13 Jan 2017

A Mediterranean coastline, the most northerly country in the African continent, Tunis was the home for an ITTF Level Two Coach Education Course from Monday 19th to Saturday 24th December; furthermore, the actual town in which matters were staged had a special significance.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, the destination for Togo’s Kaka Lawson, the Course Conductor, was Rades.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The Rades Table Tennis Club was formed over 50 years ago, one of the founder members being Chérif Hajem; later to become President of the Tunisian Table Tennis Federation, followed by the African Table Tennis Federation and now a member of the ITTF Executive Committee.

A total of 13 coaches took part in the course; 12 Tunisian coaches and one from France; the latter being Nicolas Guigon who has conducted several ITTF/PTT Level One Coach Education Courses.

“I am thirsty for knowledge and I have missed attending such a course as participant, I would like to get back into the skin of the trainees and relive their sensations; surely this will help me in my next courses. It is a very good experience to take advantage of the experience of other expert colleagues. My main goal is to climb the steps, step by step to get to the top”, Nicolas Guigon

Kaka Lawson (left) was able to share experiences with (right) Nicolas Guigon (Photo: courtesy of Kaka Lawson)

All were highly motivated and most determined to succeed, the attitude created being very much thanks to the efforts of Kaka Lawson.

He organised the students into small working groups; this helped anyone with difficulties gain help from their peers whilst also producing an atmosphere conducive to work. Equally, intense discussion, which helped with the understanding of the subject matter, was a direct outcome.

“At the start the coaches were very tense and very afraid. I tried to give them in confidence; gradually they began to relax”, Kaka Lawson

An explanation given during a theory session (Photo: courtesy of Kaka Lawson)

Notably, Guerfel Lotfi, the President of the Tunisian Table Tennis Federation alongside Moktar Toukabri, Vice President and International Referee visited the course. Both paid close attention to the way matters were being conducted; Guerfel Lotfi expressing his delight with the teaching methods and overall positive atmosphere.

“The response of Guerfel Lotfi relaxed everyone; it helped everyone gain confidence as they looked towards the final test”, Kaka Lawson

(left to right) Kaka Lawson, Lotfi Guerfel, Moktar Toukabbri, Chérif Hajem and Khaled Mabrouk gather during a break in proceedings (Photo: courtesy of Kaka Lawson)

A notable visitor and there was one more, Chérif Hajem was a most welcome guest.

“I wanted to visit the trainees to encourage them and when I learned that Kaka Lawson was the expert, I had no hesitation. Kaka is a long-time friend and we were very proud of him as a player and now he has gone through the stages to lead ITTF courses”, Chérif Hajem

(left to right) Khaled Mabrouk with Chérif Hajem and Kaka Lawson, all delighted with the course (Photo: courtesy of Kaka Lawson)

Most certainly the visit of Chérif Hajem was well received by all involved in what proved a most successful initiative.

“I would like to thank President Hajem for his presence and advice”, Kaka Lawson.

Overall 10 members passed the course with three being of a sufficiently high standard to progress to follow the ITTF Level Three Course.

A well earned break for course members (Photo: courtesy of Kaka Lawson)



High Performance and Development Coaching Lotfi Guerfel Kaka Lawson Chérif Hajem Moktar Toukabbri