Kolkata, Feb 14 (IANS) The three different table tennis associations in West Bengal have decided to unite and operate as one by April this year, it was announced here on Thursday.
Earlier this month, representatives of the West Bengal Table Tennis Association (WBTTA) and the North Bengal Table Tennis Association (NBTTA) met officials of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) in New Delhi in their effort to also unite the Bengal Table Tennis Association (BTTA).
"We are expecting a merger by the start of April. All three of the associations will work together under one umbrella for the larger good of the sport," WBTTA secretary Sharmi Sengupta told reporters at the Calcutta Press Club.
Sengupta said both the WBTTA and NBTTA are open to include BTTA officials in the combined body.
She added that NBTTA officials are expected to meet them at the start of next month to discuss the modalities. It was the new regime of the WBTTA which has initiated the move to work as one and not different entities.
"Our players have done so well at the nationals and the sport in Bengal is getting better. We want to bury the differences and work together and not in factions. I have spoken to BTTA officials as well as NBTTA officials and we are all committed to working together. NBTTA officials will meet us most probably by the start of March," Sengupta said.
This is not the first time that an attempt is being made to bring the three bodies under one umbrella. Even West Bengal sports minister Arup Biswas urged them to bury differences and come together, but it didn't work out.
The Bengal Olympic Association (BOA) is also in favour of a single table tennis unit in the state as players have suffered for long due to a divided house.
The WBTTA highlighted their plans to promote and develop table tennis in the state with a residential academy, having roughly 20 tables, to be built in the city and every district in the next one year.
They also spoke of organising an Indian Premier League like the Premier Table Tennis League in the month of June.