For seven days, all eyes were on Mauritius as the best players in Africa converged for the 2018 ITTF African Championships while stakeholders in the continent as well as ITTF team led by its President, Thomas Weikert were in the Indian Ocean nation for the third series of the ITTF Forum.

But one man that ensured that things were in order during the two-in-one event was Rajessen Desscann, who worked tirelessly as the Tournament Director.

For the Ex-Mauritian international, it was a challenge task but a rewarding one for the Mauritius Table Tennis Association (MTTA).

“This is the third time that the MTTA has organised a Senior African Championship. I was given the opportunity by the association who nominated me as director of tournament. It was a challenge for me. We were honoured to host the best African players in our country as all Mauritian players and fans were thrilled to see the top African countries at their best. The African Champion Aruna Quadri is well known in Mauritius. He has lots of fans here and they were not disappointed. We were honoured to welcome for the very first time in Mauritius an ITTF President. This shows his interest for table tennis in Africa, while a half day initiation was done by the ITTF Foundation at the Rehabilitation Youth Centre (RHC). The other event was that for the first time table tennis was played under water in a submarine for the promotion of table tennis around the world by the ITTF team.
“It has been a successful tournament because we have selected people who are firstly passionate about table tennis and with most of them being ex-national players. We had a dedicated team who worked hard to make it a success. We got the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Mauritius Olympic Committee (MOC), the private sector, ATTF and ITTF of course,” Rajessen Desscann said.

Despite the huge success, Rajessen Desscann admitted that they were also faced with some challenges. “We had a few challenges concerning lodging as we had a record participation of 22 countries and we did our best to welcome everyone. We also had for the first time in an African Championship a forum organised by ITTF for all African countries. The challenge was to manage both events simultaneously and I am very proud that Mauritius organised the first forum and I hope that everything discussed during the forum will become reality. I hope it will help African table tennis move to the next level. It’s high time for Africa to have a new vision for table tennis and all African countries should be united so that we all move in the same direction for the benefit of our sport.”

On the gains of staging the tournament, Rajessen Desscann said: “This type of competition will give our players a better exposure, as we have many young players who are preparing for the Indian Ocean Island Games next year and this tournament will surely help them in their preparation and assess our weaknesses to better improve on them. As director of tournament, I am very proud to have hosted this event with so many countries present and I will like to thank the president of ITTF and ATTF, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Stephane Toussaint; the President of Mauritius Olympic Committee (MOC), Philippe Hao Thyn Voon and his team; the President of the MTTA, Vimal Basanta Lalah and the full team as well as all the other stakeholders who made these championship memorable.”