Learning the basics in Palau
Photo By: Courtesy of Michael Brown
Situated in the Western Pacific Ocean, a population approaching 21,000; the idyllic Micronesian island country of Palau was the home for an Olympic Solidarity Course from Monday 18th to Wednesday 27th June 2012.
Koror, the most populous of the 250 islands that form Palau, the main commercial centre and the home for some 70 per cent of the population, was the host for the programme.
Organised in conjuction the Oceania Table Tennis Federation and the ITTF Development Programme, the expert on duty was Michael Brown, earlier this year appointed the Development Officer for Oceania. He is the latest in the line of a series of instructors who have visited Palau to promote courses organized by the ITTF Development Department.
In 2006 Nepal’s Surendra Suwal conducted an Olympic Solidarity Course in the islands as did New Zealand’s Andrew Hubbard one year later. Meanwhile, Scott Houston, also from Australia, led three similarly courses in consecutive years from 2009 to 2011.
Furthermore, in 2007 Malaysia’s Christine Chee conducted a Women’s Course; whilst in 2010 there was a further visitor from Australia, David Delpratt, led a Basic Umpires course.
“The focus of the course was to further establish structures within the Palau Table Tennis Association, while also conducting a training camp for the national team”, explained Michael Brown. “Several discussions were held throughout the course of ways to further improve the structures within Palau and also looking at ways to introduce table tennis as a weekly competition, both within schools and as an evening sport.”
A main task for Michael Brown was to examine the best possible solution for establishing a base from which table tennis can grow; the next task was to raise the standard of the association’s leading players.
“The training camp saw the national team further develop their skills, both as players and also through coach education throughout the training camp”, continued Michael Brown, who was able not only to see the players prepare but also was able to see a wide range of sport.
Palau Sports Festival
“During the course, the inaugural Palau Sports Festival was held in Koror which attracted over 30 athletes to attend courses in multiple sports, table tennis being one of those”, he added. “This gave a great opportunity to the Palau Table Tennis Association to further establish itself within the community, and to attract new athletes to the sport.”
Xiom Equipment Package Awaits
Assistance afforded in terms of knowledge by Michael Brown and soon assistance will arrive in the form of material help.
A member of the International Table Tennis Federation since 1977, the Palau Table Tennis Association will receive of one of the Xiom Olympic Solidarity Packages.
Appreciating the art of control needs total concentration
Photo courtesy of Polona Cehovin Susin