The inaugural `Play to Conquer’ table tennis tournament scheduled for month-end at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue is geared at the development of young players.
This is according to coach of the Titans Table Tennis Club Dwain Dick.
“This tournament basically is a tournament that has been specifically catered for the youths. As you may realise, there are no men’s or women’s categories…,” said the former table tennis player at the launch of the tournament last week.
The launch, which was held at the club’s facility upstairs at the Red Cross building at Eve Leary, was attended by officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA).
The tournament, which will take place August 29-30, has received the blessings of the GTTA whose president Godfrey Munroe was at last Wednesday’s launch.
Dick said categories will cater for players from novices to `B’ class and said that the club plans to include men and women’s categories at their next tournament planned for later this year.
“Hopefully in our next tournament scheduled for October we will have those categories,” he declared.
The categories to be contested are boys and girls’ Under-11, Under-13, Under-15 and Under-18.
Additionally there will be three Open categories namely the Under-9 Open, the Under-21 Open and the `B’ Class Open.
The Titans Table Tennis Club is one of the more vibrant clubs in existence boasting players such as Priscilla Greaves, Salenas Jackman, Stefan Corlette and the Wong brothers Miguel and Colin and according to Dick, the club plans to expand its horizons with the aid of different sectors of the society.
“This is just one of our initiatives as we continue to build bridges with the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), the National Sports Commission (NSC) and various other entities. We’re seeking to basically build partnerships with all sectors of society, the education sector, the health sector etc.,” he said.
Munroe praised the initiative of the club in organizing a tournament for the youths stating that it was a step in the right direction and as such the GTTA had no hesitation in agreeing to sanction the event.
“We feel that strong clubs make a stronger association. We’re very enthused by the categories that will be played and we’re hopeful that we can have much more with other clubs coming onboard.
Munroe said the Titans tournament will also serve to complement the programmes of the association.
“We [the GTTA] are gearing for some youth programmes in the near future in terms of targeting young athletes. You’ll know that the opportunities for athletes have been dwindling in some measure because of financing, among other things, and things in this direction will truly help to propel the sport in a positive direction.”
Seon Erskine, who represented Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, said that the club had received the support of the NSC. “[Investing in] youngsters are the way to go; that’s the only way we can guarantee the future of the sport and seeing Guyana being represented at all levels internationally and regionally,” he declared.
“I would like to applaud the organising committee. It’s great to see that clubs and the association are working hand-in-hand in the development of our youths and we look forward to working harmoniously with all sporting federations, without any exceptions,” Erskine added.
Play in the tournament will commence at 10am and end at 7pm each day with the finals scheduled to begin at 5pm on August 30.
Interested players from all local clubs are invited and the deadline for registration is August 28. Interested persons can call Dick on telephone numbers 642-3288 or 601-9294 to register.