The Ministry of Education- Department of Sport/National Sports Commission over the past week conducted a Schools Developmental Table Tennis Coaching Programme for Primary schools in East Berbice. The sessions, which
were conducted by National Table Tennis Coach Linden Johnson, were for students between the ages of 6 years and 11 years. It involved schools from Crabwood Creek on the Upper Corentyne to schools from East and West Canje, New Amsterdam and East Bank Berbice.
The activity which commenced on Monday March 20th ended on Friday March 24th with a whole day session at the Berbice High School in New Amsterdam.
The sessions were held at the Port Mourant Community Center, Skeldon Community Center and the Berbice High School. Each school was not allowed to send more than 24 (12 boys and 12 girls). Each School was entitled to one session at one and a half (1 ½) hour per session.
The aims and objectives of the programme is to develop and improve the level of table tennis in schools; help students with the basic skills of table tennis; help students to be better prepared for future tournaments; train a nucleus of students to prepared for CXC exams, increase the number of participants involved in table tennis by 25%, in Berbice; identify players for future tournaments; create an integrated coaching programme that incorporate the coach education and player’s development and motivate and encourage schools and players to join forces and work in partnership.
Three session per day were conducted beginning from 09:30 hrs – 11:00 hrs (1 ½ h), session two from 11:00 hrs – 12:30 hrs (1 ½ h) and the third session from 13:00 hrs – 14:30 hrs (1 ½ h).
The programme attracted over 400 students. Johnson was assisted by Gibran Hussain Sarfaraz.
According to Johnson the turnout was overwhelming with lots of talent spotted. Follow up visits will be undertaken throughout the year. An inter primary school tournament is slated for next term. (Samuel Whyte)
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