Despite the fact that professional table tennis has a relatively low popularity rating, many enthusiastic players all over the world adore this sport. Table tennis has become an essential part of their lives and offered them unique opportunities.
That is also the case for Khaleel Asgarali. He was born in 1986 in the country of Trinidad and Tobago, but when he was 6 years old, the whole of his family moved to the USA. Now, he lives almost 5,000 miles from his birthplace – here in the heart of Europe.
European professional table tennis boasts a higher status than that of America. The sport is more popular here, players earnings are higher, their skills improve faster.
Khaleel plays a league in Germany, and thus, he needs a good training group not far from his club. He found it in Prague.
„I love it here,“ says Khaleel. He can practice with the best Czech table tennis players and learn new techniques from them. According to him, it is the best consistent training that he has ever had.
Surprisingly, he was no stranger to Czech culture when he arrived here. „I knew a lot about the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia, because I’m really interested in history,” he said. “I already had a decent background of your country; I knew a lot about Havel and the communist era.“
Khaleel said he is really pleased with our way of life. „I think people in Czechia enjoy themselves more,” he said. “There is a little bit more time to spend with your friends. In the U.S., everything is work and we have not so much vacation.“
Thanks to table tennis, Khaleel was able to travel around the world, meet new friends, and learn new languages. However, the sport is not just his hobby. It is a way to make a living. His German club pays him for playing, and he also earns money in the USA by coaching less-experienced players. Khaleed Asgarali truly made his beloved sport his successful job.
Text vznikl v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.
Foto: Stanislav Kučera