Bellot: Table tennis still active

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The Antigua and Barbuda Table Tennis Association’s (ABTTA) initiative where they plan to recruit 500 players in 500 days is still on the table.
This is according to President, Charles “Chucky” Bellot, who said there has been some delays in getting the initiative started but there has been progress in other areas.
“The programme has been going on, we’ve had a delay in terms of the promised or approved assistance from the ADRAP (Athletes Development Assistance Review Panel) programme for 90 boards from India and we’ve been having a problem getting that funding out of treasury,” he said.
“Just about two weeks ago we had a workshop with just about 40 to 42 PE teachers and we have received permission from the Ministry of Education to place boards at a total of about eight government schools and we’ve made arrangements to place boards at four private schools starting in September,” he added.
Bellot, in 2016, announced that the association would have gone on a recruitment drive, promising to sign 500 players in 500 days. Bellot had also promised that the association would have held elections in 2017 but this too, never materialised.
The interest, Bellot said, is not the issue but rather getting those interested to commit is where the problem resides.
“The challenge we’ve been having is that people are interested but they want to see the bus halfway full or three quarters of the way before they get on the bus and that’s a difficult thing so truth be told, maybe about three or four persons who have the time to spend with children at the various schools and it’s one thing to disappoint adults but I would caution anybody against getting the hopes of youngsters up and not being able to fulfill or follow through,” he said. 
The association is also embarking on a coaches’ education programme that Bellot believes will improve the standard of the game here.
“We actually have two teachers, one fulltime PE teacher [Chesley Browne] and one jack of all trades, Wilston Charles, and I think both of them are attached to the Antigua Grammar School and they are actually in China on a 60-day scholarship learning the sport, how to coach and that kind of stuff and once they get back they will also be assisting,” the president said.
After years of dormancy, the table tennis association re-launched in May of last year, pledging to become more active over time.

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