By Lesroy W. Williams
(St. Johnson’s Village, Basseterre) – Table tennis, anyone?
The St .Kitts-Nevis Table Tennis Association (SKNTTA), hosted a training workshop for umpires at the St. Johnson’s Community Center from August 21-24.
It’s part of an effort to revive the sport of table tennis in the federation.
At the opening ceremony on Thursday August 21, Mr. Fernando Aguilar of Costa Rica was introduced as the course facilitator. He is a certified ITTF and LATTU Coordinator in the field of training officials.
“We would like to see table tennis in this country reach international competition level and I hope that this course will be an ingredient of this recipe to help St. Kitts and Nevis to become a successful international competitor,” Mr. Aguilar said.
Mr. Leroy Greene, Assistant Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) with special responsibilities for reviving dying sports and introducing new sports, said that sports bring about unity and that the ideals of sports such as respect for self and others, fair-play and honesty are noble ideals that athletes should strive to attain in everyday life.
Mr. Lloyd Lazaar, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, also spoke of the unifying nature of Sports.
“Two distinct aims that bring our nation together are sports and culture,” Mr. Lazaar said.
He said that sport is a vehicle for the development of our young people and that table tennis is an important and vital sport in our nation.
“Officials must be professionally trained and qualified,” Mr. Lazaar said.
Ten persons completed the basic umpire’s course and successfully passed and four persons did the international umpire’s exam and are awaiting results which should be due in four weeks time.
“The course went very well. This means a lot for St. Kitts and Nevis and puts us in a good position to umpire regionally,” Laverne Merritt, President of SKNTTA said.
Ms. Merritt said that a team of table tennis hopefuls are looking forward to participating in the 2012 Olympics in London, England, with the assistance of the National Olympic Committee, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and Corporate St. Kitts.
This team comprises of Anjelina Freeman, Andre Freeman, Baggio Grant, Vidal Hendrickson and Keian Riley.