Baggoo pledges to restore trust in TTTA » EntornoInteligente

Baggoo pledges to restore trust in TTTA

Entornointeligente.com / Nigel Si­mon

nigel.si­[email protected]

The new­ly ap­point­ed pres­i­dent of the T&T Ta­ble Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion, Mer­le Bag­goo has pledged to re­store the trust in the as­so­ci­a­tion.

In a his­tor­i­cal­ly held vir­tu­al elec­tion which was held on Sun­day last dur­ing the TT­TA’s an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ing, Bag­goo was elect­ed as the first-ever women’s pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion un­op­posed af­ter her ri­val for the po­si­tion, an­oth­er woman, 12-time na­tion­al women’s sin­gles cham­pi­on, Aleena Ed­wards with­drew from con­test­ing the po­si­tion at the 11th hour.

Bag­goo now takes over the po­si­tion left va­cant by David Joseph, who opt­ed not to con­test for re-elec­tion ear­li­er this month ahead of their an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ing.

Just last month (March 23), the un­der-fire Joseph and his ex­ec­u­tive was the sub­ject of a strong­ly word­ed let­ter and a pe­ti­tion signed by sev­er­al clubs re­quest­ing their re­moval.

The pe­ti­tion was sent to Sham­fa Cud­joe, Min­is­ter of Sport and Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment, Gabre Mc­Tair, Di­rec­tor of Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Sport Di­vi­sion in the Min­istry of Sport and Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment, Bri­an Lewis, Pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (T&TOC).

Joseph was elect­ed as the new pres­i­dent of TTT­TA in Feb­ru­ary 2019, un­op­posed to re­place out­go­ing pres­i­dent Ian Joseph (no re­la­tion).

Oth­er mem­bers of his ex­ec­u­tive in­clud­ed Leon El­liot (First Vice Pres­i­dent), Win­ston Greene (Sec­ond Vice Pres­i­dent), Je­lani Bram­ble (Third Vice Pres­i­dent), Leah Fras­er (Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary) re­signed as was re­placed by Ed­win Caines, Arvind Teemul (Trea­sur­er), Nicole Lee (As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary), Davone Joseph (As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary) and Deb­bie Mc-Ewin-John (Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer).

The oth­er mem­bers who were elect­ed un­op­posed at yes­ter­day’s an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ing were Kevin Lewis (First Vice-Pres­i­dent), Richard Copeland (Sec­ond Vice-Pres­i­dent) Vas­dev Bob Roop­nar­ine (Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary), Leah Fras­er (As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary), Dave Ra­moutar (Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer), and Ken­neth Par­manand as the Trea­sur­er af­ter Bag­goo de­clined to con­test the po­si­tion fol­low­ing her ap­point­ment as pres­i­dent.

Bag­goo, who rep­re­sent­ed T&T in Ta­ble Ten­nis (1960 to 1964) at Caribbean Cham­pi­onships and won the na­tion­al women’s sin­gles and mixed dou­bles ti­tle in 1963, told Guardian Me­dia Sports fol­low­ing her elec­tion vic­to­ry, re­ferred us to her man­i­festo when we reached out to her for an in­ter­view. The doc­u­ment point­ed to build­ing back the trust be­tween the ex­ec­u­tive and its mem­bers be­cause the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ex­ec­u­tive and fra­ter­ni­ty is vi­tal to the suc­cess of the sport.

“The first women’s foot­ball ref­er­ee in T&T and the Eng­lish-speak­ing Caribbean in 1963 as well, Bag­go said there is al­so need to re­gain the high stan­dards of gov­er­nance, ac­count­abil­i­ty and trans­paren­cy with the in­tegri­ty of our as­so­ci­a­tion by adopt­ing an open-door pol­i­cy,” stat­ed Bag­goo.

The new­ly elect­ed T&TT­TA boss who mi­grat­ed to won sev­er­al ti­tles while liv­ing in Cana­da dur­ing the late 1960s and 1994, when she claimed the ti­tle at the Ed­mon­ton Al­ber­ta Cor­po­rate Cham­pi­onship said she al­so be­lieves the as­so­ci­a­tion needs to be pro­ce­dure and pol­i­cy-dri­ven and as Pres­i­dent, she and her ex­ec­u­tive will trans­form the modus operan­di of the TTT­TA to stan­dard­ise the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.”

A three-time Queen’s Park Ta­ble Ten­nis cham­pi­on (2014-2017)

“To achieve this we need to im­ple­ment con­trols and com­pli­ances for de­ci­sion-mak­ing process­es, and re­view all cur­rent pro­ce­dures and poli­cies as well as be­come more in­clu­sive as I think every­body should have an op­por­tu­ni­ty to con­tribute to any dis­course our sport may have”

This will in­clude em­pha­sis­ing eq­ui­table dis­tri­b­u­tion of po­si­tions to all zones, while ac­tive­ly in­volv­ing the zones and clubs in man­ag­ing projects and adopt a more de­mo­c­ra­t­ic ap­proach to de­ci­sion mak­ing.

Bag­goo al­so has plans for ex­pand­ing the sport across the coun­try and ex­plained, “Ta­ble Ten­nis is the sec­ond most pop­u­lar sport in the world and it’s en­joyed by many dif­fer­ent de­mo­graph­ics and there is a lot of room for ex­pan­sion in T&T”.

So for us to be suc­cess­ful in do­ing that there is a need for us to re­vi­tal­ize in­ac­tive zones, em­pow­er and ad­vise ex­ist­ing zones and rein­tro­duce the sec­ondary and pri­ma­ry school leagues as our ma­jor goals.

“There is al­so the need for us to cre­ate a net­work among the clubs to di­rect in­ter­est­ed play­ers to a club in their area, get our web­site up and work­ing and in­crease op­por­tu­ni­ties for coach­ing and um­pir­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

With so many sports com­pet­ing for main­stream cov­er­age and cov­er­age, Bag­goo said there was a need to re­brand ta­ble ten­nis lo­cal­ly.

She re­called, “I re­mem­ber back in the day you could have seen a ta­ble ten­nis board un­der every house. Ta­ble ten­nis was big then and it could be big now”.

So we need to em­bark on a re­brand­ing dri­ve to open more mar­ket­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties, fos­ter bet­ter re­la­tions with me­dia and spon­sors, ex­plore the idea of in­tro­duc­ing a rat­ing sys­tem to fa­cil­i­tate in­ter­na­tion­al play­ers, in­tro­duce more di­vi­sions in tour­na­ments, re­view and en­hance prize struc­tures, in­tro­duce a women’s league and most im­por­tant­ly have a di­a­logue with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and re­gion­al uni­ver­si­ties to of­fer schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties

“There is al­so a greater need for us to start mar­ket­ing the hob­by ten­nis play­ers as I think you don’t have to play tour­na­ments to en­joy ta­ble ten­nis”.

Some of the ar­eas we can tar­get are the mar­ket­ing of ta­ble ten­nis’ fit­ness and health ben­e­fits, grow­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion among dif­fer­ent­ly-abled cit­i­zens and in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion among an old­er de­mo­graph­ic.

At a na­tion­al lev­el, Bag­goo said the TT­TA has fall­en be­hind be­cause every se­ri­ous coun­try has train­ing year-round, and we need to fol­low suit”.

“We have to in­tro­duce de­vel­op­men­tal train­ing to cadet lev­el play­ers and have year-round train­ing for the se­nior and ju­nior teams, as well as for­mu­late a plan to have a home for ta­ble ten­nis short­ly.”

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian

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