Army Championships Provide Inter Services Preparation For Table Tennis Stars

The service's top players were on show during the tournament.

The Army’s leading table tennis stars are preparing for the Inter Services with the Army Championships in Aldershot.

The competition with the RAF and the Navy starts in April so the Army's top players were looking to gain momentum during the championships.

The RAF are the current holders of Inter Services trophy, but the Army will look to number one seed Private Bibek Karki to help them wrestle the title away.

In previous campaigns, Pte Karki has travelled from Brunei to compete but this year, he is situated with 9 Regiment RLC and believes the Army can mount a challenge.

He said: "This time we are preparing very good and our team is practising here at the Army Championships.

"I think we are going to do better than what we did last year."

The number two in the Army rankings is Lance Corporal Kiran Tamang. He has had a growing rivalry with Pte Karki for the Army crown and it is driving both players to get better just in time for the Inter Services.

He said: "This is quite good. You get to play with your mates and it helps you to do the doubles.

"We do doubles at the Inter Services as well so it’s good."

SSgt Hilary Greig has been a stalwart of Army table tennis for many years.

Table tennis is a sport that is growing in numbers throughout the military and Staff Sergeant Hilary Greig has recognised the increase of service personnel taking part.

She said: "There’s new faces and all the old faces are coming back.

"Table tennis is really growing back into the Army sport that it used to be years ago.

"It’s fantastic to get more players and more competition going, from grassroots right the way up to the A- and B-teams."

Meanwhile, the health benefits of playing table tennis are wide both physically and mentally. These effects have played a part in Padre Jonathan Jennings’ return to the sport.

"It is certainly mind and body. It’s a very tough game," he said.

“To play well, you have to be really fit and to play intelligently, you have to be able to read the style of the other player to work out what they are going to do all in a fraction of a second.

"It’s a fabulous game and really absorbing."