By Royston Alkins
If there were an award for table tennis club of the year, it would surely go to the Titans Table Tennis Club (TTTC) for its exceptional contribution to the sport in 2018.
TTTC under the guidance of President Dwain Dick was able to organize and serve off four tournaments during the year, with the assistance of corporate Guyana.
The club also marshalled into the national spotlight, some of Guyana’s most exciting youngsters including Jonathan Van Lange, Niran Bissu, Thuraia Thomas, Dhanesh Persaud, Jasmine Billingy and Colin Wong.
It is because of those accomplishments Stabroek Sports sat down with Dick to hear his thoughts on how the year panned out, from his vantage point.
“We’ve come a long way, we’ve learnt a lot, and as we keep going we are learning how to do things better,” he explained.
“We are satisfied with the progress at this stage, and when you look at it, you are seeing new talent emerging. For the seasoned players, they are coming out, trying to stay active, so it’s a good sign for us,” Dick added of his club’s efforts to galvanise the interest in the sport.
Dick was also keen to share his thoughts on some of the other players who are outside of his club’s frontiers, mainly expressing his fondness of the National Under – 15 Champion Kaysan Ninvalle.
“Ninvalle has always been one of Guyana’s biggest talents, always, and there are also talents like Bissu, Isaiah Layne, and Van Lange who are some of the biggest names that I think a lot of investments should go into.”
He pointed out that the investment and interest of parents who go the extra mile to ensure the development of their kids, including the attendance of overseas championships, should be met with support by the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) who should find avenues to join forces.
Additionally, Dick weighed in on Guyana’s prospects of qualifying for the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru. The qualifiers will be played in Guyana at the 62nd Senior Caribbean Championships in April.
“The most important thing for starters would be the selection of the team. I mean, we saw how they performed the last time; they did very well but would they be playing at that same level come the next tournament?
“So, what they (GTTA) should do, it’s just my opinion, they should invite the players from overseas and maybe have a very intense training camp before and allow the players who are interested, to come home and have a trial,” he advised noting the that likes of Matthew Khan and Paul David could very well push for spots while there are a few youngsters who could also possibly raise their rackets up.
Guyana, this year, copped three bronze medals in singles event on the back of spirited performances by Christopher Franklin, Trenace Lowe and Chelsea Edghill.
Edghill and southpaw Shemar Britton also won gold medals when they were crowned female and male U21 champions at this year’s Caribbean TT Championships in Jamaica a performance President of the GTTA Godfrey Munroe described as one of Guyana’s better showing. (Stabroek News)