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Crawford Boy Wins Gold at Table Tennis Tournament in Namibia

Cape Town – A Covid-19 hard lockdown pastime has led to a young Crawford boy winning gold during a recent international table tennis tournament.

Zaeem Dadaker, a Grade 4 learner at Bishops Preparatory School, returned to Cape Town on Saturday with a gold medal after his win at the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation Southern Africa Hopes and Challenge Week hosted by the Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA).

The challenge in Namibia took place from October 26 to November 1 for Under 11 boys and girls and included five days of coaching and two days of tournament in Windhoek.

Teams from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa competed in the tournament.

Zaeem’s table tennis journey began during the Covid-19 pandemic when schools were shut as a health precaution. His father, Zuhoor Dadaker, purchased a table tennis board to keep Zaeem and siblings Mohammed and Sameena occupied. Soon after taking up the sport, the children requested a coach to teach them the rules and to correct their strokes, Zuhoor said.

Coach Gregory Naik then introduced them to club table tennis and taught them the basics of the sport.

At the age of 9, Zaeem made the Western Province Cape Town Table Tennis team. He went on to play in the SA national tournament in October and was the only player to win four gold medals at the competition. He currently holds the SA National Champion title in the Under 11 Division.

“I would like to thank SATTB for the opportunity and Team Namibia for hosting us. I learnt new skills and new drills which helped me through the final. I also made new friends from different countries,” Zaeem said.

Zuhoor said: “We are very grateful to the Almighty for blessing Zaeem with his victory.”

Bonteheuwel-based Boundary Table Tennis coach Graham van As said two girls and two boys represented South Africa at the tournament, with three players (all three winners) from the Western Cape.

“I feel great. Zaeem won the tournament, then Adam Domingo won bronze and Tamika van As won Silver, so that is great for South Africa and Cape Town,” he said.

“The kids learnt a lot because it was quite a new experience, especially when it comes to high-quality coaches.”

Source : IOL