14 Oct 2016

Situated in the west of Argentina, separated from Chile by the Andes Mountain Range, the city of San Rafael was the home for the first of three ITTF/PTT Level One Courses proposed in the South American country prior to the end of the year.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, proceedings commenced on Wednesday 28th September and concluded on Sunday 2nd October; the course conductor was the host nation’s Alejandra Gabaglio.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A total of 14 coaches from the region attended the course, all motivated but in particular wishing to help players with disabilities.

 “Franco Piruzi is the leading coach in San Rafael, the inspiring soul of the project; he promotes table tennis for people with a disability, encouraging players and coaches”, explained Alejandra Gabaglio. “He stressed the importance of bringing this type of course to the country, well aware of the great benefits that would follow.”

Major local support with Gonzalo Alcaraz , the  Co-ordinator of Development), also being a key figure. Also there is national support.

 “Argentina is working very hard in Para Table Tennis development thanks to the support it is receiving through ENARD, this year five development centres were opened throughout the country to attract new players.”, said Alejandra Gabaglio.

 ENARD is the acronym for Ente Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo, the National Training Centre.

 Enjoying the course; students respond (Photo: courtesy of Alejandra Gabaglio)

“Learning is also another goal”, added Alejandra Gabaglio. “Therefore, two national courses for umpires and tournament organization plus two national classification seminars were given in 2016.”

 Education was the key factor in San Rafael.

 “As always with ITTF courses, the days are long but full of activity, the participants on the course were, as always, highly motivated”, continued Alejandra Gabaglio. “It was a very pleasant group; all topics were received with great enthusiasm; all were eager to learn new skills.”

 Furthermore, the experience went beyond the boundaries of sport.

 “After sharing five days together, a new group of friends was born, willing to work together to promote Para table tennis in Mendoza”, concluded Alejandra Gabaglio. “Perhaps this is one of the most important legacies left by participation in the ITTF courses: the birth of new and lasting friendships.”

 No doubt Alejandra Gabaglio is correct; long may such outcomes continue.

(left to right) Alejandra Gabaglio course members, Gonzalo Sasso, Franco Piruzzi and Gonzalo Alcaraz (Photo: courtesy of Alejandra Gabaglio)


Paralympics High Performance and Development Alejandra Gabaglio