NEW DELHI: This edition of the Ultimate Table Tennis sees three women coaches attached with the various franchises. And one of them, Vesna Ojstersek has been associated with the league ever since its inception in 2017. Currently coach of Dabang Delhi TTC which has India’s highest ranked paddler G Sathiyan in their ranks, she has also coached the likes of Manika Batra in the past. And what keeps making her come back to India?
“I’m from Slovenia. It is a small country. Getting such a big opportunity means a lot to me. Coaching so many top players has been a dream of mine and I’m glad that I’m getting this opportunity here,” she said.
Female table tennis coaches are quite rare in the country. Something Vesna is quite shocked to hear considering the number of female paddlers involved in the league. “There are so many good players, why not coaches? In Europe there are many women coaches but their involvement with senior teams may vary.”
She makes her point clear in the next part. According to the former Slovenian women’s team coach, most chances are for coaching the women’s team and not the men’s team. Something that UTT has not discriminated on. “Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I cannot train men. UTT has given me that opportunity. But it is a very common problem around the world. I hope it soon changes.”
Vesna has come to India before as a player. And she cannot begin to describe how the sport has undergone a sea of change in that period. “There is so much participation now. That is the fundamental step. Then because of India’s performance in global events, money is being invested into the sport. All this bodes well for the future.”
English is not her strong suit but the Delhi coach makes sure to get her point across to players. “They understand. Sport is a universal language and nobody has complained!”
Sathiyan, World No 24 and highest-ranked men’s player in this edition, inspired defending champs Delhi Dabang to their first victory of the new season, beating U Mumba 9-6 at the Thyagaraja Stadium.