people from all walks of life to pick up a bat and discover that table tennis is a fun and social way to be more active. We have an exciting calendar of accessible events and activities which we hope will inspire people to get involved and help stimulate the sport's growth," he added.

The Chinese National Table Tennis Team, which is sponsored by Dubai, is firmly behind the programme. "Ping pong is embedded into the fabric of life in China so we are always pleased to see the sport being developed in international markets," said world No 1 Xin Xu. "It is particularly exciting to see that Dubai, in addition to supporting the China team, is strengthening its commitment to the game." Ping Pong Dubai is a non-profit venture between the UAE Table Tennis Association, Dubai Sports Council and Falcon and Associates, which facilitated the Chinese National Table Tennis Team sponsorship. It will kick off with an inaugural event in June at Dubai Sports World, the largest indoor summer sports event in the Middle East, taking place from June 21 - August 21 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Twelve free-to-use tables will be located in Sheikh Saeed Hall, while UAE players and coaches will make regular appearances to help inspire youngsters, as well as guide players on how to get the most from the game. Details of when coaches will be available will be posted on the Ping Pong Dubai Facebook page, along with regular updates on forthcoming events and activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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