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'We're ready!' - Lothian in good spirits about Caribbean Senior TT Champs

Published:Monday | September 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica is ready for next week's staging for the Caribbean Senior Table Tennis Championships. Godfrey Lothian, president of the game's local association, says that he feels good about preparations to host the tournament, which starts on September 23.

In August, Lothian told The Gleaner that Table Tennis Jamaica was about 65-75% ready for the Caribbean Championships. Reminded of that on September 14, he replied, "And now I'm feeling even better." His optimism is based on help received from parties including the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA). "What has happened is that a number of other persons have chipped in. Even the JOA has come in to assist with their personnel, and as such, I'm very grateful because we've got more human resources on board who have the technical know-how and professionals, real professionals, to be on board," he said.

Also on board are 50 volunteers. "We have 50 volunteers including umpires - 20 umpires - and four of these umpires are from overseas. We have another 30, and we have people registering almost every other day," he explained.

Lothian is especially happy because he believes that the tournament will break even financially. I think after the event, we won't owe any debt," he forecast. "That is the big thing because we have staged events before, and after you come out of the event, you have some debt, and during the year, you have to be scratching your head to find how you're going to pay these people."

While the tournament is special because it is a 2019 Pan-Am Games qualifier, Jamaica is also hosting two other important table tennis events. The first is the annual general meeting of the Caribbean Regional Table Tennis Federation and the second staging of the Table Tennis Conference of the Caribbean. "So it's really a week of serious table tennis activity taking place here in Jamaica," Lothian said.

The tournament runs from September 23 to 29, and 10 countries are confirmed to compete.