05 Sep 2016

An integral part of the first stage of an Olympic Solidarity Developing a National Sports Structure initiative, currently being staged in the island of Jamaica, an ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course was held from Monday 13th to Friday 17th June.

It was the second such course of the schedule in the country surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean, the first being from Monday 6th June to Friday 10th June at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Less tense

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Locally matters were co-ordinated by Stephen Grant, a certified PTT Level One and ITTF Level Three coach; also the national team coach for Jamaica.

High numbers

The man in charge of proceedings was Christian Lillieroos from the United States.

“Being the largest city and capital of Jamaica, Kingston is the hub of most of Table Tennis in the island”, explained Christian Lillieroos; a fact that was endorsed with the number who wished to enroll.

“An ITTF/PTT Level One course has as a maximum 30 coaches, who are allowed to participate but when the course started 36 coaches had signed up so the course was oversold; six coaches had to be turned away”, explained Christian Lillieroos. “Jamaica has programmed eight coaching courses this year, which is the most of any country in the world.”

Course members

Venue for the whole itinerary was the University of Technology of Jamaica, an establishment that has a table tennis team and was the host for this year’s Jamaica Primary School and Preparatory School Championships.

“The course had many recognizable participants like the Director of the University Sport programmes Carola Russell, the Jamaica National Men’s Singles champion Simon Tomlinson and also the hearing impaired coach Omar Oliver; this made the course very interesting due to the need for continuous sign language interpretation”, explained Christian Lillieroos. “He passed the practical test and this gives the deaf community a boost in terms of increased opportunities of Table Tennis coaching by a coach with sign language abilities in Jamaica.”

Six female members

Furthermore, six members of the course were female; again a boost for Jamaica.

“The best in class award went to Sean Wallace who by doing so qualified for the Level One Course Conductor Training course held later in the year”, continued Christian Lillieroos. “Simon Tomlinson also scored very high on the practical tests and has besides a prosperous playing career, when the time is right, he has high goals as a coach.”

Role model

Positive signs and for table tennis, there is another positive; they have a very good role model.

“Jamaica is following in the same steps that Track and Field did 20 years ago to first capacitate the coaches as a base for future development of athletes, in the lookout for the future Table Tennis Bolt”, continued Christian Lillieroos. “Usain Bolt, after his record nine Olympic Track Golds, was named as the most famous person in the world during the recent Rio Olympics; Jamaica is the fastest country in the world, that should help in the development of Table Tennis athletes!”

Moving fast, that would appear to be the situation in Jamaica is moving forward fast in its development.

High Performance and Development Christian Lillieroos