In a bid to provide exposure, two top table tennis teams from Japan, Citizen and Kyowa Kirin, played with players from Bhutan and Silliguri, India yesterday at the indoor multipurpose hall in Phuentsholing.

It is the second exchange programme. On the first day, a table tennis clinic session was also held yesterday.

Bhutan Table Tennis Federation’s (BTTF) secretary general (SG) Karma Tshering said the session was conducted to give table tennis enthusiasts in Phuentsholing an opportunity to play and engage with the top players.

“It is exposure for them,” he said.

Karma Tshering said the two Japanese teams are top teams from Japan Table Tennis League (JTTL) in Japan. From India, high profile players from West Bengal had been invited, he added.

“It was much convenient to invite teams from Silliguri,” he said.

Karma Tshering said the first exchange programme was held two years ago in Thimphu. He also said that Bhutanese players should get opportunities to go to other countries for similar exchange programs, which according to him has not happened to date.

JTTL’s chairman Shinji Sato, who is also the head coach for Kyowa Kirin, said there are three objectives in having such exchange program.

“We want to support and promote BTTF and upgrade skills of Bhutanese players,” he said.

Shinji Sato also said it is to exchange the friendship between Japan, Bhutan and India. The program also promotes inclusive sport by including players with disability. “Fundamentally, every youth has the potential,” he said.

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing