BTTF combines junior TT with senior one
The National Junior Table Tennis Championships are set to be incorporated into the senior one as the 39th edition of the national event gets underway on Saturday at the Rifles Club in Chattogram, following a four-year gap.
The initiative from the Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation (BTTF) will stop mass participation of junior players as they will now play in only two events – boys' singles and girls' singles. Four other events of the junior event -- boys' doubles, boys' team, girls' doubles and girls' team -- have been dropped altogether.
The junior (U-18) meet was last held in 2017 with the participation of 180 players from 29 teams, but this time only 74 junior peddlers, including 28 girls, will take part in the combined event.
BTTF vice-president Hassan Munir claimed that they have incorporated the two events to save money.
"Initially we used to hold both senior and junior event together before staging those separately," Munir told The Daily Star yesterday.
"If we extend the event by only two days, we can use the same umpires, managers and venue to hold the junior championships. But if we hold it separately, the senior event will cost Tk 19 lakh while the junior event will cost Tk 8 to 9 lakh," Munir added.
The BTTF is getting Tk 22 lakh from Chattogram Jilla Krira Sangsha, UCB Bank and Polar Ice Cream to organise the 39th edition of the championships, where 230 players including 74 junior players will vie in nine events -- men's singles, doubles and team, women's singles, doubles and team, mixed doubles, boys' singles and girls' singles. The number of peddlers during the 38th edition in 2019 was 260.
While prize money is often offered in privately-organised table tennis tournaments in Dhaka, the national championships will see no such prize money.
"In those tournaments, the number of participants is very low, so they can provide prize money. We need at least Tk 25 lakh to arrange the event and for that we have to work hard to get sponsors. We have financial limitation," Munir said.
The BTTF official, however, said that the federation is providing one-way ticket, daily allowance and accommodation for the participants during the event.