Lothian hails role of Milo TT Champs
Godfrey Lothian, president of Table Tennis Jamaica (TTJ), said the Milo Preparatory and Primary Schools Tournament continues to play a pivotal role in unearthing and developing junior talent, which has been crucial to the country's performance in regional tournaments in recent time.
The tournament, which was launched at Jamaican Conference Centre yesterday, will start tomorrow with a dress parade and games at the National Arena. Over 50 schools from all across the island will contest the tournament, which will be separated into two competitions for primary and prep schools.
The teams will compete at the parish level at first, on a home-and-away basis. Each parish winner will move on to the play-offs, which will culminate with a champion of champions final between the prep and primary winners in June.
"This is the third year of Milo's sponsorship. Last year, Milo introduced the table tennis boards in schools project and gave away 10 boards. This year they are giving away 15, so the competition has grown leaps and bounds and we intend to be in more parishes next year," he said.
The Milo competition has also become the catalyst for finding players for the pre and mini-cadet.
"We look to unearth new talent in the Milo competition. Every year, the Caribbean pre and mini-cadet championship takes place and through this competition, we have been able to produce new players and this is why we do so well at the Caribbean level," he said.
Chris-Anthony Salter, the consumer manager for powder beverages for Milo and NescafÈ, said their objective is to try and get as many schools involved in table tennis.
"We want to nourish our young champions' ambition and the big thing is to ensure as many schools have table tennis and training facilities. So we really want to continue this partnership in whatever way we can, because this will be a worthwhile venture," Salter said.