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Ibero-American Championships Affords Opportunity for Three Day Conference
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Alejandra Gabaglio who addressed the Conference  Photo By: Courtesy of Antonio M. Garcia Ruiz


Immediately prior to the ITTF Junior Circuit tournament in Buenos Aires, which commenced on Wednesday 14th September and concluded on Sunday 18th September 2011, the Ibero-American Championships were staged in the same venue.

The competition takes its name from Ibero-America, a term used since the second half of the 19th century to refer to the countries in America which were formerly colonies of Spain or Portugal.

It is a meeting of the major majority of the Latin American countries plus Spain and Portugal, the exceptions being those countries that are part of the Commonwealth or have connections with France.

Opportunity for Meetings
Therefore, it is an opportunity not only for players to demonstrate their skills; also it is an opportunity for coaches, officials and administrators to gather.

Encouraging Attendance
One most fruitful meetings that took place at the National High Performance Sports Centre, where the tournament was being staged, was a ”Women and Table Tennis Conference”, organized by the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation in conjunction with the South American Table Tennis Union.

The Conference lasted three days with over 50 persons in attendance.

Spanish Policies
Carmen Turrado, the Co-ordinator of the Sport and Table Tenis Commission for the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation was the first speaker at the Conference.

She explained the policies of equality proposed by the National Sports Council in Spain which included integrated those with a disability taking part in a range of activities which to date have included both coaches and umpiring courses.

Silvia Dalotto
Next on the agenda was Silvia Dalotto, the Sports Manager of the Argentine Olympic Committee and expert on the subject “Women and Olympic Games”.

The evolution of female participation in the Olympic Games since ancient Greece times was the principle tenure of her address. She traced the role of women from the Games of Ancient Greece when women were prohibited from participating or even attending, through to the modern day Olympics.

Cited Pierre de Coubertin
In her speech she cited phrases of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the man acknowledged as the father of the modern day Olympic Games.

In 1921 he stated that the Olympic Games are the solemn and periodic exaltation of male athleticism; with internationalism as a base, loyalty as a means, art as a frame and female applause as reward.

Times Change
Now, of course life has changed; at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games the number of female athletes equalled that of men.

Alejandro Gabaglio
Two notable speakers and a most notable third; Alejandra Gabaglio addressed the meeting.

She is former member of the ITTF Women’s Working Group, now focusing her attentions on Para Table Tennis and recently was recognised by the International Olympic Committee for her immense contribution to sport.

Furthermore she is the most active of active ITTF Course Conductors.

Explained Situation with International Table Tennis Federation
In her address, she spoke about the ITTF Women’s Working Group explaining moves being made within the International Table Tennis Federation for more women to become involved in decision making roles, the courses being promoted and the efforts being made to design more feminine clothes for table tennis.

A comprehensive conference and most certainly appreciated by all concerned.

Speakers and principal personalities at the Women and Table Tennis Conference

Photo courtesy of Antonio M. Garcia Ruiz



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