When the Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment described the South Asian Junior and Cadet Championship, (SAJCC) he noted that it resembled a "small world cup."
"One could say that this feels like a small world cup," Minister Ahmed Mahloof commented.
"This is a grand opportunity for us to revolutionize the game of TT. Looking at the game, India is regarded as a powerhouse in the region, and if we can defeat even one of their players, it is a major win for us, for this we would need encouragement from everyone, especially the supporters," the Minister had added.
Moreover, this was the first time a table tennis event has been sprung up at an international capacity in the Maldives.
So far, this marks the first time such a tournament attracted the most number of clubs and teams, which was previously seen only once during the SAFF Championship.
Junior table tennis has been swept under the rug for years without consideration from industry stakeholders. Events surrounding table tennis had been half-baked or less marketed or promoted in the past.
However, the preparation and the scale at which Maldives represented the event was met with warm welcome and praise from the Asian Table Tennis Union.
This was also the first time where a TT event involved a designated event logo and theme song, while the opening ceremony was attended by the Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In addition to this, major international table tennis federations will be representing themselves at the event with their top brass expected to grace the opening ceremony.
"Our decision to launch a designated event logo and theme song was met with praise, including the presidents of several of the sporting associations in the region as well as the president of the Asian Table Tennis Union. They have expressed their interest to take part in the event," Mr. Mahloof commented.
Furthermore, the due to the previously unprecedented scale at which the tournament is presented, the scope of such a sporting event will likely create prospective opportunities.
The Youth and Sports minister assured that the grandiose nature of the event will be evident at the event venue.
Meanwhile, the pre-event preparations of the Maldivian team had been executed at a previously unprecedented level. The team was assigned with two foreign players from Croatia and an international table tennis coach, Mr. Constantinos Costopoulous.
Moreover, camping at hospitable avenues has not been previously done during a table tennis tournament. However, the Maldivian team along with all the international teams that are taking part in the event will be camping at a city hotel situated in Male'.
Earlier, the presidential couple as well as the vice president of Maldives Mr. Faisal Naseem which is significant in nature since such an event did not previously receive such acknowledgement.
"We have heard on several occasions about the importance given to football, and many have complained for us supposedly singling out football as a major sporting event, and our attempts at promoting such events for supporters. But we are aiming to change all that with this event," the Youth and Sports minister added.
The South Asian Junior and Cadet Championship will be hosted at the indoor hall of Social Center in Male' City until Thursday, 12th May 2022.