18 Sep 2016

A series of coach education courses completed successfully in the Caribbean island of Jamaica; next of the agenda for the current Olympic Solidarity Developing a National Sports Structure initiative, supported by the ITTF Development Programme, was Course Conductor Training.

Staged in the island’s capital city of Kingston, the two day course was held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August. Once again the conductor was Christian Lillieroos from the United States.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

It was the second time an ITTF Level One Course Conductor Training initiative has been staged in Jamaica; the first was in 2008 under the direction of Leandro Olvech, the ITTF Director – Development.

Present again

Several of the participants who had attended that course where present one again to hone their skills.

“To be a certified Course Conductor is a long and difficult road, after you complete the Course Conductor Training with a satisfying result you have to teach one course in your home country before you become a certified conductor”, explained Christian Lillieroos. “In 2008 many of the conductors passed the test but failed to teach a course within a period of four years.”

Prospective candidates must be approved by their national association and by the International Table Tennis Federation.

Important attributes

“One of the most important abilities is presentation skills; then their overall knowledge about Table Tennis has to be to International level”, added Christian Lillieroos.

In addition all prospective candidates must have the necessary pass marks at an ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course; after succeeding the next step is the attend a further similar course but this time as the teacher.

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A training session in progress (Photo: courtesy of Christian Lillieroos)

Three tests

“A conductor does three tests; one practical test for 30 minutes, one theory test for 30 minutes and one written test that takes one hour”, continued Christian Lillieroos. “Each of the eight prospective course conductors completed their practical and theory tests during regular Level One course and then their other test in the two days Conductor Course.”

A demanding course and high marks are also demanded.

“If you pass with a “good” that means you basically failed, it has to be a 75 per cent score average on all three tests or “very good” as a minimum, then you pass for being a National Conductor only”, said Christian Lillieroos. “If you pass with an excellent grade which is above 90 per cent in all three tests on an average, you pass to be an International Conductor and can teach a Level One course anywhere in the world.”

Phenomenal result

Par for proceedings is that 50 per cent of all conductors fail.

“In this course it was a phenomenal result; three passed as international conductors with scores above 90 per cent; they were Samuel Lamont, Donald Salmon and Sean Wallace”, added Christian Lillieroos. “Two passed as National Conductors with scores above 75 per cent average; they were Sandra Riettie and Konata Beluchi.”

The results were most impressive.

“To have six out of nine pass Course Conductor Training is very unusual but is testament to the high level of coaches that are now present in Jamaica has now”, continue Christian Lillieroos. “Most of them have attended at least three ITTF courses are accustomed to the necessary requirements.”

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Para Table Tennis was high on the agenda (Photo: courtesy of Christian Lillieroos)

Samuel Wallace

Notably one student in particular caught the eye.

“To see Sean Wallace in action was an absolute delight, having a background as a high school professor together with high level of Table Tennis experience was a perfect fit for this kind of work; he will be a great conductor for Level One anywhere in the world”, stressed Christian Lillieroos. “The five new conductors will soon teach their first courses in Jamaica; the island has planned at least three Level One Coaches Courses this year for the new conductors.”

Peter Kavanaugh

Presently Peter Kavanaugh is the only certified Level One conductor in Jamaica.

“He plans to teach three more Level One courses this year”, concluded Christian Lillieroos. “After the five new conductors have taught their first course, Jamaica could have six certified Level One conductors; if so would be the highest in the world. 

Increase the knowledge of the teachers and progress ensues; the basis for progress, the basis for progress in Jamaica.

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Donald Salmon conducts a training session (Photo: courtesy of Christian Lillieroos)

Development, Education and Training Christian Lillieroos