“Serious dialogue” among priorities post-COVID-19, says TT Coach


By Akeem Greene

April 17 marks 108 days since the World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified of the first case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in China. Over two million cases have since been reported, and close to 140,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

To combat the spread of the disease, many nations have imposed lockdowns and those measures have coincided with several major sport leagues or associations having to suspended activities.

The International Table Tennis Federation suspended all tournaments until June 1.

Guyanese Table Tennis Coach, Dwain Dick, believes the impact of the COVID-19, will force most contact sports to readjust their modus operandi in the future.

“I think things can’t go back to normal because when you look at sports, a lot of sports are contact sports or ball sports where you always sharing the ball. I think what will happen is that one of the priorities will be serious dialogue from governing bodies, sport federation and all stakeholders,” Dick told News Room Sport Friday.

International Table Tennis Federation Level II Coach, Dwain Dick

The ITTF Level II Coach said it is imperative that those stakeholders develop strict strategies on how sport can move forward in the safest possible manner.

“Developing strategies on how they are going to respond in ensuring safety to spectators, players and coaches, among others- they will need guidelines where everyone will have to follow and those guidelines should be stringent too.”

In the interim of none to limited in-person coaching sessions, Dick strongly contends that parents are extremely vital in keeping junior athletes in check, especially mentally.

“In this time right now, parents would be the most influential factors in those children’s lives because they are at home. They would be feeding off the parents mostly and some parents are possibly going through their frustrations as well for varying reasons.”

He added, “It is for parents to maintain a positive attitude and to guide and assist them, and for us as coaches, we have to try and stay connected and maintain that kind of virtual relationship with them.”

Whenever the current curfews and ban on large gatherings are lifted, Dick, who is also the President of the Titans Table Tennis Club, which is the home of the nucleus of the country’s junior national players, said he will have to readjust how he goes about coaching, especially on the number per session.

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