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Former Caribbean TT champion identifies Vincentian talent

Former Caribbean TT champion identifies Vincentian talent


Former Caribbean Table Tennis singles champion, Barbadian Robert Roberts, has identified talent among young Vincentian players, but singled out Saeed Bowman as “very promising”.{{more}}

Roberts, who was on a one-day visit here last Thursday, made that assessment, as he saw Bowman and others in action at the West St George Secondary School.

Pointing to Bowman, Roberts, a three-time regional champion said: “He is definitely one player for the future… He is talented.”

However, Roberts, who along with his business partner Will Shortz was on a Caribbean sojourn last week where they were expected to touch down on several islands to engage in Table Tennis activities, was not impressed with the standard of play in the places they had visited.

And, he is pinning this lack of advancement on the seasoned players.

“It is unfortunate that the sport is stagnated in a lot of the Caribbean countries … These kids that have developed a technique and a style; they have been watching their national players who have basically the same old- fashioned technique and their game is basically based on that same technique,” Roberts observed.

“They have the good foundation, but they have the wrong technique,” Roberts added.

This observation, Roberts noted, is evident in most of the OECS territories he has visited.

Roberts confirmed that the same players are still involved in the sport, as in his last visits to places like St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada over two decades ago.

Hence, he is advocating an injection of young players in the national set-up.

“This should not be… Age is not a big thing for me, but if you can be competitive at your age or win, I am a 100 per cent backing you on the national team.. If you are going just to make up a number, then that does not make sense…. That just deprives a junior of an opportunity,” Roberts acknowledged.

He however believes that Trinidad and Tobago is on a good path, as they have France based Dexter St Louis to look up to.

Roberts, who is employed as professional table tennis coach at the Westchester Tennis Center, in New York wants an injection into the sport in the English speaking Caribbean.

He wants this side of the region to place greater emphasis on table tennis, the same way the Spanish speaking nations of Cuba and the Dominican Republic do.(RT)