The Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding between the two parties to begin a partnership that puts the development of table tennis at the forefront.
Chen Xilai, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and Godfrey Munroe, President of the Tennis Authority, signed on behalf of the two entities.
The agreement according to Munroe reflects the Chinese government’s position to provide technical and other support to the Guyanese sports body.
“This is part of a Memorandum of Understanding and ongoing support between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) which includes the provision of high-level training to the national table tennis players at all levels in high performance environments in China, providing support equipment to schools, communities and GTTA development initiatives, ”Munroe said during a simple ceremony at the NCERD Department of Education building in Kingston.
Arrangements for the training of Guyanese coaches and “support” for the construction of a table tennis home in Guyana are other major elements of the agreement.
One aspect of the MOU was immediately implemented, with the Embassy donating a variety of table tennis equipment, including tables, rackets and balls, to fifty schools across Guyana for stimulate interest in table tennis in schools.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Cui Jianchun, who is an avid follower of the sport both locally and abroad, briefly recalled the history of cooperation between Guyana and China through the use of sport.
“The Chinese and Guyanese have always had many discussions around table tennis. As early as 1973, the Guyanese table tennis team traveled to China and participated in the Asian, African and Latin American table tennis friendship tournament held in Beijing. Over the past decades, China has sent several table tennis coaches to Guyana to help develop table tennis here, ”said the Chinese ambassador.
Dr Karen Cummings, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr Nicolette Henry, Minister of Education also attended the ceremony and delivered remarks. The former, in particular, lamented the influence of sport to continue to shape the existing ties between Guyana and China.
“Allow me to join with the speakers who have preceded me in applauding the efforts of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Guyana Table Tennis Association and all those who have contributed to the achievement of the happy activity today.
“Today’s ceremony is a fitting symbol and another concrete expression of the historic, strong and continuous friendship and meaningful collaboration between Guyana and China since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” remarked Dr Cummings.