by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Yet another most worthy course to promote table tennis; nothing unique but it was unique. The focus was on coaching women and girls. Overall 20 students attended, 11 being female.
Also, the initiative built on an earlier visit. It followed an Olympic Solidarity ITTF/PTT Level One course led by Frenchman Cédric Rouleau. He had been the expert on duty in the Ivory Coast from Sunday 18th to Friday 30th September.
“Most of the participants were physical education teachers. Table tennis was new to them; their participation is the result of the efforts of the Ivory Coast Table Tennis Federation to implement table tennis in schools. The focus is on the development of table tennis for girls”, Sarah Hanffou
Immediately following the conclusion of the course, a training camp for national team members was arranged; a total of 12 young players attended.
Furthermore, there was a most welcome guest. Ali Kanate, who is living and playing in France, visited. He will be representing the Ivory Coast in the forthcoming 2017 Francophone Games next July, the table tennis events being scheduled for Treichville.
Expert help and there was also equipment assistance, thanks to Ping Sans Frontières, the organisation formed by Sarah Hanffou ten years ago to help developing countries and the under privileged.
Resulting from an agreement with the International Table Tennis Federation, a donation of bat rubbers, balls, nets and sports clothes was made the Ivory Coast Table Tennis Federation including.
In the season of goodwill, there was goodwill in the Ivory Coast; the goodwill courtesy of Sarah Hanffou.