Angels Table Tennis Academy uses the internet to fuel its dreams – Jamaica Observer


Andre Richardson (second from left) and Kelsey Davidson (second from right) browse the internet on a laptop, while Angels Table Tennis Academy President and Coach Richard Davidson (left) and Flow Community Program Coordinator , Courtney Bell, are watching. Flow recently provided the Academy with free internet access to help it achieve its goal of creating a homework center.

Richard Davidson, president and coach of the Angels Table Tennis Academy in Spanish Town, has ambitious plans for the academy and the youngsters who use it.

Since its inception in 2010, the facility has produced several national players and has been a vital recreation center for surrounding communities. Having realized the importance of the facility, Richardson has recently added music and chess lessons and is in the process of establishing a homework center at the academy. That’s when he reached out to the Flow Foundation to help achieve his goals of impacting more young people through readily available internet access.

“Our plan is to open up the facility to the community because there are a lot of homes that don’t have internet access and we want our kids to have internet to do their research and finish their homework, so it’s a big plus for not only the academy but also the community. Any kid who doesn’t have the internet at home can come to the academy and have access to it,” Davidson pointed out.

National table tennis player and St Jago High student Le-Anna Smith (second from left) teaches Flow Community Program Coordinator Courtney Bell the perfect serve at the Angels Table Tennis Academy in Spanish Town recently. Watching on are Richard Davidson (left), president and coach of the academy, and Sean Smith, member of the Citizens Angels Association and Flow Employee Volunteer.

The Flow Foundation has donated the wi-fi infrastructure which will enable fast and reliable connections and facilitate simultaneous use by multiple users. Davidson added that the internet will also benefit the academy’s table tennis development needs. He told the story of Keeara Whyte, 11, attending an online boot camp last year who needed two hours of internet access a week for eight weeks to show off her skills.

“I had to buy data for my laptop so they could see her in training and it was a small cost to me so it’s a big plus to have internet here and now I can use those funds for something else,” he explained.

Other players, like Davidson’s daughter Kelsey, who represents Jamaica and St Jago High, said the internet would help practice in real time.

“If I need to learn a new service, it’s easy to go online while I’m in the middle of training and watch YouTube videos to learn technique faster,” Kelsey said.

Le-Anna Smith, another national player and student at St Jago High, says having internet access in training will allow her to optimize her time and juggle training and school work.

“I am doing 16 subjects and I have homework for most of them so having the internet at the academy is very helpful as I can take a few minutes during the training to work on my homework. The internet will also help me practice table tennis. There are many videos online that I can watch to learn from other players and practice at the same time during practice,” Smith said.

The tremendous impact and benefits of the Internet can be seen in all walks of life – from sports to academics and social development. The Flow Foundation is committed to empowering Jamaicans to achieve their goals through the promotion and facilitation of digital inclusion for all.

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