When Felix Lartey started playing table tennis, he just wanted to have fun but after reading about the exploits of some top players Okine Quaye and Emmanuel Quaye, Lartey wanted to toe the line of these players.
Having being part of the Ghanaian national senior team in the last one decade, Lartey believes the less support the sport has been getting has adversely affected the fortune of table tennis in Ghana.
However, Lartey and his teammates ignited the interest of Ghanaians in the sport when they won bronze medal in the team event of the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville ahead of host – Congo Brazzaville.
A feat Lartey admitted rub off positively on the sport. I will say that the bronze medal in the men’s team event at the 2015 African Games really help gave credence to the sport because many people started supporting the game that we now have a big competition whenever there is an open tournament in Ghana. Table tennis in Ghana is now attracting more people companies like Stanbic Bank has been involved in the sponsorship of the sport and I think the sport is doing well now than before,”Lartey said.
The player who represented Ghana at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland lamented the overbearing edge that football had over other sports with government giving more attention to the round leather game. “Honestly our government only focus on football and this has not attracted sponsors to put in money on table tennis and it has become a very difficult task for the Government to support us in other to participate in competitions outside Ghana,” he lamented.
Lartey hopes he can take his game outside the shores of Ghana but admitted that the opportunity is yet to come his way. “My dream is to play more competitions outside my country particularly to play in a major league. For now, I train four times in a week with my peers but with the national team we train twice a day for six days. I will continue to play until luck smile on me and my body cannot carry me again,” the officer with the Ghana Immigration Service said.
Despite the lack of support, Lartey would remain grateful to table tennis as it was through the sport that he was able to secure an employment with the Ghana Immigration Service in 2009, while he hopes for good tidings in 2017.