SJRS Table Tennis Appoints Sadiq Merchant as Table Tennis Coordinator as Mo Merali bids farewell


SJRS Table Tennis welcomes Sadiq Merchant as the newly appointed Table Tennis Coordinator. Sadiq Merchant will take over with immediate effect from Mohamed Abbas Merali who is standing down after 40 months at the helm.

Message from Sadiq Merchant

Salam Alaykum

I started playing table tennis at the age of 16. I played at a local club in Sierra Leone for 3 years and then stopped playing for several years due to changes in personal circumstances. I came back to it in 2019 when I was introduced by a friend to SJRS.

After joining SJRS, I have been attending the Saturday sessions regularly.  The Saturday sessions have been very helpful but I felt I needed more practice so I started playing at Salvatorian college where one of the coaches saw my skills and advised me to play in leagues. I now play for South Ruislip-B where I am the captain of the newly formed division 7 team.

I came back to table tennis after 22 years and it was at SJRS where I started playing again. It will be a pleasure to take on the role of a TT coordinator and bring in some fresh ideas and encourage more people to attend our Saturday sessions. I humbly request everyone for their help, support and prayers. Thank you.

Message from Mohamed Abbas Merali

Salam Alaykum

Alhamdulilah, it has been a great honour and pleasure serving the SJRS Table Tennis fraternity over the last 40 months as TT Coordinator. I would like to thank all those who have supported me during my term, especially my core committee, and most of all Hussien uncle Juma for all his efforts. During my term, I feel that SJRS table tennis has achieved new heights and together we can be immensely proud of our achievements.

SJRS Table Tennis will Inshallah continue to develop under the very capable stewardship of Sadiq Merchant. He has been a strong supporter/worker of SJRS Table Tennis and I wish him all the best. I am sure our fraternity will show the same support to him as the one I have received.

I would like to ask for forgiveness if I unknowingly caused any negative feelings to any member during my term.

Below is a summary of the highlights of what we achieved together over the last 40 months.

  • Over 75 structured Saturday sessions with coaching demos/videos and ranking games as well as fun sessions of doubles and singles across all generations. There has been a noticeable improvement in our Table Tennis abilities in all ages but especially the youth.
  • Nearly 2000 ranked games played over 120 members, weekly ranking spreadsheets and annual honours board.
  • SJRS 2019 festival, 2 SJRS closed Junior Tournaments and 1 Adult Closed SJRS tournament.
  • SJRS Table Tennis group became a much-needed social space during lockdowns. Sharing home table tennis videos and creative pictures of a net made out of toilet rolls, cans and masks were heartening in such difficult times.
  • SJRS Table Tennis a major force in dominating Khoja Tournaments around the world. Whether it was Arifali Hirji winning in Orlando, or myself at SJRS Festivals, or the likes of Sibtain Alibhai, Shiraz Jamal and Mustafa Merali winning in Dubai or the SJRS winners both youth/adults in MAMT 2019 and 2022. Mashallah we have good strength and depth amongst us.
  • When I first started, only a handful of us (5) played the local leagues. Mashallah, this year we have 22 members playing in the local Wembley and Harrow leagues. Last year our youth team won their division and this year we have entered an U12 team of 5 boys.
  • Establishment of a core committee (representing all ages) with bi-annual meetings to discuss development, innovation and strategy of SJRS Table Tennis.
  • At least 4 social lunches at #hubb.
  • Lastly, but most importantly, infinite number of friendship/brotherhoods created at the sessions with members from all generations and members participating with the highest akhlaq and respect for each other.

I would like to end with this quote from Matt Hetherington

“Table Tennis is like an atom. To the ignorant it is merely microscopic and insignificant in existence, but to the dedicated, it is intricate in design and the building block to everything we know.”

Message from SJRS

“On behalf of all those at SJRS, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the time and effort that Mohammed Abbas has put in as TT coordinator, and his core team for driving TT to bigger and better things. We look forward to seeing that continue with Sadiq at the helm.”

Jazakallah Khair

Mohamed Abbas Merali