National champion sees bright future for local TT
National table tennis champion Simon Tomlinson says the future could be bright for the youngsters who represented Jamaica at the recent Caribbean Pre-Cadet Championships in Kingston. Tomlinson believes that competition, coaching, and exposure will help them greatly. With these inputs in place, he expects them to surpass his own level of play soon.
Jamaica won just one title at the championships, but, for Tomlinson, the overall team performance was encouraging.
"That shows that we're able to compete with the best teams in the region that we have right now," he said, "and I think, given the chance to have more consistent coaching with them or to have more consistent game play or tournaments of that nature with them, they will do a lot better and they will do it faster than generations before them."
Lens Campbell and Kelsey Davidson finished first in the Under-11 girls' doubles. In addition, Davidson and the pair of Dujuan Jackson and Joel Butler took silver medals in the girls' Under-11 singles and the boys' Under-11 doubles respectively.
"This is the first chance," he detailed, "for that kind of exposure, so I think for the preparation that they had and for the level they're used to, they did very well."
Tomlinson believes it would help if Campbell, Davidson, and the rest of the Jamaican pre-Cadet squad could stay together. According to the national champion, increased competition is a critical element.
"They have the school leagues that they play," he explained, "but they need the club leagues as well."
Trinidad and Tobago dominated the tournament. The twin islanders won all four of the team events, with the only singles title to escape them going to Kasan Ninvale of Guyana in the Under-13 boys category. Campbell and Davidson prevented a Trinidad and Tobago sweep in doubles competition.