by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Encouraging those coming to watch the stars has been the order of affairs.
Come and Try
Come and try sessions, with coaches from the Brazilian Table Tennis Confederation advising, are being staged from 9.00am to 3.00pm each day.
Immediately following, various games for children are organised with a one hour session from 4.00pm to 5.00pm involving worthy Olympians concluding the afternoon.
Notably such names as the host nation’s Hugo Calderano and Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive have attended with members of staff from the International Table Tennis Federation playing major roles; both Polona Cehovin Susin, ITTF Director – Education and Training and Michael Brown, ITTF Africa and Oceania Co-ordinator have been present.
The players who have come to the session have been tremendous. They have come with the right spirit and helped with coaching. Leandro Olvech
On Thursday 11th August, the staff member was Leandro Olvech, the ITTF Director-Development, the star name was the host nation’s Gui Lin, her advice was particular appreciated by nine year old local girl Maryanna Lago who lives in nearby Fluminese.
Most certainly she was enjoying both playing and watching table tennis.
I like everything about table tennis. It’s fun to play and in the hall it’s really good with everyone cheering and clapping; it’s exciting. Maryanna Lago.
Throughout the tables have been full all the time, with Leandro Olvech educating those present. Furthermore, he is educating those present, changing the concept of the sport from Ping Pong to Table Tennis
It is interaction, creating interest, introducing the sport to new people. Some who have come have been quite good players, others have tried the sport for the first time; most importantly we have been able to change the perception of ping pong to table tennis. Leandro Olvech
Now that is music to my ears; I really think we do ourselves no favour at all in promoting the sport by using the words ping or pong, the image portrayed is that of the kitchen table not an athletic sport.
A vast range of abilities has been present, making one fact; table tennis is the sport for all!