Table-tennis bonanza end of May      

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NTHAKO MAJORO and

KABELO MASOABI

MASERU – Table tennis players are expected to compete in a doubles and mixed-doubles tournament to be held at the Examinations Council of Lesotho (ECoL) premises at the end of this month.  The Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LTTA)’s Public Relations Officer, Thato Mathibeli, the upcoming doubles and mix doubles tournament has been scheduled to take place on May 28. Mathibeli said the tournament is organised by one of the LTTA affiliate clubs, Rebelane Table Tennis Club.

“This tournament is not organised by the association but by Rebelane Table Tennis Club,” Mathibeli told Public Eye. LTTA spokesperson said this was after the local table tennis mother-body held its first schools table tennis competition a fortnight ago, ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. “We had a tournament for schools this past weekend, being primary, high schools and for tertiary schools.

“This was a revival tournament for schools’ players after spending a long time without any tournament due to Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in the suspension of sports in the country,” Mathibeli said. Schools who participated at the competition were Butha-Buthe High School, Likila, Botha-Bothe Community, Itekeng Primary School, Thamae LEC Primary School, Machabeng College, Botho University who was represented by one player, the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and St Joseph’s, amongst others.

The schools who participated at last month’s tourney were not more than ten and Mathibeli said LTTA was expecting to attract more schools than those who attended. The tournament was also held at the ECOL premises in Khubetsoana, Berea. Mathibeli however said the tournament was successful. “The tournament was successful, as far as table tennis is concerned,” she said.

Butha-Buthe High School became the winners in female category after their two players made it to the final, while the male title went to the National University of Lesotho (NUL)’s team, also after their two players made it to the final. Meanwhile, LTTA is preparing for the annual general meeting which is set to take place at ECoL on May 21to reflect on challenges and successes achieved in the past year.

The meeting to also elect the executive committee members will take place from 9am at the Examination Council of Lesotho (Ecol) buildings at Khubetsoana, Berea. “LeTTA season ends in April and reports are given annually. Only two representatives from each team registered under the association are invited to attend the general meeting. Among other issues to be shared are the finances, challenges and successes the association faced during the year,” the association public relations officer Thato Mathibeli told Public Eye.

According to Mathibeli, this was the first tournament following a sudden pause imposed by the pandemic. The games played at Ecol Khubetsoana were for junior and senior players in both males and females categories. “The goal is for players to reconnect and build oneness within the sport amid Covid-19 interruptions. Some of the players have not yet made a come-back in the game,” she explained.

Schools that participated in the tournament included Thamae and Itekeng primary schools, Botha-Bothe, Likila, St Joseph’s, St Cyprian’s high schools; Machabeng College, Botho University and the National University of Lesotho (NUL). Winning teams from both female and male categories, namely Botha-Bothe High School on ladies’ side and NUL on men side, were awarded medals prizes.

Mathibeli revealed another ahead plan being to hold another tournament of doubles and mixed doubles playoffs set for May 28 at Ecol. She said the games are being organised by their member table tennis club – Rebelane. LeTTA was established in 1997 and is currently led by Chabeli Mohatlane as its president. Last year he won the presidency position unopposed to reclaim his previous position in LeTTA. Mohatlane who became the first LeTTA president in 1997 left the position to Aupa Rasmen in 2009 before he was re-elected to lead the tennis body. Meanwhile, the association held at the beginning of this month, a friendly school tournament aimed at lifting the spirit of the players in the aftermath of Covid-19.

 

 

 

 

 

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