13 Jan 2017

An international umpire, Kenya’ Michael Kuria has displayed his ability as an official on many occasions; now the 22 year old has added another string to his bow.

Recently, he completed a five month International Coaching Course (ITK) at the University of Leipzig in Germany.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

An excited Michael Kuria described his experience in Germany as awesome.

“I liked the close relationship among the course instructors, the university staff, administrators, my colleagues and the table tennis fraternity in Leipzig.

There was a great atmosphere and a wide range of topics to be learned. We were even given the opportunity to learn from the best by attending the recent 2016 Liebherr Men’s World Cup in Saarbrücken.

I applied for the course through the German Embassy in Kenya and was later contacted via the same about my successful selection for the course. I received the information about the opportunity from my parent association, the Kenya Table Tennis Association. It was not my first trip to Germany as I was there in August 2014 under the Kenya-Germany Table Tennis Youth Exchange Programme in Bamberg.

When I secured the scholarship, I was overwhelmingly happy on receiving the call and  from the German Embassy. I remember I was still in bed that morning and it was also exactly one week after I had received the news of passing my International Umpire exam.

I was at the University of Leipzig on the International Coaching Course under the Sports Science Faculty of the University. Among the subjects were specialization (theory and practice) in table tennis, general science of training, sports medicine, sports pedagogy, sports psychology, strength training, sports management and the German language.

First and foremost, I decided to move into coaching after realizing we don’t have enough coaches back in my country; for example reflecting back to my local club in Kenya (St. Teresa’s TT Club).

I believe the kids currently training there can have a significantly brighter future with a coach than without. The desire and passion they have for the sport inspires and motivates me in this direction. It is my dream and desire to see my country play at greater heights.”

Members of the group at the University of Leipzig (Photo: courtesy of Olalekan Okusan)
High Performance and Development Athletes Michael Kuria