Eighteen young players from the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre took part in a table tennis tournament, which organizers say they hope will increase interest in the sport locally.
The tournament, held on Jan. 27, involved four challenges – the Teachers Challenge, Female Championship, Male Championship and Challenge the Coach.
The Teachers Challenge was won by Michael Hall, who defeated Kevin Christian. Jada Evans won the Female Championship final against Zariah Parchment, and Jemal Edwards won the Male Championship final in a challenging game against Christopher Jocson.
Jocson went on to win the Challenge the Coach competition, in which the winner was the player who scored the most points against coach Donovan Nelson. Jocson won a Samsung Galaxy 5 phone, donated by an anonymous donor.
“It was a very successful event. There’s always room for improvement, but it went very well,” said coach Nelson, who volunteers his time to teach table tennis to the students at CIFEC twice a week.
Nelson said there are various leagues and tournaments internationally and regionally that local players can take part in, such as the Highland Games, the Island Games and other Caribbean games.
He said Cayman has been represented twice in table tennis at the Island Games.
“It’s a very active sport,” Nelson said. “It’s fast, and it’s one of the best games, doctors will tell you, for the eyes. It’s an indoor sport, you can play it just about any time.”
CIFEC director Delores Thompson and deputy director Pedro Lazzari attended the tournament and even took a turn on the tables.
The table tennis tournament, which organizers hope will become an annual event, was sponsored by Pinnacle Media Ltd. which donated T-shirts, prizes, paddles and gift baskets.