05 Oct 2017

Situated in the Caribbean, earlier this year the Bahamas became one of the last four countries on planet earth to join the International Table Tennis Federation; the membership being ratified at the ITTF Annual General Meeting staged in Dusseldorf on Wednesday 31st May.

Immediately, organized under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, Richard McAfee of the United States paid a very successful ten day visit to the island in June, part of which was an ITTF/PTT Level One Course. Later he returned on Monday 11th September to lead a more detailed 20 day initiative.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Once more, for the second visit, an ITTF/PTT Level One Course was on the agenda; a main aim being to follow up the progress made during the initial visit when the accent had been focused on youth, introducing table tennis to schools.

A variety of events were held under the guidance of Richard McAfee, the target being to “jump-start” the sport.

Notably in addition to coach education and conducting a most necessary Basic Umpires Course, the overall initiative included the distribution of equipment packages to 14 schools, as well as conducting training sessions in ten schools. Over 1,400 children attended their first table tennis coaching sessions. Additionally, a successful tournament was held.

Furthermore, several meetings with potential sponsors were organised, the visit receiving extensive press coverage in both newspapers and on television. Significantly, a local ITTF Development Officer was identified and hired, Jerry Colebrook. Committed to the sport of table tennis, he has extensive experience working within the Bahamas School System.

Support for the Bahamas has been made possible thanks to the backing of the Seamaster company; overall the company is providing US$ 100,000 per year for a two-year period which commenced in 2017.

 Bahamas: Jump Start

Photos: courtesy of Richard McAfee

High Performance and Development Coaching Richard McAfee