Terry McLernon Interview – Table Tennis Scotland Coaches Course 2017


So Terry, what did you get out of the weekend? Obviously as a coach in my own club it reinvigorated
me; got me thinking again- sometimes you go a bit stale in your club because you’re always
there you’re always coaching. So to have these three people in Scotland giving us all this
good work to do; I think we’ll go back, move on. I’ve got some young coaches here who’ve
got most things down. [we have] a couple of female coaches- and they’re now going to
take the lead on the females – I was glad to hear Jing saying that we should be focusing
on them, apart from the boys. So yeah I got a lot out of it. Also as chairman of Table
Tennis Scotland it was great to see all the regions here, the amount of people here coaching
and learning- it’s been an eye- opener for us. People from Ireland, England, even somebody
from Fiji- they’ve came a long way. Table Tennis Scotland is obviously now an organisation
on the right track, we’re moving in the right direction. I’d like to thank the ETTU for
their support and a bit of funding to put this on; also Sport Scotland for the new facility
and for supporting everything we do. I’d like to thank all the coaches for coming. We worked
really hard on it- I hope that the presentations were good, everything we’ve done in the weekend-
and we had a lot of good feedback. You must have been glad that two of your themes
came up- that it needs to be fun in the initial stages and also the idea of passion because
in your session on disability who mentioned Martin Perry- have you come across anyone
with more of a love & passion for the game? I think they’ve all got passion I think Martin,
having his disability, seen a real future for himself. Martin came at 16, maybe a bit
late, but he done all his school work. Some of our kids are under pressure- trying to
play and do school work; so how do we balance that. So, when I met Martin, it was great
as Table Tennis Scotland it’s probably one of the few governing bodies who has a strategy
that includes disabilities- not many of us do that. We’ve embraced it, it’s going really
well; we’ve got people from all over, different areas- it’s also keeping them playing as well.
But he’s got passion like no one else has got passion and I hope that he gets where
he wants to go. I think the lot of people got a lot of out of the disability session
this weekend. it was only 45 minutes I should them exactly that it’s passion- this passion
for us all. Mainstream is still my big table tennis club we can be inclusive and make sure
the kids at any level, from anywhere enjoy it. Do you think the clubs in general are welcoming
to disabled players? In my experience- when Martin into my club-
everyone turn around and looked at it him; how do we deal with him? One of the adults
(who was Scottish champion 60 years ago-Johnny Campbell) says ‘he’s got no hands’: I said
‘look down’…what do we do? What we did we just kept going because if you don’t embrace
them, you don’t start working hard with them, they’ll just walk away. So, our sport is there
and it’s a good sport – is indoors & during the winter, so they are not running about
a park. Martin’s found something where’s got a real potential to go to Tokyo- and that’s
the whole game for him. We work hard with disability Sport, this new centre is ideal
for SDS, disability Sport.

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