15 Nov 2016

Situated in the South Pacific, French Polynesia was the recent home for an ITTF/PTT Level One Course and Training Camp; proceedings commenced on Monday 24th October and concluded on Friday 4th November.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in conjunction with the local Handisport Federation, an organisation which focuses on disability; the course was financially supported by an International Paralympic Committee Sports grant

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Venue for the proceeding was the capital, Papeete, with Sarah Hanffou, the 2010 African Women’s Singles champion and President of Ping Sans Frontières, the expert on duty.

Para table tennis was the focal point. Pertinently, Alain Barrere, the Director of the Handisport Federation, had signed an agreement with Gérald Huioutu, the President of Tahitian Table Tennis Federation. Alain Barrere visited the course and advised on medical constraints experienced by Para players and indicated suitable venues.

Thus, thanks to the agreement, 11 members of the Handisport Federation attended the Level One Coaches Course and Training Camp; they were part of an overall group which comprised 23 coaches, 18 men and five women.

Members of the Handisport Federation in Tahiti (Photo: courtesy of Sarah Hanffou)

It was for some very much a chance to refresh knowledge; several had attended a course conducted by Frenchman Cédric Rouleau in late October and early November 2014.

Coach education completed, a total of 34 players, including those from the Handisport Federation, took part in the Training Camp; notably 18 of the overall number being from the sports section of the Pirae High School. It is the city where the training centre and headquarters of the Tahitian Table Tennis Federation are located.

Thumbs up, a positive response, all is well (Photo: courtesy of Sarah Hanffou)

Sponsored by Ping Sans Frontières and in accordance with the International Table Tennis Federation, a tournament was staged on the concluding day of action with all the players receiving a table tennis racket.

Throughout the course, Gérald Huioutu alongside Xavier Bouly and Raihau Mao supported proceedings, being committed totally to promoting table tennis for the disabled.

It is anticipated that Alizé Belrose, the current Pacific Games Champion, will arrive in the near future to assume a full-time coaching role.

Sarah Hanffou (far right) with the enthusiastic group who were present for the Level One course (Photo: courtesy of Sarah Hanffou)
Paralympics High Performance and Development Sarah Hanffou