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Interview with Afshin Badiee, Regional Vice-President (Middle East) of the Asian Table Tennis Union

The young table tennis players participating at the Asia Hopes Week display grit, tenacity and a steely determination in every match that they compete in. However, these values are not just the sole property of these athletes. Behind the scenes, one man shares these traits, in his mission to promote and develop table tennis.

Afshin Badiee, Regional Vice-President (Middle East) of the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU), shows a quiet determination when asked about the impetus for the Hopes Week initiative. “Asia is the strongest continent and also the most populated, that’s why it has an important role in developing the sport. Our mission is to reduce the gap between East Asia and the rest of the world.”

The training camp, which sees 18 players training and competing for a week, is being held at the SISB Sports Complex for the first time. Players, coaches and administrators live at the boarding house just steps away from the training venue, and the facilities have impressed.

“These facilities are perfect, well-managed and the food is excellent as well. I would say that the sports complex is one of the best I’ve seen,” said Badiee, who is also a trained architect. He also commended the overall environment of the school, highlighting the common areas where children can interact and exchange ideas.

Badiee was impressed enough to foresee extending the working relationship between SISB and the ATTU. He said: “We are looking into cooperating with SISB in terms of using its facilities, which I would rate as an “A” grade in Asia.”