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Farley is the man

Philip Hackett

Farley is the man

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In?Barbados there is no official title of Table Tennis Player of the Year, but if there was a need to identify such an individual for 2011, it could only be Kevin Farley.
Farley captured every available men’s singles title on the local circuit by winning the Men’s Open Islandwide, the ‘A’ Class Classified Championship and the David Harries Invitational.
Not satisfied to just display his dominance over local opposition, Farley headed for Trinidad where he captured two major singles titles in one weekend. He won the Reliability Maintenance Services Limited and the Roland Charles Tribute Table Tennis Tournaments without too many alarms. He played so impressively that he has already been invited to return for two more championships early in the New Year.
Farley has been able to find an effective balance of work and sport despite the challenges faced by the limitations on practice.  
A security officer in the government service, Farley is appreciative of the support and co-operation from his superiors but recognises that to take such dominance to the international level requires much more than what is typically provided for most local sportsmen.
“Sport is not a dominant factor in Barbados,” Farley told MIDWEEK SPORT recently.
“In other countries sportspersons are looked after much better. When you go away you come across players from other countries that get houses and certain privileges.”
Farley said this helps athletes to feel their efforts have been appreciated.
“I believe some of the houses being built by government could be allocated to sports people,” he  said.
“I believe we are more in the academic field rather than sporting,” said the former Caribbean champion.
Farley said that successful athletes could be very good for a country in terms of recognition and other benefits and made reference to the impact the success of Usain Bolt has had on Jamaica.
Farley admitted that former World champion hurdler Ryan Brathwaite was showered with gifts following his international success, but felt that athletes need help in getting to that stage.
“We only wait until someone has done something real dramatic and big to do that. There has to be some sort of preparation leading up to that,” he said.
“In Barbados we have always had good athletes. One of the problems is that we have been lacking in providing good mental preparation.”
Farley accepts that every athlete won’t reach the level of Brathwaite even with the best of preparation and that clearly every athlete would not be a success in the Olympics or World Championships. He admitted it would be very difficult for a Barbadian to be World champion in table tennis, but emphasized that Barbados has produced players who have done well in the Caribbean Championships and at levels even above that.