14 Nov 2016

A journey to west of the country in late September and early October to conduct an ITTF/PTT Level One Coach Education Course in San Rafael is one of three such visits on this year’s calendar of the Argentina Table Tennis Federation.

Also, on the itinerary for the host nation’s Alejandra Gabaglio is Rawson, the capital of the Province of Chubut, an area of outstanding beauty; whales in their natural habitat and the biggest penguins on planet earth can be witnessed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A destination somewhat unusual in its geographical location and a course somewhat unusual with regards to the schedule; has there ever been such a course conducted over such a long period of time?

The course actually commenced on Wednesday 3rd August but after three days had to be suspended. Alejandra Gabaglio contracted pharyngitis and lost her voice!

Thus matters were completed on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.

Video presentation enhanced theory sessions (Photo: Juan Domingo Videla)

“Most of the participants came from different cities and towns distributed within the immense province of 224,686 square kilometres”, explained Alejandra Gabaglio. “Notably, one of the participants of the course, Fernando Said, teaches table tennis in a village of only 200 inhabitants!”

Distance, size of village, town or city counted for nought; neither did the enforced break.

Putting theory into practice (Photo: Juan Domingo Videla)

“Although in two stages, winter and summer, the course provided as always the necessary tools for the new coaches to start with their first steps in coaching”, added Alejandra Gabaglio. “They can now begin to teach table tennis for people with disabilities.”

Enhancing knowledge, even though Alejandra Gabaglio encountered vocal problems, everyone was of one voice that the course was most valuable. In addition the course complemented local policy.

“Argentina has development plans at the national level; also the province of Chubut itself has its own internal development plans, the fundamental goal is sports training at all levels”, explained Alejandro Gabaglio. “The President of Chubut Sports, Walter Ñonquepan, approved and supported the course; he also came during the course to observe the activities.”

An explanation from Alejandra Gabaglio during a Para session (Photo: Juan Domingo Videla)

Furthermore, he was not alone in backing the initiative.

“Another leader of this strong development of table tennis, is the coach and President of the Trelew Table Tennis Club, José Luis Tagliaferri”, added Alejandra Gabaglio. “He managed the course and made sure every last detail was in place.”

Two visits completed, one more is on the agenda to complete the trilogy; the one further course is planned from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th December.

Walter Ñonquepan (third from right) was a welcome visitor (Photo: Juan Domingo Videla)
High Performance and Development Alejandra Gabaglio