Group sessions of four to restart Table Tennis training

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By Akeem Greene

From August 10, 2020, the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) will officially resume training, but with no more than four persons at any given time, according to President Godfrey Munroe.

He indicated on Tuesday that there have been some sessions ongoing, but they will layout an extremely strict programme as they develop post COVID-19. Guyana is currently in phase three of reopening post-COVID-19.

Currently, there are restrictions on contact or team sports and table tennis is considered a non-contact sport, despite the sharing of the ball for serves.

However, the GTTA plans to have personal balls for competitors to counter such a situation.

Munroe said when they do resume, on the presumption that the National Task Force does not amend the current streamline of plans, it will be a rigid system.

GTTA President, Godfrey Munroe

“Despite Table Tennis is a non-contact sport in the traditional sense, but you still contact people being in the same places and utilising the ball which is a key element in the sport. So one of the strategies adopted by the ITTF is that they use different balls.”

He added “In the initial phase we will reactivate our coaches into small groups, particularly in the club environment where is no more than four persons (training) and they must follow the guidelines in terms of sanitisation.”

The GTTA head is also looking at August month-end or September for a restart to local competitions, but under a very unique method where only one set of players and umpires are allowed in a respective session and fans would be allowed.

From an Association level, though they want to provide the safest possible avenue for play, they will also have to safeguard themselves.

“We have to tread cautiously because one of the things we as a national federation will have to do moving is that a disclaimer policy will have to be implemented.”

“While our critical element is to serve and protect the athletes, we don’t want to suffer from litigation so if we have tournament and somebody falls ill and they say it was based on my participation in this tournament. We want to protect the players and the well-being of the sport.”

Munroe indicated they will find other venues apart from the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and National Gymnasium to house their sessions in the interim.

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