If ever there was a sport with hypnotic powers, it's table tennis. With two good players and a long, hard rally, the to-and-fro movement of your eyes can lead you to think that the game is easy, but all that really achieves is a cramped muscle in the neck. Or that's what happened to me when I went to profile St. Paul's TT Academy.
Under head coach Ibrahim Khan, who ranked no. 1 for 7 of the 23 years that he played for Andhra Pradesh and was also state captain, nearly 20 players from this Academy have represented A P at the state level in various age categories, including the present overall state no. 1 player, Jeetendra.
This TT player factory is not a recreation center, I am strictly told, but an academy for aspiring youngsters. They believe in catching 'em young here, and the average age in years of an applicant into this institute is 10. The excellent infrastructure includes 7 tables, and is good enough to hold state-level ranking tournaments.
Overall, a good coach, good facilities and serious commitment to the improvement of the game makes St.Paul's TT academy an ideal training ground for any youngster.