by Ian Marshall, Editor
Venue for the whole itinerary was the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall; the expert on duty was Colombia’s Yoanna Ramirez.
Overall a total of 19 students attended; in addition to Georgetown, they travelled from East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara, Essequibo and Linden.
“It was very satisfying to find a group with such enthusiasm and a willingness to learn; all were motivated and committed. They were focused on where they want to go and how to achieve their goals. In addition to being able to help the students with my knowledge and experience, the objective was also to give them the tools to develop their umpiring career. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that with effort they could even officiate at such prestigious events as the Olympic Games.” Yoanna Ramirez.
Most certainly all members responded to the efforts of Yoanna Ramirez, in particular, 30 year old Candacy McKenzie
“I am a mother, a pageant co-ordinator, cosmetologist and also an ITTF Level One table tennis coach. After getting involved in the sport of table tennis several years ago, my love for the sport has grown so much. I´ve been constantly looking to acquire new knowledge; having taken the step to become a basic umpire my love and longing has grown even more. I have an open mind and now a greater understanding of the world, having met people from different cultures while developing my skills as an umpire. I would like to experience umpiring at the Olympics and also at international events; even one day to gain the blue badge.” Candacy McKenzie
A motivated student, it was a similar response from 37 year old Leona Kyte.
“I am a Project Officer at the Volunteer Youth Corps, a non-governmental organisation and have a passion for sports. I had previously completed the basic Umpire and Referee training; this training has served as a refresher and has allowed me to be one step closer to my dream of being an International Umpire. I became involved in table tennis as a result of my brother who wanted to be a player in 2004. As a result of bringing him to practice every Saturday, I developed a love for the sport; being an umpire has allowed me to help young people to be better players. Table tennis has helped me to visit new places, meet new people and have new experiences.” Leona Kyte
Enthusiastic the views of Candacy McKenzie and Leona Kyte were echoed by Maurice Cummings.
“I am a teacher by profession who loves sports. I am happy I was given the opportunity to attend this course. The course will be of great benefit to me since it will improve my knowledge of the game. It is my wish to have the opportunity one day to officiate at the Olympics. I think this course will benefit the association since they will have a nucleus of trained professionals to assist in the management of the sport. I would like to thank the ITTF for providing this opportunity to me. The course was very informative and enjoyable, there were adequate meals and refreshments; the course conductor was very informative, patient and professional. It is my wish to reach the highest level in table tennis officiating.” Maurice Cummings
Delighted students and it was also a delighted Godfrey Munroe, the President Guyana Table Tennis Federation.
“The course gives us as a country the opportunity to create an umpiring structure and development pathway, creating incentives for umpires to have a career path, improve the level of officiating and the structure of our competitions. It allows us to bid and to host international competitions, while helping improve our players’ abilities and the profile of the sport.” Maurice Cummings
A total of seven students reached the required level to become qualified basic umpires.
The participants were: Chioma Archer, Elthon Browne, Steve Critchlow, Maurice Cummings, Debra Daniels, Moeth Dasilva, Mark Evans, Shavin Greene, Raphael Hunter, Elishaba Johnson, Paul Jones, Mohamed Khan, Leona Kyte, Isaiah Layne, Candacy Mckenzie, Aneka Phillips, Kevin Prass, Thuraia Thomas, Junior Wilson.