12 Feb 2017

Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is the current home for an ITTF Basic Umpires and National Umpires Course; organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, proceedings began on Saturday 11th February and are scheduled to conclude on Friday 17th February.

The expert on duty and no stranger to conducting such initiatives is Egypt’s Mohamed Rafat Bassyouni, the Chair of the African Table Tennis Federation’s Umpires Referees Committee, as well as being a valued member of the Advanced Referee Programme.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Welcomed by the Director of the Sports Ministry, the location is the El Hadj Hassan Gouled Aptidon Stadium, a multi-purpose venue in Djibouti City. The stadium has a capacity of hosting up to 10,000 fans for sporting occasions.

Thus with a total of 23 students present, players of varying experience who now wish to add an umpiring qualification to their curriculum vitae, there is no lack of space!

Furthermore Mohamed Rafat Bassyouni is certainly putting his troops through their paces. Matters commence at 8.00am each day and do not conclude until the sun has set at 8.00pm in the evening.

Tyrannical! In fact the very opposite; you could not meet a more caring, calm and patient man than Mohamed Rafat Bassyouni. He will treat every question his students ask with the greatest of attention and the utmost of respect; always with a warm gentle smile to put his charges at ease.

It is the second such initiative administered under the umbrella of the ITTF Development Programme that has been conducted in Djibouti in recent years.

Frenchman Patrick Ringel visited six years ago in January 2011; on that occasion he led Basic Umpires, Basic Referees and Tournament Organisation courses.


High Performance and Development Coaching Mohamed Rafat Bassyouni