Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Saint Kitts and Nevis contingent left on Monday 31st March 2014 for Dominican Republic to attend the ITTF-Latin American Championships 2014.
This Championship will be the first of three major regional/international events that SKNTTA have been selected to participate in 2014 followed by the Central American and Caribbean Games Qualification (July 16 – 20, 2014) and Commonwealth Games (July 24 – August3, 2014).
The team is led by National Coach Calvin Lake, joined by three players Andre Freeman, T’Anje Johnson and Angelisa Freeman the lone female. The contingent attended a 24 week training camp hosted by the SKNTTA in the buildup to the championship.
Team Manager, Kevin Hope said, ‘I am confident with the maturity of the team, although all the players are under-20. They can compete and do well within the Caribbean group once we exhibit the mental strength and confidence in our approach to each game play.’
He acknowledged the contributions of former President Laverne Merritt, ‘Laverne was instrumental in having the SKNTTA gain experience at the regional level and developing the current national athletes from the grassroots since 2004. Each of the players attending LATTU represented Saint Kitts and Nevis at the Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation U13 and U15 Championships, OECS Table Tennis and also some exposure to the LATTU Championship in Mexico 2011.’
‘Her passing dampened the mood at national training, one week prior to our departure however, she will be remembered for her indomitable spirit to attain the impossible for a nation as small as Saint Kitts and Nevis, ‘ Hope said, ‘and we are further motivated to apply such drive and passions in developing our game.’
Relatedly, national coach Calvin Lake reiterated to the athletes that preparation for the events does not stop upon boarding the plane but in conditioning their minds to compete at an international event, playing for each point on the table and to allow the hard work and investment placed in them to bear fruits. Mr. Lake expects that this event would add to their regional and international exposure and reminded the athletes that they represented the face of table tennis in the Federation and ought to take ownership of the responsibility entrusted in them to make the nation proud.
The SKNTTA also acknowledges the significant investment and contributions made to the young table tennis athletes by the St Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee, (SKNOC) via donations of team equipment and financing the trip to Dominican Republic.