COACHING STABLES IN KENYA: John Ojiambo "Ojash" City Table Tennis Club, Mathare

John Ojiambo City Table Tennis Club, Mathare

Nearly all Kenyan table tennis fans know John Ojiambo aka "Ojash' by nickname, but less is known about his antecedents. Ojash likes it that way.

The soft-spoken tactician has committed a lifetime to playing and coaching table tennis and it seems more than fair to describe him as ‘Mr City Table Tennis’.

What's more, he is a very humble but relentless coach who never gives up on his players. Ojash has nurtured different levels of players and even those at the beginner level, and he's always been extremely patient with them.

In fact, the story of the fabled City Table Tennis team revolves around Ojash, Robson Al Nandwa, Chris Kyalo, Kamwara, Dennis, Stanley Moyi and later on Josiah Wandera. From these dedicated group of pioneers, the club kept growing day in day out with it's activities among them the consistent City Challange.

There's no doubt that without Ojash some players would never have made it in the national team.

In his capacity as Head Coach, the formidable City Table Tennis Club has reigned supreme on the Kenyan ping-pong scene.

Ojash is among Kenyan coaches who have done so much good for the sport over the years, but the current coach of City Table Tennis has certainly played his part in making sure that the game remains readily accessible to anyone who wants to play it at City Stadium in Nairobi.

"When star players from BAT TT Club moved on to pursue greener pastures, I was among those called upon to fill the void they left behind.

I grew up in MOW quarters in Nairobi's Shauri Moyo where the youths' preoccupation, at the time, was table tennis and basketball.

Up until a couple of years ago I continued playing in Club TT and I'm glad that I was able to represent the country outside Kenya.

I have been playing this beautiful game for more than 30years as one of the veteran player coaches around today. I started my TT career at Shauri Moyo's St Joseph's Catholic Church in 1986.

It all started as a hobby, then I was encouraged by the likes of late Chris Kalo, Anthony Mathenge, Ben Omwela, George Mutuku aka Tish and my late bro Samuel Onyash to elevate my game approach to desirable heights.

At that time, my table adversaries were the likes of veteran Paul Mutambuze, Moses Maina, Dipan Shah, the late Paul Musyoka, Daniel Mwangi aka DJ and Paras Dodhia just to name but a few.

I'm still the Head Coach of City Table Tennis and Talent 4 Developement (Mathare ).

I joined the national team in 2011 and represented the country once but club-wise severally. I'm always proud to see players from my team call the shots in the national team eg Kenya nurmber one Brian Mutua, Josiah Wandera, Kennedy Kojal who was Kenya team coach to Tunis Olympic Qualifiers earlier in the year. Other City TT players I am happy for are ladies Doreen Juma and Edith Wangai.

Table tennis is my life. I landed my current job at the County Council of Nairobi through playing TT.

I'm glad that the sport has transformed my life in many facets.

It has taught me what it means to be disciplined -and above all -kept away from bad company. Through TT, I have also learnt many lessons in life. I have learnt to be patient and humble as there is no magic wand to solve issues of failure- its a matter of levelheadnes!

City Table Tennis was established in late 2012 with Dennis Mutiso, Chris Kyalo, Ronson Nandwa, K. Kamwara and my good self as a coach.

As a team, we are proud of our exploits off and on the table and I can assure all and sundry that only the sky will be the limit for City Table Tennis"

Source: KTTA

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