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An Enriching Experience in Colorado, Knowledge Gained, Friendships Formed
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Richard McAfee addresses the group 

08/06/2011        Photo By: Courtesy of Richard McAfee

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in conjunction with the United States Table Tennis Association, the third regional ITTF/PTT Level One Coach Education Course to be staged in the United States of America in 2011, was held at the Topspin Club in Littleton, Colorado from Monday 1st to Friday 5th August.

Once again the expert of duty was Richard McAfee, Chairman of the USATT National Coaching Advisory Committee, a highly experienced and globally respected course conductor.

A total of 14 coaches attended.

Long Journey
“The participants came from seven different states with one coming all the way from Dubai”, explained Richard McAfee. “It is the third such course of the year and another is scheduled to take place at the end of August in the Lily Yip Training Center in New Jersey.”

Certainly there is a new found enthusiasm for ITTF Development Programme courses in the United States; the catalyst undoubtedly being the visit of Glenn Tepper, ITTF Executive Director – Development Programme, in September 2010 to Colorado Springs.

The visit was the spark and the efforts of Richard McAfee have enabled the flame to grow and burn increasingly brightly.

Richard McAfee conducts a theory session at the Topspin Table Tennis Club

Warm Welcome
“Host for the course was the Topspin Table Tennis Club and its always welcoming Head Coach, Francisco Mendez”, explained Richard McAfee. “The club is located in the Bethany Church and features eight Butterfly Tables with excellent classroom facilities; Francisco Mendez who also serves as a Pastor in the Church is truly an inspirational man not only in church but also on the table; he is a former nine time Men’s Champion of Mexico.”

A player of note but of course being a pastor, one of his tasks is to create understanding and harmony; in this respect sport has a role to play and that role was enacted in the Topspin Club.

A multi-ball session was part of the practical aspect of the course
Friendships Formed

“While the course participants may not have known each other when they arrived, in only a few short days, lifelong friendships have been created”, concluded Richard McAfee. “ITTF courses can enrich a coach’s life in so many ways!”

Humanitarian Role
Enrich, broaden and create understanding and perhaps more than any other sport table tennis can fill that role; as has been said so many times; everybody can play table tennis and everybody has played table tennis.

Success in terms of championship victories in measurable, success in humanitarian terms is not but the latter is arguably the more important.

Course members with Richard McAfee (eighth from left) at the Bethany Church


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