by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Home for proceedings, in a part of the world where table tennis has been played for over 40 years but not formalised, was Nassau, the island’s capital city.
Attracting teachers from eight high schools, Richard McAfee conducted an ITTF/PTT Level One Course followed by directing matters at several training sessions.
Additionally, he met members of the Bahamas Olympic Committee, the University of the Bahamas, and the Ministry of Education.
“Working with the Bahamas Table Tennis Federation a developmental plan of action has been worked out that includes a major focus on putting table tennis into the schools. Fourteen schools have been targeted in the Nassau area along with several more on Grand Bahamas. Each school with receive an equipment package along with training for the teachers.” Richard McAfee
Notably during the visit, a gift of equipment was also made to the Ranfirly Home for Children. Also, it is anticipated that Richard McAfee will return later in the year in September to implement a schools programme and conduct coaching sessions.
“The Bahamas Table Tennis Federation along with the International Table Tennis Federation will also hire a local Development Officer who will work with the schools to identify talented athletes; these athletes will be offered additional training at weekends. A series of quarterly tournaments is also in the works. In December, the first National Schools Championships for the Bahamas is planned.” Richard McAfee
Exciting initiatives, the Bahamas Development Programme has been made possible thanks to the support of Seamaster; overall the company having agreed to provide US$100,000 per year for development, education and training projects.
Notably part of the sponsorship includes technical and equipment support for the four new members.
“The Bahamas Table Tennis Federation deserves great credit for their efforts to build the sport of table tennis in their country.” Richard McAfee.
Members of the board include: Geoffrey McPhee (President), Adrian Rollins (Vice President), Shameka Fernander (Secretary) in addition to Carl Stubbs and Keith Saunders.
Photos: courtesy of Richard McAfee