'It's a time for healing,' says new JTTA presidentSaturday, February 20, 2021
By Dwayne Richards
After enduring two years of controversy and serious damage to its reputation, the Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA) led by its newly elected President Andrew Lue is looking to mend fences within the association.
In his first address to the table tennis body, moments after being elected unopposed to the position of president after a long battle with the incumbent Godfrey Lothian, Lue moved for a different focus in order to reshape the sport on the island.
“We want to heal the rift that is in table tennis and, personally, I will be visiting every affiliate, and we are also going to welcome new affiliates into the JTTA.”
Lue also promised that there would be equity in the allocation of resources within the association.
“My team is pledging to be an administration for all stakeholders of table tennis. All of the resources that are available to us, through the JOA [Jamaica Olympic Association], ITTF [International Table Tennis Federation] or whatever international organisation, we'll make it available to everyone on an equal opportunity as long as it's merited.
“I think everyone should be rewarded for their efforts, whether it's a player, an official, a coach or an administrator.
“Everyone will make the team on merit, no favouritism. If you are supposed to be on the team, based on the guidelines put down by the JTTA, I guarantee you, you will be on the team.”
Gender equity and special needs are also areas of focus for the new administration, which boasts two women on its six-member executive.
“It is now a big focus of the ITTF for gender equity to be evident in all the organisations, so we hope to establish that in the JTTA.
“We are going to have a para committee for special needs athletes. That will be a big focus of this administration as well.”
Lue also announced the desire for a “home” for table tennis to serve, especially, the needs of its main stakeholders, which are the players.
“Infrastructure and facilities will be very important as we push towards getting a home for table tennis in Jamaica. I am talking about a purpose-built facility for table tennis.
“It will involve not only playing area, but also dormitory facilities and space where you can come and play table tennis and get homework done as students.”
Importantly, Lue also wants to find a way to secure scholarships for student athletes to ensure that they can also pursue tertiary studies if so desired.
“We are hoping that table tennis will become a sport that our youngsters can look to, to get scholarships for higher learning.”
Lue has taken over as president of the JTTA after an eight-year stint by Godfrey Lothian.
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