by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably they represented 12 of the island’s 14 regions: Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Cienfuegos, Granma, Holguin, Havana, Matanzas, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, Santiago de Cuba, Santi Spiritus, Villaclara. There were no representatives from the east owing to Hurricane Matthew.
The course conductor was Ramon Ortega Montes, better known as Moncho who as a result of the intrepid weather gained the nickname Matthew.
“I have never before attended a Para Table Tennis Course; now I realise that some things I have been doing can be done in a different way; I will put these new ideas into practice, especially with my two new players”, said Jorge Vega, who works with Para athletes.
It was a very similar response from Lisandra Montero who coaches beginners.
Pleased with the course, so was one very unique member of the group; Gerardo Perez was a member of the Cuban field hockey team, before changing his alliance to athletics; incredibly he ran 400 kilometres each week.
Now his attentions are directed towards table tennis and with success; one of his players in now the leading name in the Cuban Cadet Boys’ Team. Enthusiastic he invited Moncho to his training centre; no doubt that will be high on the list of priorities for a future visit.
A full schedule following the ITTF/PTT Manual was covered; the whole itinerary meeting with the approval of all concerned.
In addition, Moncho met with members of the National Olympic Committee and with Martha Lidia Ruiz Perez, the International Affairs Manager from the National Institute of Sport.
Overall, 24 students, all with a full attendance record passed the course.