Japanese coach targets Jamaican TT growth
New national table tennis coach, Satoshi Takashima, wants to take his two years in charge of the national programme to develop the island's best talents, promote the sports and make Jamaica more competitive internationally.
Takashima, a former Japanese player, will oversee the coaching of Jamaica's national table tennis players and teams and he hopes that at the end of his stint, the island's players would have made meaningful progress so that they can produce better results in international competitions.
"The next two years I want the experience to coach top players and youngsters so I can help both and help promote table tennis in the country. I hope we see more table tennis players, also hope to see better results in international matches," he told The Gleaner at the Social Development Commission (SDC)/Table Tennis Jamaica/Greater Whitfield Town Development Council's community table tennis competition launch at the Full Gospel Baptist Church in Whitfield Town yesterday.
The Japanese is aware of Jamaica's rapid rise in international tennis, moving from the fifth division to the third division in the last three years and he believes with hard work and training the country can continue that upward trend.
IT IS POSSIBLE
"It is not impossible. If we work hard and practise like Japan, like China it is possible to reach such a high level. I hope to take Jamaica as far as I can," he said.
"Before I came I try to get information about Jamaican table tennis and I found that the Jamaican table tennis team is getting better results in previous world championships.
"The people in Jamaica and the table tennis association are very active to get good players to work hard for future championships. I am happy to be here to work with these people and our target is clear, we want to get a better result in international matches," he added.
Over the next month or so, Takashima hopes to meet with stakeholders so he can chart the way forward.
Takashima has a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. He is the former coach of Bahrain and has eight years experience in coaching in the Middle East. He is also an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) instructor and has coached two previous Japanese world champions.