Young table tennis star wins official of year title

Tiffany Adams is the Eastern Cape Sports and Recreation Achievers Awards’ Technical Official of the Year.
Tiffany Adams is the Eastern Cape Sports and Recreation Achievers Awards’ Technical Official of the Year.
Image: Supplied

After qualifying in 2010, local table tennis guru, Tiffany Adams, triumphed over male nominees when she was named Technical Official of the Year at the Eastern Cape Sport Awards recently.

As the first and only woman from the Eastern Cape to qualify as an international umpire, Adams was also the only woman to be nominated.

With an illustrious table tennis career, both as a player and an umpire, 29-year-old Adams said the award was an absolute honour.

“Only when I held the winning trophy and framed award in my hands on stage did it finally kick in that I was a winner that night.

“It shows that women are so empowered today. It was so good for me to be recognised as a young person and I am immensely proud to be part of this wonderful province,” she said.

The local sportswoman, who started playing table tennis at the age of six, was the Eastern Cape champion for many years during her career.

She later became a South African champion after winning a national tournament in 2004.

Kicking off her umpiring career in 2005, Adams had to write a series of tests before she qualified to take the specialised international umpire’s examination in 2010.

She then had to undergo a selection process via the South African Table Tennis Board.

Since then, Adams umpired at the World Senior Championships in Germany in 2017, where she spent a year as a provincial sports ambassador.

She was also the technical official at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games held in Australia in April.

“An umpire’s primary job is to take control of the match.

“He or she makes the final decisions relating to the points played in the match.

“However, to be an international umpire requires a very high skill and thorough knowledge of the laws and rules of table tennis,” said Adams.

Adams said having been nominated for the award among “great sportsmen from the province, was already an achievement for me”.

“I was up against men who are technical officials for hockey and cricket and have officiated their sports internationally like I have, so between us the competition was really tough”.

Adams said her future plans include promoting women in the sport industry, focusing primarily on young girls.