The 20th edition of the Reliance Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships (AJTTC2014) will be held at the NSCI Sardar Vallabhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai from September 12thto 16th. 200 players representing 16 countries will battle against each other to win the muchsought-after championship. Out of this, 30 participantswill represent India.
India last hosted this championship in 2011 in New Delhi. The World Junior Championships were also held in India in 2012 for the very first time. The 2013 edition of the AJTTC was hosted in Doha.
Participating Nations and Sponsorships
The AJTTC2014 is considered to be among the most prestigious events within the junior table tennis circuit around the world. Participating nations include Singapore, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Iran, Hong Kong, China, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and, the host country, India.
According to a recent press release, the event is being organized by the Mumbai City District Table Tennis Association and is being backed by the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU), the Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association (MSTTA) and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
The director of the tournament will be 8-time national men’s singles championship winner, Kamlesh Mehta. “In India, over 1 lakh players are associated with it (table tennis) professionally, and another 2 lakh play the sport as a hobby,” said Kamlesh Mehta. He adds, “Hosting the 20th edition of the championship, an event that will see the world’s top players, is very prestigious for us. This is the first time such a major event is coming to Mumbai, Maharashtra.”
2 of the world’s best table tennis players, Fan Zhendong (China) and Hoikem Doo (Hong Kong), are also expected to be present at the event.
Unveiling of the Official Logo
The official logo of the championship was unveiled by Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, along with former national champion and tournament advisor, Niraj Bajaj. Other members present during the unveiling included the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Vita Dani, TTFI Secretary General Dhanraj Choudhary, and Kamlesh Mehta.
Nita Ambani’s Vision for Sports in India
This is not Nita Ambani’s first interaction with the sporting world. In addition to being the co-owner of the Mumbai Indians IPL Cricket team, she has also leveraged her leadership position in Reliance Foundation to help children connect with the spirit of sports. In addition to pursuing a number of philanthropic activities, the foundation also works to inculcate a sense of excitement towards sports and inspiration to pursue one’s dreams.
As Founding Chairperson of Football Sports Development, she has been involved in the creation of the Indian Super League, a football league that is scheduled between October and December this year.
The league was started with goals that look beyond its commercial benefits. She believes that while the financials are important in driving investment into a specific sport, the key aspect of this football league will be to focus on grass root development, refurbishment of stadiums and inculcating a sense of professionalism in player management for sports in India.