14 Mar 2017

An estimated 1,531 young people, ranging from absolute beginners to those with rather more experience, attended a series of coaching sessions held in the small Central American country of El Salvador from Tuesday 31st January to Saturday 11th March.

The initiative, part of the Nittaku Dream Building Project which commenced in 2011 through liaison with ITTF Development, Education and Training, was conducted with the help of the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) who assisted by providing volunteer coaches.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Guided by JICA coaches Motohiro Kumaqui, Takahiro Fukata and Masamichi Okada, the tour started in the capital city of San Salvador before progressing to San Miguel and then to the municipalities of Ahuachapan, Arcatao, Atiquizaya, La Palma and Los Ausoles.

An extensive itinerary, a ceremony staged at the Instituto Nacional de los Deportes de El Salvador (INDES) the National Sports Centre concluded matters; present to thank all concerned was Professor Jorge Alberto Perez Quezada, the head of the organisation.

“I am grateful for the support of the Japanese government of Japan, which through JICA offers volunteers and has allowed us to bring table tennis to many municipalities in our country. It makes us dream big; you the children and young people have opportunities of which you should take full advantage. The success is thanks to the good co-ordination between the Ministry of Education, the El Salvador Table Tennis Federation, INDES, JICA and the Mayor of Ahuachapan who all seek to increase the number of table tennis players in the country”, Professor Jorge Alberto Perez Quezada

Also present for the occasion was Makoto Hohno, the Co-ordinator of the Japanese Volunteer Programme, he emphasized the importance of the support and thanked the organisers for the facilities that had been provided.

Likewise Cristian Gonzalez, representing the Mayor of Ahuachapaneco, stressed the importance of sport for his community and advised continued support; his views were echoed by Carlos Esnard, who in his role as Technical Director for the El Salvador Table Tennis Federation, had been pivotal to the project’s success.

Proceedings ended with young players competing in exhibition matches to demonstrate the skills they had acquired.

El Salvador – Nittaku Dream Building
Photos: courtesy of Carlos Esnard

Development, Education and Training Coaching Carlos Esnard Jorge Alberto Perez Quezada Masamichi Okada Motohiro Kumaqui Takahiro Fukata