TTJ, JPA sign MOU
With ambitions of successful representation and bringing home medals as soon as the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, a memorandum of understanding between Table Tennis Jamaica (TTJ) and the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) was signed yesterday at the Sir John Golding Rehab Centre, located at Elleston Flats, St Andrew.
A new chapter was written between local governing body for table tennis and the Paralympic community and signed by Godfrey Lothian and Christopher Samuda, the respective presidents.
It will see TTJ provide coaching and training for Paralympic athletes with a view to seeing them transition to the international stage and, hopefully, win medals at the Paralympics in table tennis.
Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Michael Fennell recalled that the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, while hosting the Pan American Games in 2007, was the first host to introduce the ParaPan Games.
"Tokyo 2020, which I think you have set as one of your benchmarks, will be another important benchmark," said Fennell, who warned that while the Games are four years away, planning is needed.
"We are here to celebrate the signing and formalising of the agreement between the Jamaica Table Tennis Association and the Paralympic Association, and for this to have the meaning from this formal document it requires participation," Fennell urged.
Meanwhile, this summer, Brazil will showcase the Olympic Games in August and the Paralympic Games in September.
"I am sure it will be amazing for Jamaican athletes Olympics and Paralympics for the records and medals that you already have collected in this country," said Brazilian Ambassador to Jamaica Carlos den Hartog.
The JPA president, Samuda, said: "It is a partnership, ladies and gentlemen, that will, under the Road to Tokyo campaign, create a pathway for Paralympians to realise potential, fulfil their ambitions, and fuel their aspirations."
Samuda described the Sir John Golding Rehab Centre-based programme as a "centre of excellence".
The TTJ's, president, Godfrey Lothian, said that "table tennis should be played anywhere and everywhere," adding that "everybody should play table tennis".
"We will be putting some of our best coaches here because whenever you see people coming off the plane, it's not just going to be our able-bodied athletes coming in with medals from athletics, but you're going to see our Paralympians and others who will be mobilised across the country with table tennis medals," he stated.