Fri | Jan 22, 2021

TT coach home after Grenada clinic

Published:Sunday | December 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Peter Kavanaugh, a Jamaican table-tennis coach from Mandeville, returned home yesterday after conducting a training course in Grenada. Kavanaugh's visit to the Spice Isle follows interest from countries in the region in the services of Jamaican table-tennis coaches. Kavanaugh says Grenada is enthusiastic about the sport.

Speaking on Friday, the last day of the Level 1 coaching seminar he conducted, he reported, "The mood is enthusiastic. Coaches were drawn from the police, from the civil service, teachers and so forth."

Kavanaugh took the aspiring Grenadians through a course he has taught several times in Jamaica. "What it means to be a coach, styles of coaching, psychology of young players in development", he began. "Then, you move from that into, if you're dealing with six- to nine-year-old kids, how it is that you're going to introduce them to the concepts of table tennis," he added.

Earlier in the year, Table Tennis Jamaica president Godfrey Lothian had indicated that some of his regional colleagues had approached him making requests for Jamaican coaches to assist in their countries.

Kavanaugh was happy to be of service. "We're brothers and sisters, all the English-speaking Caribbean, even the non-English-speaking', he explained.

"You have to be a Caribbean person, maybe in your thinking, to probably have this interest because some people will have the certification and it just stands at their yard, and if you look at it, I'm not interested in that."

Absent when Kingston hosted the 60th Caribbean Senior Championships in September, the Grenadians could be back at the table in the foreseeable future. "But, you see, there's no point not having your team up properly and just entering for the sake of entering," Kavanaugh advised. His suggestion to local table tennis there was to concentrate on junior players.

Accordingly, he exposed young players to the sport in Grenada. "I got the kids to come on Tuesday, and I was able to interact with in excess of 30 or 40 kids", he recalled.

"Normally, this wouldn't happen during a Level 1 course, you know," he said. "In level one, it's just the coaches, but I insisted [on] kids, and I wanted persons who are disabled, and by Wednesday, we had a disabled person there in his wheelchair," he noted.