The Legacy of Mr. Willi Lemke, former UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace

"My name is Birungi Crian Lloyd, the table tennis project supervisor at Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs (HONECRIC) from Hoima Uganda, alumni of the UNSDOP camp in Doha Qatar.

I would like to express my sincere wholehearted gratitude to Mr. Willi Lemke, in particular, for the special donation of the first table tennis table he donated to HONECRIC in 2012 to support our work in particular at the school where I was (Kijonjomi primary school) after seeing the improvisations of local tables we were using then, with the few rackets and balls the ITTF had sent to us.

This donation came after I had been trained in the then UNSDOP youth leadership camp in January 2012 at Aspire Dome Doha Qatar on the use of sports as a vehicle of social change in the community. Some months later we got support from the ITTF in 2013 and added nine more tables to total 10 in five schools.

In this school (Kijonjomi), players enjoyed school life because of table tennis, early departures and dropouts reduced, they trained hard and won three consecutive schools table tennis championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. I was transferred at the start of 2016 from Kijonjomi, one of the five equipped schools with two tables to a new school with no equipment (Kibanjwa primary school) for which reason we requested to borrow one table from my former school (Kijonjomi) and use it for daily training as a project supervisor to be actively involved in the project at the present school.  Kijonjomi administration kindly accepted and lent us the old table that was donated by Mr. Lemke.

I have worked with this table at Kibanjwa since 2016 to date and we have been able to get the best team in Hoima, winning two consecutive Hoima annual primary schools championships for 2017 and 2018 and produced the best players, among whom three of the four students we have on table tennis scholarships are from this school trained on this TABLE!! And the trio students are Kobusinge Sharon Ritah (female) and Tusiime Mercy (female) both taken in 2018 and Tumusime Reagan (Male) taken in 2019 all at St. Michael International School. And the two girls are doing well in table tennis, they won the last year’s (2019) East African games held in Arusha Tanzania and are looking forward to representing their country in China this year 2020 in August.

The success of these students and more to come contribute to a legacy that we hold as HONECRIC in Hoima community and I would like to dedicate it to Mr. Willi Lemke for the good work he did in his position as Special Advisor on sports to the UN Secretary General.

My history of table tennis.

I am Birungi Lloyd, the supervisor of table tennis in (HONECRIC), serving as the head coach in thirteen schools. My path of table tennis is short as I had seen table tennis being played by older boys before, but they never gave me chance to play!  Whenever I tried playing, those who knew would laugh at me, discourage me and take off the racket, so I had no chance to practice, to be guided on how to play and thus never discovered the  enjoy and fan in the sport.

In 2012 when I got an opportunity to attend the UNSDOP youth leadership camp in Doha, it was a blessing to have the then ITTF development deputy director, Mr. Leandro Olvech who took us through table tennis sessions and this was my first time to enjoy table tennis. When he announced that participants could apply for support from the federation through his office, to use table tennis in our activities, I made it a point, of all sports for development interventions we had been taken through for the two weeks, I chose table tennis because it took my interest, was unique in my community and appealing to all our target groups of children.

I have been learning the skills and techniques through watching videos of players and tutorials that I practice and also translate to my players. So, I have been a learning-trainer with no special training by coach or playing experience in any club. Im happy to be a table tennis coach because I have produced players with potentials of making better players at National level, with the coaches I entrusted them with in the international schools they are and I look forward towards building the game of table tennis in Hoima."

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