Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Davidson and the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’

Published:Wednesday | September 28, 2016 | 9:00 AMHubert Lawrence
National men's champion Simon Tomlinson and Kelsey Davidson pose after her performance at the recent Caribbean Pre-Cadet Table Tennis Championships in Kingston.

According to her coach/father, 11-year-old Kelsey Davidson is excited about her participation in an upcoming International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) training camp in Peru.

He describes the camp as the opportunity of a lifetime for the Caribbean Pre-Cadet Under-11 runner-up and believes it will help her to improve her game. As a result, efforts are under way to raise the funds needed to make the trip.

Kelsey, the national champion in her age group, is looking forward to the one-week camp, which will be staged in Lima, Peru, starting on October 18.

"She's really excited," her father and coach, Richard Davidson, revealed in an interview on September 27.

"Actually, it's the first 11-year-old to be invited from Jamaica to this training camp so it's an honour and a privilege for us and it's the opportunity of a lifetime," he noted.

Kelsey was selected on the basis of her solid performance at the recent Caribbean Pre-Cadet Championships held in Kingston last month. She was second in the Under-11 singles and teamed with Lena Campbell to win gold in the corresponding doubles event.

BIG PLUS

Priyanka Khellawan of Trinidad and Tobago, who beat little Davidson to win that singles event inside Kingston's National Arena, will also be among the 12 young players at camp in Lima. They will be instructed by top coaches from the ITTF.

"Once she goes and sees that type of training, and it's more focused, more disciplined, more organised, more structured, she will adapt to it and I can tell you that it will be a big plus for her," predicted her father.

Kelsey trains at the Angels Table Tennis Academy under her father's watchful eyes and both will be making the trip, provided funding can be found in time.

"Now we need approximately US$3000 because the ITTF will only be providing boarding and meals for Kelsey," he reported. Since she is a minor, she has to go with a parent or coach.

"So we're going to need funding for her to go and for myself to go as father/coach," he related.

He said persons or wishing companies could contact him at 373-9126. Richard expects to learn in Lima, too.

"I think I'm going to be meeting with coaches from the ITTF, from other countries to share their experiences," he said.