The sport of table tennis in Saint Lucia received a boost recently when the Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia presented 29-year-old Roslyn Lee, a table tennis instructor, to the Department of Youth Development and Sports. Lee has replaced William Lien whose volunteer service ended in 2018.
During the short presentation which was held in the Department of Youth and Sports’ conference room located on Micoud Street, Roslyn told the members of the media present that she looked forward to the full Saint Lucia experience while coaching.
Roselyn, who is now the only female table tennis coach on island will work alongside Head Coach Chris Wells and Coach Stephen Joseph to advance the sport among local table tennis players.
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Liota Charlemange – Mason said, “Lee is here as a volunteer from the Embassy of Taiwan and we are very happy to have her with us. Some of you would have known that last year we had William and he assisted Chris Wells, our table tennis coach here at the Department.”
She added: “We want to encourage her to take full advantage of the opportunity. We also want to encourage our coaches to take full advantage of Roslyn’s presence here.”
National Table Tennis coach in the Department of Youth Development and Sports, Chris Wells said, “Saint Lucia and by extension the Department of Youth Development and Sports is extremely happy that The Taiwan Technical Mission has always assisted our sporting programme. We look forward to working with Ms. Lee and giving her the opportunity to see different parts of the Island as we go out coaching the various schools.”
With a new volunteer on board Wells said, “Based on the enthusiasm and passion she has I know she can bring additional excitement. At present we do not have any female table tennis coaches on Island and it is a major plus when you have a diverse coaching staff; it creates a better environment.”
In terms of tournaments at the school level, Wells said, “For the last four years we have had the Inter-district Primary Schools Table Tennis Championship with all eight districts having boys and girls participating. The level of play has actually risen. Also, for the first time, Saint Lucia medaled at the Under-15 Caribbean championship. In 30 months with consistent practice Saint Lucia was able to get to the level of some of the Latin American countries where they have athletes who train 35 hours a week”.
Wells who was at the time wearing two hats (Department of Youth Development and Sports and as a member of the Saint Table Tennis Association) said, “Over the last five years we have made some headway because we entered through the primary schools system and the work that has been done includes workshops, where we had to train the primary school teachers from all districts. However, it still boils down to which sports the physical education teachers are excited about; we cannot force persons to be passionate about something that they are not passionate about. Our greatest challenge has always been to have good enough coaches to grow the sport island wide.”