28 Nov 2016

Supported by Olympic Solidarity and organised under the umbrella of the ITTF Development Programme, Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan was the host for an ITTF/PTT Level One Course, followed by a Training Camp, from Monday 14th to Saturday 26th November.

Representing the country’s four provinces, a total of 27 students attended, ten were female with two husband and wife couples adding the occasion.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Excellent accommodation was provided, thoroughly approved by Jordan’s Mohamed Atoum, the Course Conductor; three meals were served each day plus tea and biscuits during break times.

Furthermore, more than acceptable facilities to conduct both theory and practical sessions were made available with hundreds of balls being provided in the playing hall that housed eight table tennis tables.

Locally matters were organised splendidly by Shahid Bloch supported by Nadeem Sajid and Saleem Abbas, who performed the role of translator.

“This course is happening after ten years of waiting; we are thankful to Olympic Solidarity and the International Table Tennis Federation for this big opportunity for our coaches to learn”,  Akhter Nawaz Ganjera (Director General Pakistan Sports Board)

Supervised by Shahid Bloch, the itinerary commenced with an Opening Ceremony. The chief guest was Akhter Nawaz Ganjera, the Director General Pakistan Sports Board; he was accompanied by Mr. Razi from the Pakistan Olympic Association and Nadeem Mansour, the Secretary-General of the Islamabad Table Tennis Association.

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Learning the basics (Photo: courtesy of Mohamed Atoum)

 “My first perception was that it was going to be a very ordinary and boring kind of regular course but it suddenly changed when I attended the very first session, it was a refreshing and new experience. We all learned not only up-to-date theoretical aspects of modern table tennis but also practical demonstrations, which gives us an opportunity to become good creative coaches. There was a mutual understanding with the coach, one of respect”, Raza Rafique (course member)

Five days completed in order to meet the requirements of the ITTF/PTT Level One Course; next on the agenda was the opportunity for the 27 coaches to help the 16 players at the Training Camp.

“The course helped me to learn technical aspects; how to deal with junior players and the relation between coach and the players, I learned many new things about athletes with disability which I didn’t ever know”, Sanam Yasin (national champion)

Mohamed Atoum assigned each coach particular roles with physical preparation, technical skills and fulfilling the role of a practice partner being on the agenda. Each day involved two, three hour sessions with particular attention being paid to service and receive; several young cadet players in particular impressing Mohamed Atoum.

On the concluding day a 30 minute session was held in order for coaches to provide feedback’

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Course members with certificates (Photo: courtesy of Mohamed Atoum)

Matters concluded with a Closing Ceremony which Khalid Mahmood, Secretary-General of Pakistan Olympic Association, attended; as did Khawaja Hassan Wadood, General Secretary of the Pakistan Table Tennis Federation.

“Thanks to everybody behind this successful course, now I advise all the coaches that it is your turn to work; we need each of the 27 coaches to find five talented players and bring table tennis to the highest level in Pakistan”,  Khalid Mahmood (Secretary-General of Pakistan Olympic Association)

Khawaja Hassan Wadood had been present for the last two days of the course; most notably he had driven for over 12 hours to be present and to support the students.

“I would like to thank the Pakistan Olympic Committee and the International Table Tennis Federation;  we have started to support each training centre with a good number of balls, tables , rackets and court surrounds; now with this course we hope to provide good quality training for our players”, Khawaja Hassan Wadood (General Secretary of the Pakistan Table Tennis Federation).

A most successful course with all members responding enthusiastically; even a What’s App group was initiated.

Impressively, throughout proceedings were reported extensively by the media.

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A new mode of travel for Mohamed Atoum (Photo: courtesy of Mohamed Atoum)
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