Power of Table Tennis: Thailand sets example
Established by Her Royal Highness, Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati, the Princess Rajasarinisiribajra; Bounce be Good (BBG) is a project in Thailand that promotes youth development through sport.
The main objective is to provide the opportunity for children and young people, especially the underprivileged and those who are at risk of offending, to realise their potential and enjoy a passion for sport. Thus one day they can become national athletes or work in the sporting world.
Most importantly, the goals are to provide opportunities for determined young people to express their talents, to develop their abilities in the sports of table tennis and badminton, in addition to publishing the royal duties of the Princess Rajasarinisiribajra.
On a daily basis, overall, 474 children are enrolled, a total of 268 for table tennis, 161 for badminton players, 45 for football.
In total, eight gymnasia are used, the venues being: Sirindhorn Table Tennis Gym (Bangkok), Rajvithi Table Tennis Gym (Bangkok), Pranee Table Tennis Gym (Nakhon Patom), Mutita Table Tennis Gym (Nakhon Patom), Nakhon Ratchasima Table Tennis Gym, Nakhon Ratchasima Football Gym, Buriram Table Tennis Gym, Karuna Badminton Gym (Samut Prakan).
In addition to developing and enhancing the programme, BBG Club annually organises a competition at which table tennis is very much at the helm.
Recently from Friday 31st January to Sunday 2nd February, the Princess Cup 2020 was staged, some 1,175 young people took part in the event held in the Samyan Mall in Bangkok.
Present for occasion was Her Royal Highness Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita and Mrs. Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, member of the International Olympic Committee and President of the Badminton Association of Thailand.
The celebrated dignitaries were in attendance alongside Piradej Pruttipruk, President Table Tennis Association of Thailand, Ekaphop Detkriangkraisorn, Vice President of BBG Club and Leandro Olvech ITTF Foundation Director.
Significantly, apart from a professional athlete training programme, BBG Club also provides opportunities for officials such as courses to become a coach, umpire, referee and a line judge.
Quite simply the goal is to extend the range of possibilities for children and young people to decide a career after completing all the programmes.
Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita
“Being a successful athlete is not an easy task. The essential key is discipline. An athlete needs to develop their skills like planning and improve themselves all the time. Most importantly, he or she should not give up on themselves, it requires a lot of perseverance and patience.”
Piradej Pruttipruk, President Table Tennis Association of Thailand
“With the goal of training and developing children and youth through sports, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha initiated the BBG Club to provide opportunities to former juvenile delinquents and those from underprivileged backgrounds to help them stand as professional athletes or compete at the national level. We celebrate this year the BBG Princess Cup third anniversary with more than thousand players and we hope this still keep increasing!”
Ekaphop Detkriangkraisorn, Vice President of BBG Club
“BBG Club aims to enhance the potential of children and youths, particularly juvenile delinquents and unprivileged ones, to become professional athletes. The BBG Princess Cup is thus organised every year as a stage for children and youths to perform their talent and demonstrate their passion for sports.”
Leandro Olvech ITTF Foundation Director
“BBG Club is a perfect example on how to use table tennis for development, this is one of the biggest projects of its kind and we hope this inspires other organisations to follow them. Their youth has demonstrated that there is an alternative to the bad habits and that be learnt through table tennis.”
by Ian Marshall, Editor