Chelsea Edghill, one of Guyana’s highly skilled female table tennis players, has her eyes keenly fixed on qualifying for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The twenty-year-old is currently in the United States completing her studies at Lindenwood University, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Criminal Justice.
While there she continues to craft her table tennis art which in the process, won her an astonishing eight titles in varying categories during a three-year period from 2015 to now.
Those accomplishments in itself can serve to give a player from these parts the assurance and confidence of competing at the highest level, i.e. the Olympics Games.
Those feats also functioned to draw her closer to her dream of qualifying for the Tokyo Summer Games in two years’ time.
Differently, it recently piqued the interest of a Pro Portuguese Table Tennis Club which is eager to capture a long-term commitment from the Guyanese.
“I was approached by the President of ADC Ponta do Pargo, a Table Tennis Club in Madeira, Portugal,” the former senior and junior national champion revealed to Stabroek Sports in a recent exclusive.
Perhaps, seeking to examine her self-belief, the President of the club, then dished out the strangest of questions.
“He asked me if I was a good player and I responded `yes’ and then I was invited to play at their club.
“It was a decision not made very lightly as it was a new experience and it was expensive,” she added while noting that the expenditure of her journey to Europe was solely sponsored by her parents.
Quizzed on the impact of the experience, the Chemistry major in her reaction noted that it was an “education if anything else.
“The experience of playing at a professional club here in Portugal is one like no other, it has been if anything, educational.
“I’ve learned so much about the game,” she recounted, adding; “things that I didn’t know that was of great importance to the betterment of an athlete,” she said while declaring that she is now better equipped than before she journeyed to Ponta do Pargo.
Her approach to the sport will see her aiming to end the summer on a high while playing in a number of tournaments “to the best of her ability.”
One such event will be the upcoming CAC games in Colombia at the end of July.
She is also very much focused on completing her degree in May 2019.
“In the grand scheme of things, my focus is to become a better player and to pursue the goal of playing professional table tennis,” she explained.
“Long-term wise, the goal will always be to qualify for the Olympics, but it’s no longer long term it’s approaching quickly,” Edghill, a young woman with 11-years of national experience, noted.
Edghill is one of those athletes who have mastered the art of complementing academics with sports.
As she nears the completion of her degree Edghill says that “Playing in the USA I’d describe as fun, lots of hard work but fun.
“Studying, however, I’d describe as slightly challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Edghill said as motivation for those who are contemplating the hardship to pursuing both desires.