My passion for sports, especially Table Tennis has been rekindled because of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT).
I remember vividly, taking the autograph of the Indian Table Tennis captain Niraj Bajaj at the 1975 World Table Tennis Championships, that too on Valentine's Day. Little did I imagine that I would be married to him in a few years' time!
The glamour and glory of Table Tennis that was prevalent during Niraj's playing days in the 1970s, was somewhere lost with the onset of colour television.
He and other top paddlers of those days were making headlines regularly for their achievements, including Niraj receiving the Arjuna Award and almost beating the world number 1 Chinese player at that time, in China!
So now, our collective endeavour, along with Vita Dani and Kamlesh Mehta through the initiative of UTT, is to bring those golden moments celebrating this sport, back to the forefront.
UTT without doubt is a game-changer. It brings some of the world’s top players to our country and gives our own stars the opportunity to play with or against them.
I can see how much our players have improved simply because they are rubbing shoulders with them for these 3-4 weeks. Every team in UTT has a youth boy and girl learning and competing with the best. And we are already seeing tremendous growth in their play, approach and all-round personality.
For TT fans too, it is a great revelation. They get to watch world-class table tennis in the stadium and/or on the screens. UTT's state-of-the-art production and camerawork has made that possible, a league that has received international acclaim and recognition.
With the fantastic performance and growth of our Indian paddlers with the committed efforts of all stakeholders, it’s only a matter of time before Table Tennis becomes one of the top three sports in India.
-- Minal Bajaj (The writer is a co-promoter of UTT)