by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A total of ten students participated on the 30 day initiative under the direction of Sean Wallace, who had qualified as a Course Conductor in August 2016, the venture being part of a wider concept aimed at setting an example for others to follow in the magnificently located island.
Recently co-ordinated by the Reverend Francena Pryce alongside Godfrey Lothian, the President of Table Tennis Jamaica, the Social Development Commission (SDC) alongside Table Tennis Jamaica (TTJ) had commenced a pilot project in the inner city community of Whitfield Town.
“The objective of this project is to break down barriers of indiscipline, promote safety and security and most of all highlight and promote education of the youths found within the community using table tennis as the vehicle”, Sean Wallace
Educating coaches, who in turn will coach young people in local communities and schools, is the first goal; then as the project develops to next step is to introduce competitions.
“It is envisioned that once this goes well, table tennis will be on route to becoming the number five sport in Jamaica behind track and field, football, cricket and netball”, Sean Wallace
Notably, in common with similar courses, the Para element proved most popular.
“I have much respect for Para players and persons with disabilities in general now that I have shared in such an experience”, Winston Steele, (Primary school Physical Education teacher)
“We truly enjoyed being engaged as Para players”, Daniel Pusey (Community Leader)
“It is very difficult for us to do many things with our able bodies; now we see persons with disabilities defying the odds with physical or intellectual impairments. Thanks for the experience Mr. Wallace it was an eye opener for us!” Orville Young, (Physical Education teacher at Whitfield School)
On the final day, in the presence of Mr. Takashima, who had been the national coach for two years and Francena Pryce, four members completed the practical test, three passed; all now commence their 30 hours of practical training.
Photos: courtesy of Sean Wallace