by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The head coach was Zoltan Batorfi, a member of the Hungarian National Team throughout the 1990s and on duty at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
He was assisted Deepika Rodrigo, the Sri Lankan National Coach, as well as by the host country’s Shailaja Gohad, Surendra Deshpande and Sachin Shetty.
Notably two boys and two girls from Sri Lanka were present alongside eight boys and nine girls from India. The host nation group comprised four boys and four girls nationally nominated, the remaining spaces being allocated to players from the Maharastian state.
Home for the whole itinerary was the prestigious Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex in Balevadi; the venue for the 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games. It was just 10 minutes walk for players, coaches and parents to the accommodation which was provided at the Orchid Five Star Hotel.
Overall, the programme designed by Zoltan Batorfi lasted six days. Four and a half days were earmarked for training, eight sessions focused on technique, four on physical training with the last day and a half being allocated to a tournament.
”In the technical practices the focus was on establishing the right technique for hitting the ball whilst also focusing on footwork and service. There was an extra learning session with the key point being services”, Zoltan Batorfi
Intense practice but there was also relaxation; on the afternoon of Saturday 17th December, a visit to the local shopping mall was organised. It was an initiative that had a positive effect with the children all bonding together and making full use of the play area.
Advice for the young players, there was also education for the coaches. On Sunday 18th December, Zoltan Batorfi organised a two hour coach education workshop which some 15 coaches attended. He compared Asian and European techniques provoking a great deal of discussion at the end of the seminar.
”It was a very successful camp, the kids learned many new technical skills; hopefully they will have a successful table tennis career”, Zoltan Batorfi
Comprehensive, the visit was well received by all, a most beneficial initiative.
Tournament (Leading Names)
Girls’ Singles: 1. Laksehita Narang (India) 2. Kavya Svee Baskar (India) 3. Suhana Saini (India) 4. Prithoki Chakrakarti (India) 5. Bimandee Bandar (Sri Lanka), 6. Nadithi Rehansa (Sri Lanka)
Boys’ Singles: 1. Preyesh Ray Suresh (India) 2. Tharum Shanmugan (India) 3. Divyansh Shrivastava (India) 4. Suyan Bharadway (India) 5. Senura Silva (Sri Lanka) 6. Akesh Dimantha (Sri Lanka)