Letting her racquet do the talking..
─ Table Tennis star, Chelsea Edghill receives sponsorship to train in Portugal
DPI, Guyana, Sunday, September 15, 2019
Multiple junior sportswoman-of-the-year; Caribbean and National Junior Table Tennis Champion, Chelsea Edghill is on a mission to represent Guyana at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Edghill, who is preparing to play professionally for a club in Portugal, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that she received financial support for her living expenses from the Department of Social Cohesion.
“For me, the goal was always to play professionally at a high level and to be given such an opportunity to play for a club in Portugal and still represent Guyana. It is a huge honour and to be assisted by the Department of Social Cohesion; I am grateful,” she told DPI.
Last year, Edghill brought home the Under 21 Women’s Singles Table Tennis title after competing in the 60th Caribbean Table Tennis Federation (CTTF) Senior Championship in Jamaica. However, her path to table tennis victory began when at age 9, she participated in the Teach Them Young training Summer Camp.
As she recalled, “it was by chance because my parents would normally plan family vacations, but this one holiday we decided against it, and my mom found this teacher for a sports programme that is taught by Linden Johnson and he coached us for the holiday. He told my parents that I had talent and they should bring me and my brother back for the September session and from there I continued training and playing.”
Over the years, she has successfully represented Guyana at several local and regional competitions. Among the awards, she has racked up are silver medals in the team and doubles events on her first regional showing. That was in 2006 at the annual Caribbean Pre-Cadet Table Tennis Tournament in Trinidad. In 2010, she copped the Under-13 girls singles title at the (CCT) Cadet championships in Puerto Rico. Her winning streak continued in 2012 and 2013, with victories in the Girls 15-and-Under final of the Junior and Cadet Caribbean Championship in Cuba, and the Girls -Under 15 at the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), National Sports Commission (NSC) Mashramani Table Tennis Tournament respectively.
A big break came in 2015 when she was awarded a partial scholarship to Linde lolnwood University, Missouri. The scholarship covered five years and allowed Edghill to train, play and participate in high-level competitions. Edghill noted that she was exposed to excellent coaching and a variety of playing styles and overall participation in regular matches. The secondment to the Portuguese team will assist in her preparations for the 2020 Olympics.
With the prospect of gold on her horizon, Edghill encourages other athletes to continue to work hard and invest in themselves.
“I will tell them [athletes] to work hard, stay humble and most importantly invest in yourself because if you do not invest in getting better, if you do not put in the time in yourself, then no one will recognize how hard you are working and they would not see that you are putting in your all.”