by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A total of 25 students participated, 21 women and four men; the expert on duty was Hong Kong’s Cindy Leung, member of the Umpires and Referees Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation.
Education starting from the very basics was very much the necessary theme for Cindy Leung; the course being the first of its kind ever to be organized in Cambodia. Each year Cambodia organizes a National Championships; other table tennis competitions are held at club level but these are conducted without either an official referee at the helm of proceedings or qualified umpires in action.
In 2023, Cambodia will host the 2023 South East Asian Games (SEA Games); for national associations in that part of the world, such as Singapore and Thailand, the multi-sport event is at the top of the calendar.
“It is the first step in Cambodia in the development of technical officials for table tennis, a giant step forward in the promotion of table tennis for women officials in particular. We had more than 20 female participants on the course, many of whom coming also from sports other than table tennis, all showed great interest and enthusiasm during the course. Many of the participants had great potential in table tennis officiating; I look forward to the next opportunities to see them practise what they have learned on the course”, Cindy Leung
Times travels quickly and the older you become, the more quickly; 2013 will arrive sooner than you think so starting preparation now is vital. There is an urgent educational need in order to have competent officials in place in all sports in seven years’ time. Table tennis is no exception developing technical officials in various sports.
“The Trainer was very knowledgeable and there is so much to learn in table tennis officiating. I wish to become an international umpire someday.” Chendamony Chuon
Rat Sokhorn, President of Cambodia Table Tennis Federation is determined to development of technical officials in table tennis and involve women in the sport.
Furthermore, he possesses the credentials to succeed. He is the Vice President of Asian Table Tennis Union, representing the South East Asia Region; recently on Monday 28th November, he received an International Award for Leadership in Image and Quality.
“We are committed to train competent officials for this major event in Cambodia, not the least encouraging more women to participate in table tennis; this is a train-the-trainers programme. After the course, candidates are tasked to travel in the country to train technical officials and practise the organization of table tennis tournaments. Thanks to ITTF Development Programme and National Olympic Committee of Cambodia for supporting this programme. #We look forward to have more training for our players and officials, in order to put together a successful SEA Games in the years to come”, Rat Sokhorn
Notably the course attracted a great deal of media interest, television crews were present during the course as well as at both the opening and closing ceremonies.