by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The expert of the course was José Luis Urrutia, the Chilean women team national coach; he was assisted by Pablo Lopez, the Paralympic national coach.
A total of 25 participants attended with, in addition to Chillan, course members travelling from Angol, Chaiten, Concepción, Malleco, Osorno, Pitrufquen, Punta Arenas, Santiago and Temuco.
“I am still a player and will continue playing as long as I can help the national team but I also want to contribute to my region and help young players. I have to improve and that is part of my growth to become a coach and to be one of the best”, Paulina Vega
Undoubtedly Paulina Vega, who alongside husband, Alejandro Rodrigues and Romina Concha Sepulveda, the Promotion and Media Director for the Latin American Table Tennis Union, helped organise matters locally, was a most a most prominent name. She competed in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and two earlier the runner up in the Dominican Republic at the 2002 Latin American Championships.
However, she was not alone; one name to attract the attention was that of Washington Iturra, a football referee in Chile’s top league for 15 years.
“The course was a wonderful experience. I met coaches, teachers and other professionals; all of them united by table tennis”, Washington Iturra
Names who have achieved in sport at a high level; from a different perspective there were two further most worthy and most welcome students, Luis Rogel and Fredy Mansilla, both teachers.
They travelled from Chaiten in the far in the south of the country; the town was covered in ashes and almost destroyed by a huge eruption of Chaiten Volcano in 2008.
“It was a wonderful and enriching experience. It was a dream to take this course. Our objective is to promote table tennis in Chaiten. We recently went back to Chaiten to rebuild the town. There is nothing better than to work for this sport, we have a rainy weather but there are many places where we can practise”, Luis Rogel
The ash cloud of 2008 reached Santiago and Buenos Aires; now people are returning to rebuild the town.
“It was an enriching experience, because we had all the conditions necessary to carry out a very good course in the facilities of the Deportivo Huachipato Club. I also want to thank Paulina and Alejandro for the organization”, José Luis Urrutia
The Deportivo Huachipato Club, an organization with a long tradition of success, was the host throughout the whole course.