by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Officially accepted as a member of the International Table Tennis Federation at the Congress held in Eindhoven in 1999, it was the third course organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme to be staged in the landlocked country.
Previously, supported by Olympic Solidarity, Frenchman Eric Duduc had visited in November 2009 to conduct a similar course followed by a Training Camp; one year later Uganda’s Ronald Mugwanya had been present to lead a Basic Umpires, Basic Referees and Tournament Organisation Course.
Players from the Central Africa Republic have competed in such events the African Games in Johannesburg in 1999 and in Abuja in 2003 as well as the Central African Championships. However, comparative to many other national associations, the Central African Table Tennis Federation is very young and is situated in a part of the world where political conflict has hampered the growth of sport.
“The human resources are there, it is necessary to make the effort to encourage young talented players in order to raise standards in the Central Africa Republic”, more height and efficiency”, Mr Maxime Gbaram (Technical Director – Central African Table Tennis Federation)
Starting from the beginning is very much the current theme with qualified coaches and equipment being essential in order to advance the sport.
Thanks to the support of Stag and the International Table Tennis Federation, equipment has been received but there are no permanent facilities for table tennis. It step by step in the Central Africa Republic.
Overall an enthusiastic group of 18 coaches and 26 players attended the ITTF/PTT Level One Course and Training Camp.