Table tennis is at  turning point, says PRO
September 17, 2013

Table tennis is at turning point, says PRO

Sean Stanley, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Table Tennis Association, believes that the sport is at a turning point, and every effort should be made to regain the lost ground.{{more}}

Stanley’s view of the current state of table ttennis here is based on the recent performance of St Vincent and the Grenadines at the OECS championships and the Caribbean Championships, which were both held in St Lucia last month.

In his capacity as the team’s coach for both tournaments, Stanley wants to see the younger players be the focus going forward. During the OECS championships, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ B team, which comprised, mainly youngsters – Kamal Hunte, Romano Spencer, Damion Dublin and Kavir Gaymes, defeated the St Vincent and the Grenadines A team, made up of Robert Ballantyne, Joseph Carrington, Javier de Shong and Stanley. Also in the open singles, Gaymes defeated Carrington 3-0.

Ballantyne is past the age of 50, while Carrington and Stanley are both in their 40’s. De Shong is a teenager.

“… Because of their performance in the OECS, they were allowed to carry the flag for St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Caribbean Championships, which was agreed by every member of the contingent,” Stanley told SEARCHLIGHT recently. de Shong and Gaymes reached the quarter-finals of the Under-21 division of the Caribbean Championships.

“ … To me, it was the turning of table tennis in St Vincent and the Grenadines, because never, in the wildest dreams of anyone locally and overseas, as it relates to the OECS and the Caribbean, that such a result was expected,” Stanley added.

“The youngsters are playing well … This was expressed also by the St Lucian players and spectators alike,” Stanley said.

Lamenting on the fact that table tennis had been in the doldrums for the better part of three years before things were normalized earlier this year with the installation of a new executive, headed by Tyrone Jack, Stanley reiterated that it is the “young people’s time”.

A former head of the SVGTTA, Stanley, who also functions as the point man on technical matters of the SVGTTA, advised that the time has come for a renewed focus, with the younger players being the focus of attention.

“We almost lost a generation of players because of the polarization efforts of the former executive,” the normally outspoken Stanley recalled.

Stanley noted that such actions caused the sport to be an artefact, as at one stage, it decidedly catered for those who were advanced in age.

He commented that St Vincent and the Grenadines was unable to send representative teams in recent times to the regional Cadet programmes, because of a lack of emphasis on the youths.

He, however, anticipates a turnaround in the operations of the current executive, which he described as “forward thinking and developmental centred.”(RT)