A year after former vice president of the Barbados Table Tennis Association (BTTA) John Pilgrim said the sport was “in chaos” and called for the National Sports Council and the Barbados Olympic Association to intervene and provide administrative guidance, a senior member of the BTTA executive says table tennis is in “very good vein”.
“We are in very good vein. In 2016, the BTTA overhauled its constitution and a new executive was elected to serve a two-year term. Our junior players performed outstandingly at the regional level in 2016. Barbados’ boys and girls teams won the silver medals in the Caribbean Under 18 tournament. Tyrese Knight is the regional under 18 singles champion. Rashawn Goddard and Ramon Maxwell are the Under 15 double champions. Goddard won the bronze medal in the under 15 singles,” David Harris, the vice president of BTTA told Barbados TODAY.
He acknowledged that the sport had encountered some turbulence in the recent past and stressed that the game was now on the right path.
Harris pointed out that in the Third Division competition of the BTTA which he described as the “base of the pyramid”, there were several children playing in that division who were very enthusiastic about the sport.
He stated the Division Two competition was very competitive, and the veteran championship for the over fifties and sixties attracted several entrants.
Harris noted that even though most of the players involved in the game were men, a number of women were also playing the sport.
“We have several promising female players, among them are Jazel Griffith, Danielle Walton, Janae Lewis and Anthonette Riley who is currently training with a club in Sweden. At the beginning stage there are a number of schoolgirls playing in Division Three,” Harris said.
He described the Premier League as dynamic and exciting even though there were only five teams taking part in the competition.
“I would like to see another two teams playing in the Premier League. At the same time we have to be careful not to dilute the standard of the competition, ” he explained.
Harris stressed that table tennis was currently in a developmental stage with a number of very young players competing in the Premier and First Division competitions.
“There are several young players such as Tyrese Knight, Kristian Doughty, Ramon and Russell Maxwell who are playing in the Premier League. All of these players are under the age of eighteen,” the vice president said.
According to Harris, who has been involved with the sport for over fifty years, the game was alive and well in Barbados.
He stated everyone involved with table tennis should be proud that they have their own venue.
“A lot of sporting organisations depend on the National Stadium and the Garfield Sobers Sporting Complex to stage events. We have our own venue where we can hold the various competitions organised by the BTTA,” Harris said.