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All Good Things Come to an End, Micronesia Visit Concludes in Kosrae
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Richard McAfee well satisfied with his month long stay in the Federated States of Micronesia  Photo By: Courtesy of Richard McAfee


The visit of Richard McAfee, the Chairman of the United States Coaching Advisory Committee, to the Federated States of Micronesia came to a conclusion in the island of Kosrae on Thursday 10th November 2011.

Earlier he had visited Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei, conducting coaches courses and training camps in each of the idyllically situated South Pacific islands.

The three islands had all given a warm welcome and when he arrived in Kosrae on Saturday 5th November 2011, it was no different; the reception maintained Micronesian traditions.

Most Friendly
“Kosraeans are known as some of the most peaceful and gracious people on earth”, said Richard McAfee. “They are also people who love sport and table tennis is gaining quickly in popularity on the island.”

Enthusiasm was very much the order of the day, with Richard McAfee’s major task being to make sure that potential coaches had sound knowledge of the basic techniques needed for players to make progress.

Good Timing
“I conducted a multi-faceted development programme on the island and organised separate daily training sessions for coaches and athletes”, explained Richard McAfee. “The course was well-timed, as the participants wanted to improve their skills to compete in the annual Kosrae Games.”

Kosrea Games
It was an intense itinerary but the goal of the Kosrea Games certainly added a degree of motivation.

“For the final two days of my stay, I assisted Dr. Winston Likiaksa, President of Kosrae Table Tennis Association, in the organization of the Kosrae Games Table Tennis events, which were well attended and featured some exciting play”, added Richard McAfee. “A special thank you also needs to be given to Sterling Skilling, Director of the Kosrae Sport Council, for all his assistance with the programme.”

Reflect with Pride
It was for Richard McAfee journey’s end and he was able to reflect on his stay in the Federated States of Micronesia with pride.

“Kosrae was the final stop on a month long Olympic Solidarity Development Programme visit”, he said. “In total more than 250 coaches and players received training in the sport; in addition, plans were laid for future programmes on each island.”

A memorable time and of course throughout he had support; on site and off site.
“The month long course would not have been possible with the assistance of the Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee and its Secretary General, Jim Tobin”, explained Richard McAfee. “Also the contribution from the Xiom Table Tennis Company was immense; they generously donated an equipment package consisting six tables, six nets, eighty rackets, eight gross of balls and six scoring machines.”

Xiom Incentive Programme
Unquestionably for the Federated States of Micronesia the equipment contribution has been a massive boost.

The agreement with Xiom was formed last December, when meetings were held at the Volkswagen World Junior Championships in Bratislava with Philip Kim, the Chief Executive of Xiom, a man with a strong commitment to the philosophies of the ITTF Development Programme.

Seeing Success
“So how does one measure the success of a month of hard work?” asked Richard McAfee rhetorically. “For me the joy on the participant’s faces as they learned new skills was more than enough to show me that the month was well spent.”

The coach was talking like a true teacher, seeing smiles of achievement is the greatest reward for anyone involved in education and it is also rewarding for all concerned when those efforts have been recognised.

Efforts Acknowledged
Scott Houston, the much travelled Oceania Development Officer, was quick to acknowledge the contributions of all concerned.

“ITTF-Oceania would like to thank and praise Richard for his tremendous efforts throughout the past month on his visit to the Federated States of Micronesia”, said Scott Houston. “He has gone above and beyond in all four States and there is real optimism that table tennis can go to a new level on the back of this visit.”

Well Pepared
Unquestionably Richard McAfee was most thorough in the conducting of every aspect of his visit; hence the success.

The good teacher is prepared; Richard McAfee was well prepared.

Positive for Future
“Richard also planned each State visit with precision and efficiency to make sure that everything was ready for his arrival”, continued Scott Houston. “ITTF-Oceania looks forward to bringing Richard back to the region again to present more courses in the near future."

There was an air of optimism in the voice of Scott Houston who in co-operation with Patrick Gillman, the President of the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, has moved matters forward in the continent at a rapid rate.

Good Relationship
“My special thanks must also be given to the Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee and in particular to Secretary General Mr. Jim Tobin; he was supportive of this visit from the outset and has worked very hard to ensure that the visit was a success”, concluded Scott Houston. "ITTF-Oceania is grateful for the positive relationship that has been formed with the Federated States of Micronesia and we look forward to assisting with the future growth of table tennis in the area.”

Co-operation, good preparation and plenty of enthusiasm; once again the recipe for success and undoubtedly the recipe that is bringing success in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Delighted course members in Kosrae; the efforts of Richard McAfee were thoroughly appreciated

Photo courtesy of Richard McAfee



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