Lamont blasts Lothian's JTTA administration
With the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA) scheduled for next month, current president Godfrey Lothian is confident that his tenure will earn him a third successive term.
However, former JTTA vice-president and national player, Samuel Lamont, who has been one of the biggest detractors of the Lothian administration, revealed that he has receive numerous calls to 'save' local table tennis, however, he said he is still yet to decide.
"I have some serious problems with the Godfrey Lothian administration, and a lot of persons have been asking me to rescue table tennis. I have been getting a lot of requests, but I am not sure," Lamont said.
"If I am going to contest it, I will not make too many people know as yet, but the reason why I would do it is to rescue table tennis. As a person who has invested their hard cash in the sport, I am thinking about it seriously," he told The Gleaner.
Lamont's main issues with the Lothian administration is its refusal to pay prize monies for tournaments and the lack of youth-development programmes in the country.
"Mr Lothian's is the only administration that has had tournaments and don't pay players. It is a criminal offence to have tournaments and not pay the winners," he said.
"It cost $600-$700,000 (for Portland parish) to go to the national championship and the prize money is supposed to be declared, and some were not declared and this is the first this has happen. Before Mr Lothian (administration), the prize money was usually declared," he reasoned.
LOTHIAN REFUTES CLAIMS
But Lothian refutes the claim and stated that Lamont's players are given free entry to tournaments, and that players are usually paid for their winnings, albeit sometimes late.
"If I didn't pay for tournaments, don't you think Jamaica would be talking about that? We pay them over time, because some tournaments are not sponsored, but it's not true that we do not pay for tournaments. He (Lamont) is trying to drive away sponsors and trying to destroy the sport and I will not allow it to happen," Lothian insisted.
Lamont's is also not impressed by the governing body's youth-development policies.
Lothian countered that youth development is alive and growing and that with his track record, he expects to be elected for his third straight term at next month's AGM.
"If you are taking about youth development, we just finished a pre-cadet tournament in August ... and Jamaica has received the bid to host the tournament again in August of this year, and we have gone all over the country with youth development and development of coaches.
"The fact speaks for itself. No other administration in the 71-year history has done the amount of work we have done. So put all the other presidents together and none have achieved what I have," he added.