Sport-Filler

MEMBERS of the local table tennis fraternity have been participating in an ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) High Performance & Development Team webinar series “Table Tennis at Your Fingertips.”

The series will continue from 9 a.m. tomorrow with a webinar titled “Reflections on Excellence.”

The guest speaker will be Michel Gadal, who has worked with the national teams of Canada, France and England over the years. The 67-year-old Frenchman was in charge of the high performance programme and the coach of the national men’s team of his native country from 1985-’92.

Gadal spent the next six years as the national coach of Canada in charge of their Olympic programme as well as a consultation for both the Brazilian Association and the ITTF, in charge of creating and implementing their coach education programme.

He then moved on to become the Performance Director of the English Table Tennis Association from ’98 until 2001, and then returned home to spend the next 11 years as the National technical director of the French Table Tennis Association.

Gadal’s busy career schedule also includes being the general manager of the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships in France and a special adviser to the ITTF the following year.

The highlight of his coaching career was guiding Frenchman JP Gatien to the top spot in the world rankings in June ’92 and the silver medal in the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, less than two months later.

The Silver Bowl Table Tennis Championship was the first sports event postponed or cancelled in Trinidad because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Saturday March 14.

Although the green light has been given for the competitive game to resume, the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association is unable to stage a tournament with all the Ministry of Sport facilities closed.

The National Racquet Centre, which became the home of the sport a couple years ago, is being used by the Government as a step-down facility for the pandemic. The only national tennis tournament contested for the year is Silver Bowl Junior Championships, the weekend before the shutdown.

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