GTTA eyes continued support as Guyana, China mark 50 years of partnership
By Akeem Greene
In June, Guyana and the People’s Republic of China will celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties, and the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) in recognition of the momentous occasion, hosted a friendly tournament at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Sunday.
Representatives from the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, along with avid Table Tennis supporters, Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, and businessman Ramdeo Kumar, took part in the event.
GTTA President Godfrey Munroe deemed the duration of the strong diplomatic ties as “tremendous” in highlighting the numerous benefits the Association has gotten from their Chinese counterparts.
According to Munroe, over the years they have benefitted significantly from China, as several players from Guyana have travelled there for High-performance training, coaching upskilling and a Memorandum of Understanding for the supply of equipment, which is distributed to the schools.
Munroe indicated that Ambassador Guo Haiyan is keen on ensuring Guyanese players return to the Hebei Zhengding Table Tennis Training Centre for more camps. In 2018, Natalie Cummings, Joel Alleyne, Nigel Bryan and Elishaba Johnson spent one month at the facility.
Also on the agenda for GTTA is to tap into Chinese players here who may have Guyanese parentage to compete locally, and the top priority remains to build a home for the sport on Woolford Avenue.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Haiyan called Guyana an important partner, one with whom they have a fruitful partnership over the 50 years, as the “trade and economic relations are going well and in recent years, it is growing fast”, and they look forward to “closer cooperation”.
From a Table Tennis perspective, the Ambassador spoke of her deep impression with the passion for the sport in Guyana. She noted that when the COVID-19 pandemic further subsides, there will be avenues for the resumption of player exchanges as there is “still potential for our cooperation in Table Tennis.”