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Table Tennis: Animators' Scheme Tournament |10 May 2023

Table Tennis: Animators' Scheme Tournament

The young players with Minister Hoareau and Mr Vel, along with other guests (Photo: Roland Duval)

Huge turnout at first post-Covid era tournament


  • Two titles for Prianka Dabasia


After a halt of over three years due to health restrictions during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, table tennis is back on the local scene, targeting young players to not only build the country’s next generation of paddlers to represent the country, but also to help steer youngsters away from various social ills ravaging our society.

To re-launch table tennis locally, a kids’ tournament was hosted over the weekend, gathering young players between eight and 10 years old from Persévérance 1, Pointe Larue and Anse Aux Pins.

The tournament which took place at the Anse Aux Pins community centre brought together paddlers who are part of the after-school programme led by ex-player, sports officer and coach Jimmy Vel under the Animators’ Scheme launched last year by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.

The objective of the tournament was also to identify athletes with the ability and talent to be enrolled with the national table tennis association to compete in the under-12 and 13 years category, while, by hosting the tournament, the ministry also aimed to gain insights into the development of the participants' sporting abilities and the effectiveness of the Animators' Scheme, which it funds.

The 29 young players were divided into four categories, battling in the boys’ and girls’ primary, boys’ and girls’ secondary groups, along with an open class which featured the best players from each category.

Young female player Prianka Dabasia was outstanding on Saturday, winning both categories in which she took part.

Dabasia, who played in the girls’ primary group, progressed from the group stage to reach the semifinal and beat Lya Tirant 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-0) to book her spot in the final against Arielle Chetty who eliminated Aliah Hassan, also 3-0 in the other semifinal. The set scores were 11-3, 11-3 and 11-3.

In the final, Dabasia came out stronger to win 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9) against Chetty to emerge as champion, while in the third-place match in the group, Tirant beat Hassan 3-2 (10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8).

Dabasia’ second exploit on Saturday was in the girls’ open category where in the final she once again defeated Chetty 3-0. This time the set scores were 11-9, 11-4 and 11-3.

In the boys’ primary competition which also started with group stage matches, Jean-Yves Asba beat Deetan Maria 3-0 (11-6, 11-1, 11-6) in the first semifinal, while in the second, Ryan Esparon defeated Adiandro Esther also 3-0. The set scores were 11-5, 11-5 and 11-2.

In the final, Asba defeated Esparon 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-7) to emerge as champion.

Esparon, however, redeemed himself in the boys’ open division where he defeated Kyle Simara 2-1 in the final to go home with top prize. The set scores were 11-9, 9-11 and 11-9.

In the boys’ secondary competition which was played on a round robin basis, Simara was the winner with three victories, finishing ahead of second-placed Athan Abel who registered two wins, while with one win, Christiano Constance finished third in the group.

In the girls’ competition which was also contested as a roundrobin league, Niara Azemia collected two victories to finish as champions, while with one victory, Tricia Pauline was the group’s runner-up.

Saturday’s event was attended by Minister for Local Government and Community Affairs Rose-Marie Hoareau, member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Pointe Larue Conrad Gabriel, principal secretary for local government and community affairs Kevin Perrine, director general for community affairs Denise Clarisse, along with administrators of the three respective districts.


Roland Duval

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