Table tennis seeks huge rally from CWG campaign
Manager of Jamaica's table tennis unit at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, David Miller, is hoping for a solid showing by the eight-member team, with the hope of securing further support from local and international backers.
"The administration has been having discussions, not only with the Jamaica Olympic Association, but also with the International Table Tennis Federation to provide more support for us. We got some support last year in terms of coaching and training for umpires and referees and we have drafted a proposal for an international coach to come to Jamaica for a four or five-month period to work with our coaches in Jamaica, to work with our national players - both juniors and seniors towards building our game to a higher level," Miller told The Gleaner.
He noted that a strong showing in Glasgow will encourage continued and greater assistance.
"Doing well in the Commonwealth Games will indicate both locally and internationally that we are taking the right steps and moving in the right direction and would encourage those international entities to provide more support for Jamaican table tennis," Miller reasoned.
The administrator is feeling good about the work done in getting the team ready for the July 23-August 3 competition, making special reference to 14-year-old prodigy, Dadrian Lewis, the freshly minted national women's champion, who also travels to Glasgow as the youngest member of the team.
Lewis got the better of eight-time champion and the last teenage table tennis sensation in Jamaica, Yvonne Foster, and will be generating much interest, especially among the local fraternity in what will be only her second international appearance.
"They have been training since the beginning of March and as a testament to the work that they have been putting in, they went to the World Team Championships in Japan where they were divisional champions and that was the first for Jamaica indicating the potential that they have," Miller reasoned.
"The current administration of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association has been working towards exposing our players on the regional and international scene, something that had not been done for several years," he added.
"Dadrian Lewis is national champion and she was selected in January for this team and has shown improvement and this justified our decision to put her on the team to the Commonwealth Games after she defeated two seasoned players," Miller underlined.
"There is a lot of quality in the team on the male and female sides and we expect a good showing from them. Jamaica has not been all that competitive on the international scene for quite a few years now and we are building towards being competitive internationally and building our table tennis in that line as we go along," he said.
"We would show Jamaica and the wider community that we are on track to lifting table tennis and becoming competitive internationally," said Miller.
Jamaica's table tennis team comprises Lewis, Foster, Christopher Marsh, Simon Tomlinson, Kane Watson, Dale Parham, Shenique Clare and Kaydian Carney. Rohan Schloss travels as the team's coach.