Thirty-nine young table tennis talents assembled at the club this Sunday for the TTAW’s Dragon Tournament. This monthly competition is aimed at relative beginners to the sport, offering them their first taste of competitive table tennis. As ever, there were four categories at the event; the under 9s, under 11s, under 13s and under 15s. Any young member of a Welsh table tennis club was able to enter as many of these age groups as they fitted, with many players competing well in several different categories.
Hosting the competition, Cardiff City TTC was well represented across the board, with at least three club members fielded in every age group. “All our members represented the club very well” said Coach Lloyd Gregory of his first experience at a Dragon tournament. “I was amazed by how well behaved and professional they all were.”
Already ranked number 1 in the overall Dragon rankings for the under 13 category, club member Dan Jones shone on Sunday, winning both the under 13s and the under 15s competitions. Dan already won the under 13s tournament back in November, so the rules of the Dragon dictate that Dan’s accomplishments mean that he can no longer compete in the under 13 division and shall have to focus his efforts solely on the under 15s in future.
Kavin Durai was another club member who had a super Sunday. Kavin has recently been having lessons at the club, and all his hard work in training seems to now be paying off as he beat back some of the highest ranked Dragon players in his age group to claim the under 11 trophy for the first time.
Organisers of the event were particularly pleased to see so many under 9s keen to compete. The number of entrants to the competition’s youngest category has doubled since the previous month. This kind of positive trend is one that coaches wish to see continue, allowing more young enthusiasts to have the kind of head-start in the sport that many adult players envy.
Morgan Howard is one of the club’s rising stars in the under 9s. Morgan finished third on Sunday and has consistently improved his position in the tournaments, month on month, throughout the last few events of 2014 and into the new year.
The Dragon Tournament is held once a month at Cardiff City Table Tennis Club. Keen an eye on the club Twitter or Facebook page for more information about when the entry forms become available.