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Nov 30, 2012

First ever primary schools table tennis tournament

Fencing is a new opportunity that will hopefully draw more youths to engage in competitive activity. But soccer and basketball are no doubt the two most popular sports in Belize. But one sport that carries no height advantage is table tennis. It’s played by both the strong and disabled and it’s now an official sporting activity for our youths. News Five Isani Cayetano reports on the first Primary School Table Tennis Competition.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The first annual Primary School Table Tennis Competition was held today at the Belize Elementary School auditorium.  Participating in the tournament were five schools, represented by individual clubs.  At the end of the competition budding athlete Matthew Usher, a student of Belize Elementary School, clinched the first place trophy.


Matthew Usher, 1stPlace Winner

Matthew Usher

“It was an intense competition.  If you were here, the competition was overall amazing, to say. We just got our team together but we had been training the day before and we practiced for maybe like two hours overall.  But they had experience and so do I on playing.”


Isani Cayetano

“What advice would you give other young athletes who are interested in playing table tennis and competing at the level that you guys are?”


Matthew Usher

“It takes time but eventually you do get good because these guys have been only playing for maybe six months and I’ve been playing for five years and they are already chasing me down.”


The initiative, organized by the Belize Table Tennis Association, is the first of its kind to be held in the country.  The idea, says Arturo Vasquez, is to grow the competition gradually.


Arturo Vasquez

Arturo Vasquez, President, Belize Table Tennis Association

“We started with five schools and a total of forty participants.”


Isani Cayetano

“How would you rate this exercise today?  Would you rate it as a success in terms of what you see with regards to the talents of these young kids?”


Arturo Vasquez

“Absolutely, absolutely.  There are several reasons for it, why it’s a success today but obviously the talent as you can see in the finals is pretty good.  The level is good but there’s a lot more that they can learn and for these kids it’s their first time ever playing in a tournament because I can’t remember ever in history of table tennis in Belize that they’ve ever had a primary school table tennis competition.  So this is the first and a historic event.”


Trevon Brown

Second place went to St. Joseph’s Trevon Brown, who was defeated in the final round by Matthew Usher.


Trevon Brown, 2nd Place Winner

“I tried my best against him but he still came over with the victory so I respect that, I respect that.”


The effort, according to event coordinator Kayla Arnold, began last year when the association introduced the idea of a citywide competition.


Kayla Arnold

Kayla Arnold, Event Coordinator

“We got started from last year in taking a level one course training and from then on we have gotten tables and we’ve been practicing in schools.  And so the best way we thought about bringing that out and showing what we’ve done so far was by having a primary school table tennis tournament.  Since I’ve started with the table tennis association I’ve been playing on Saturdays and so forth, just trying to keep my skills up, you know, to challenge my kids.  In talking to some of my executive members, they too had the idea of having a primary school table tennis competition but to actually put that competition forward and to put it on paper, that was the problem.  So, we partnered together, you know, and over the past couple weeks we’ve been working hard, lobbying with different people and so forth and finally we got to push the competition off the ground and it was a big help because the teachers from last year came back as well and they helped in the planning meetings and so forth.”


Third and fourth places went to Christian Swasey and Rohan Gillette of Belize Elementary and St. Joseph School, respectively. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “First ever primary schools table tennis tournament”

  1. Storm says:

    A very positive event. Sports competition teaches good sportsmanship, how to try your best, and those are attitudes that lead to success in life.

  2. BES Alumni says:

    this school just won girls district football champs, now table tennis champs, and they are consistently in the top 3 schools for PSE. keep up the good work BES!!!!!!

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