ACTION In this year’s Digicel-sponsored, Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA)- organised third annual National Schools Team table tennis championships will serve off tomorrow at the National Gymnasium,
with over 30 schools from across Guyana battling for supremacy.
The tournament was launched in the boardroom of the sponsor’s Barrack Street office yesterday, where their Head of Marketing, Jacqueline James, said Digicel saw a passion in the late Henry Greene, the former GTTA president when he approached the company to sell the idea of the tournament.
“Three years ago, Digicel saw a passion that was expressed by the former president of the GTTA, the late Henry Greene and based on that passion, along with our dedication to sports, children’s growth and educating the nation, we got on board with the GTTA’s National Schools’ Team championships.
He had a passion for table tennis and he even mentioned how he wanted to see school children involved in the sport. It is great to see so many schools participating this year and we expect the public to come and support this tournament,” stated James.
James told her audience which included GTTA’s Interim president Godfrey Munroe, Assistant General Secretary Linden Johnson and Digicel’s Public Relations Officer Shonnet Moore, how happy she was that the GTTA decided to have her company on board with the tournament for another year.
“It is great to be on board with the GTTA for this tournament and next year, we will be looking to do a bigger and better tournament. Thanks for having us on board and we plan to be on board with the GTTA and their plans in the future.”
In his remarks, Munroe, a former national champion in his own rights, said the tournament which will be played in four different age groups was critical to the sustainability as well as the development of the sport.
“This tournament is critical to the GTTA’s sustainability, as it sees the production of new players, some who are bodily talented, while it also helps us with the identification of new talen,” stated Munroe.
According to the former GTTA General Secretary, the format for the tournament will see two teams comprising three players per category and each school is allowed to field two teams per category, adding that entries were received from schools in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and Georgetown.
Of great interest to the tournament, a school can enter a past student, providing he or she has left the school no longer that one year and must be of the stipulated age to compete in the category the school is desirous of having that student represent them in.
He said last year’s tournament which was played in the Queen’s College auditorium, was very responsive and truly exciting, adding that a lot of national players who are competing today, came out of this tournament in years gone by.
Johnson said the GTTA plans to use the tournament to identify teams for the Inter-Guiana Games battle between Guyana and Suriname, along with another international tournament which will be held in Brazil, adding that it is being played at the right time.
The GTTA will be looking to achieve the following objectives from the Digicel Schools Team Championships:
… Fostering camaraderie among students … Promotion/Creation of healthy lifestyle though sport (table tennis)
…Opportunity for individuals to participate in recreational activities
… Promoting the basic objectives of the GTTA by having more players actively participate in table tennis activities, both recreational and competitively.
The tournament will be run on a round-robin basis, with the top four teams in each division contesting the semifinals and coaching programmes to ensure that schools participate fully were conducted before the start of the tournament.
Prizes in forms of cash, trophies, medals and educational packages will be distributed to the respective winners at the end of the tournament, which will get under way tomorrow with action in the 11 years-and-Under and 18-and-Under categories.
On Saturday, players categorised 13 years-and-Under will serve into action, take a break for the opening ceremony and swing back into action along with the 15 years-and-Under teams. On the final day, the continuation of matches in the 18 years-and-Under category along with the semifinals and final will be held, followed by the presentation of prizes.
The Most Outstanding, Best Dressed and Most Improved Schools at the Championships will also be awarded with prizes in those categories.