by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Under the tutelage of Togo’s Kaka Lawson and working in close liaison Jean Harley Ambinitsoarivelo, the President of the Madagascar Table Tennis Federation, the first part of the project was held from Monday 26th September to Tuesday 18th October; the second phase from Saturday 12th November to Wednesday 7th December.
The most recent focal point for enhancing knowledge was Antananarivo, the island’s capital and the home for the largest number of registered players.
Furthermore, it was the host for an ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course which attracted a total of 19 students of whom three were women; the participants travelled from Moramanga and Toamasina to join those from Antananarivo.
Notably, there was a very encouraging pass rate; impressively16 members completed to course successfully.
A successful course in the capital, it was the same in Antsirabe, some 160 kilometres from Antananarivo; a city where table tennis once flourished but in recent times had witnessed a reduction in numbers. The task for Kaka Lawson was to revive fortunes.
“In both Antananarivo and Antsirabe, I found very motivated participants who wanted to learn and support the ambition of the federation to make table tennis accessible in all the provinces of the country”, Kaka Lawson
Overall, eleven potential coaches attended, one being female; Antsirabe provided the majority of the students but there were students who travelled from nearby Ambositra and Fianarantsoa.
“We need to look to a new horizon, the year 2022; we must accordingly strengthen the capabilities of our coaches and players. We must take advantage of this Developing a National Sports Structure Project to achieve our goals”, Jean Harley Ambinitsoarivelo
Overall, when matters concluded, taking both visits into consideration, the numbers were most impressive.
Impressively, over 120 young had attended the training camps staged in Moramanga, Fianarantsoa and Antananarivo. No less than 30 students had reached the required standard to qualify as ITTF Level One Coaches.
Similarly, at total of 30 physical education and sports teachers have been introduced to table tennis in schools following a detailed schools’ project in in Toamasina; four local associations had benefitted immensely from the overall programme.
Undoubtedly, a most valuable visit; Kaka Lawson could leave the shores of Madagascar with a sense of pride, a job well done.