by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Staged at the Olympic Training Centre, proceedings commenced on Wednesday 25th January and concluded on Sunday 29th January.
Course members travelled from the four corners of the Caribbean island in order to enhance their knowledge.
Notably numbers were high; the success gained by the likes of Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz has proved a major motivating force. Young players have role models and coaches realise that what was once a distance dream is now possible.
A total of 35 coaches from throughout the island were present to heed the words of the highly qualified course conductor.
Carlos Esnard originates from Cuba. He studied at the Manuel Fajardo, Higher Institute of Physical Culture, where he pursued a Postgraduate Degree in the Theory and Methodology of Sports Training, with special reference to table tennis.
Currently the Technical Director of the El Salvador Table Tennis Federation, Carlos Esnard has held such posts as the Technical Director of the Central American Table Tennis Confederation and the Latin American Table Tennis Union.
Most recently his skills have been in demand in Paraguay, where last year from May to October he made three separate visits to the South American country to conduct an Olympic Solidarity supported Developing a National Course Structure initiative.
“The main purpose of this course was to train the coaches in the fundamentals of table tennis, so that teaching is standardised and unified in order to provide a firm base from which the sport can grow”, Carlos Esnard
Each course member received an ITTF Coaching Manual; the itinerary, as is common practice, being organised in two distinct parts, theory and practical. Furthermore, close attention was paid to the particular skills needed to coach Para players.
“I was very satisfied and surprised with the high numbers who attended, all had quite ample knowledge and experience in the teaching of table tennis; this allowed me to cover items in great detail. It was the first time, in all such courses that I have conducted, when I have been faced with a group that was so competent and eager to learn”, Carlos Esnard.
All members of the course interacted; they responded in the same enthusiastic manner in both theory and practical sessions. Matters concluded with attendance certificates being presented, bearing the name of Olympic Solidarity and the Puerto Rico Table Tennis Federation.
Now the next step is for the students to complete 30 hours of practical work of which five hours must be supervised.