Davidson heading to TT camp in Peru
National age-group table tennis champion Kelsey Davidson is on her way to a week-long training camp in Lima, Peru.
The 11-year-old is among 12 players from the Caribbean, Latin and South America who have earned this opportunity. She is being accompanied by her father and coach, Richard, who is grateful to the donors who have made her trip to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) event possible.
Speaking in Spanish Town last Thursday, he said special thanks to the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Windalco, Tastee Limited, Earth Elements, Sea Freight Shipping, Reggae Jamaica, and the parents and friends of his Angels Table Tennis Academy for covering the US$3000 cost for the trip.
The Davidsons left the island for Peru yesterday.
Kelsey was selected on the basis of her solid performance at the recent Caribbean Pre-Cadet Championships held in Kingston in August. She was second in the ‹nder-11 singles and teamed with Lena Campbell to win gold in the doubles. Though she has missed a few days of training due to illness, her dad and coach said "she's excited and ready to play".
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.
"I think Jamaicans have taken it lightly, but I can tell you, it's a big breakthrough for Jamaica," Richard explained.
"She actually is the first Under-11 to be invited by the ITTF to this training camp," he further outlined.
The federation is staging similar camps around the world, with four from the Peru group going on an international tournament, in Qatar next year.
"At the same time, even if she doesn't qualify for that next tournament the experience and the breakthrough she'd have gotten will bring back a lot to the children," her dad and coach projected.
Kelsey's clubmates at the Angels Table Tennis Academy are just as pleased about her trip as she is.
"The children are actually excited that someone from the club is going to Peru," said Coach Davidson, "so it will motivate them to train harder and see that they can accomplish it also."
Looking ahead, the coach of the Academy projected: "I have two or three young girls who I think can make it next year if we put in the training."