Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Lothian expects Takashima to use credentials for good

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 1:00 AMLivingston Scott
Satoshi Takashima (left) is greeted by Table Tennis Jamaica President Godfrey Lothian upon arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport recently.

Table Tennis Jamaica President Godfrey Lothian wants to make Jamaica into what he describes as a "table tennis nation", and he expects highly regarded Japanese coach Satoshi Takashima to help make this dream possible.

Lothian told The Gleaner that Takashima, who will take charge of the national programme for the next two years, has a proven international track record.

"He comes with a lot of credentials. He worked in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and he played for Japan. So since he comes here with so many credentials, I am expecting him to use them and take Jamaica Table Tennis to the next level," Lothian said.

"We want to develop a pool of players as one of the problems we had when we were doing well is that we didn't have any young players coming through when the older ones left the scene. So we want to have five to ten thousand youngsters across the country playing table tennis within the next five years, with proper coaching, in proper institutions, having the proper facilities, that is our goal," he continued.

Lothian said that the association would identify the nation's best coach, and together with Takashima, they will organise and train the best talents. The administrator notes that he hopes Takashima will leave a lasting legacy at the end of his stint.

"Our best (local) coaches will be identified to work with Mr Takashima," Lothian said. "They will pull the best players across the country into the national programme and over a period of two years make the best out of them so they can compete in the Caribbean and on the world stage. We are in Division Three. We want to move from Division Three to Two in short order so people will come to Jamaica to say that this is a table tennis nation," he added.