Former Jamaica national table tennis player Ian Spencer is moving to resurrect the dormant sport of table tennis in the parish of St Ann by the formulation of a parish table tennis association.
Spencer, currently Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Resort in the Ocho Rios Region, said there was too much talent being wasted in the parish and the formation of the St Ann Table Tennis Association was the first step to harnessing that talent.
“I have been speaking with a number of former players, business persons and sports enthusiasts in St Ann and they have expressed a willingness to be a part of such a body and to make table tennis a household name once more in the parish.
Spencer once matched skills with the likes of Colin McNeish, Robertyo Byles, Stephen Hylton and Peter MooYoung and participated in a number of tournaments at home and abroad as part of the national team. He was also part of the great St James table tennis team, along with champion Courtney Wilson, which caused a sensation by breaking the Corporate Area stranglehold on the sport.
“I have devised a comprehensive plan for the development of the sport,” Spencer noted. “Starting from coaching and competition at the primary and prep schools, high schools and community level. It will also take the input of businesses in the region, as well as the political representatives and the Social Development Commission.”
The Sandals PR executive further added that once the association was up and running, which will be in a matter of weeks, they will be in contact with the Jamaica Table Tennis Association, with a move to bringing top players to the parish to participate in exhibitions and conduct coaching clinics.
“We will also be starting junior tournaments and coaching throughout the summer to set the stage for competitions once the students get back to school,” he noted.
Spencer is targeting the Buckfield Community Centre as a possible base for practice sessions for community members, once they can get the government or the JTTA to donate a few tables.
In response to funding, Spencer noted that the St Ann Business Community would assist the sport and with companies such as Sandals Resorts and other tourism entities around, he was confident of securing sponsorship.
Members of the association will be introduced to the media shortly after the group has been formally put together.