Sport

Table tennis looks to recapture glory days

By Hurbun Williams Observer writer

Tuesday, March 05, 2013    

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Insports sports officer, Godfrey Lothian, is the new president of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA), an organisation looking to recapture the glory days of the sport in the country.

Lothian, who replaced the incumbent Joseph Dibbs, was elected at the JTTA bi-annual election at the SDF headquarters on Phoenix Avenue, in Kingston on Saturday, February 23.

His deputy is Ian McMillian a former player and accounting officer at the National Housing Trust.

The Lothian administration is expected to server the JTTA for a period of two years at which time fresh elections will be called.

The full slate of officers elected are: Godfrey Lothian (president), Ian McMillan (first vice-president, Maurice Salky (second vice-president), Coleen Johnson (general secretary),

Mickail Johnson (asst general secretary), Tanya Morgan (treasurer) and Darrington Farquharson (asst treasurer).

Council members are Yvette Miller, Clive Grossett, Stephen Grant, Justin Allen, Dale Parham, Troy Anderson, Simone Anderson, Donald Douglas and Rohan Schloss.

Following the election of the new administration, first vice-president McMillian and council member Grant outlined some of the plans that are geared to sparking new interest in the sport.

"First we would like to see the game played at all levels from the grassroots up. This should begin to regenerate interest in the formations of clubs with the running club leagues, school leagues from the primary to University levels, crch and community leagues that could greatly assist in helping to resurrect the once popular Business House Table Tennis League which has been inactive for the past three or so years." he said.

The plan that the new administration will be working to put in place is a programme that will assist to get table tennis in Jamaica back to its former glory days.

At the heiight of it popularity, local teble tennis produced class players like Orville Haslam, who after learning the rudiments of the game in Jamaica, migrated to England in his early teens and further established himself to be one of the world's premier hitters of the ball.

The six-foot-two inches ball beater was not only the first black player to represent England but he was a formidable attacking strategist with probably the hardest backhand in the world in the game at the time as he played competively at the highest level.

He was considered a better defender than an attacker but was able to blend both aspects of his game with such command that he rose to be ranked at number in the world at one point of his playing career.

The late great Fuarnado Roberts is another world ranked player who honed his craft and skills on the green table locally and rose to become the first Caribbean Table Tennis Championship Singles title holder when the first tournament was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1958.

"To revive the sport to any level vaguely resembling the past will take much hard work and financing, but this administration is committed to the struggles that lie ahead," Grant added.

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