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Table tennis in high gear

Philip Hackett

Table tennis in high gear

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The countdown is on as the Barbados Table Tennis Association (BTTA) prepares to host the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) World Cadet Challenge (WCC) in October.
The event is scheduled for the gymnasium at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex from October 23 to November 1 and features teams from six continents, a team comprising the best of the rest and a Barbados team.
The WCC featuring players 15 years old and younger will be the first global table tennis event to be hosted by Barbados since the Barbados Community College was the venue for the Top 16 World Cup back in 1983.
Though a junior tournament is being featured on this occasion, given the quality of table tennis worldwide, local fans can expect to be exposed to an exceptionally high standard.
President of the BTTA Ray Jackman told the MIDWEEK NATION that plans were well advanced for the staging of the tournament which will be preceded by a four day training camp for all competitors.
“This high-level training camp provides a wonderful opportunity for our players to enhance their skills in an unprecedented manner,” Jackman told NATIONSPORT.
“These cadets are already competing with the present senior players and have advanced their game beyond the junior level,” he said.
Jackman revealed that a secretariat had already been put in place at the gymnasium. The secretariat includes a manager, project manager and other resource people. In addition, the gymnasium and hotel for the games have already been booked.
According to Jackman, the equipment to be used during the event has already been shipped and is due to arrive by the end of September.
“The international referees have all been identified and the invitation for the overseas umpires will be made this week,” Jackman said.
“Local persons interested in being umpires for the championship will have an opportunity to complete the basic umpires course in mid-September.
“Recruitment of volunteers is in progress and persons interested are being invited to contact the secretariat at the gymnasium,” Jackman said.
One challenge still being faced by the BTTA is in the area of funding so as to facilitate the smooth running of the tournament and to provide the overseas exposure essential for adequate preparation of the youngsters.
“There is a need for more corporate support and the local organizing committee has to increase its efforts to reach corporate Barbados,” Jackman said.