Jane Pinto with husband Felix on her 85th birthday (Photo: courtesy of Jane Pinto)
by Ian Marshall, Editor
Always a bright welcoming smile, respected worldwide in her efforts to promote the sport of table tennis, earlier this month on Thursday 9th July, alongside husband Felix, Jane Pinto celebrated her 85th birthday.
An occasion in itself but the staggering fact was the hundreds upon hundreds of good wishes she received from friends and colleagues; the response marked the respect in which she is held.
Succeeded by Andrew Mudibo, Jane Pinto was the President of the Kenya Table Tennis Association from 2002 to 2014, having for the previous eight years held the position of Deputy President.
Always, she gave full support to members of the national team, but most importantly she gave great attention to providing opportunities for the underprivileged.
Hours of distinguished service nationally, but her liaison with the International Table Tennis Federation dates back much further to the 1980s, under the Presidency of Roy Evans. She was named a corresponding member of the Media Committee, later becoming a full member and a member of the ITTF Board of Directors.
More recently, from 2007 to the present, she has served as a member of the ITTF President’s Advisory Council.
Likewise, for many years Jane Pinto has proved a stalwart supporter of the African Table Tennis Federation. She was a member of the Board of Directors from 1980 to 1988; Deputy President from 1996 to 2008 and Honorary President from that day forth.
Notably in the interim period from 1988 to 1996, her brother Philo was a Board of Directors member; Jane being the Chair of the Media Committee.
Equally, Jane Pinto has played a major role promoting table tennis within the Commonwealth.
Significantly, in 2010, she received an Achievement Diploma Award for Women in Sports by the International Olympic Committee in recognition of her outstanding contribution to promoting the female cause.
Renowned as an official but like all, life in the sport of table tennis started as a player. She was Kenyan tennis champion and in 1971, dear to her heart she had her photograph taken with China’s premier Zhou Enlai during the famous Ping Pong Diplomacy era.
Resident on just outside Nairobi, alongside husband Felix she owns Micato Safaris.
Why Micato; is their some deep meaning? Quite the opposite, just take the first two letters in the name of the taxi company they previously owned: Mini Cabs and Tours!