by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Venue for the whole itinerary was Ulaanbaatar; the Course Conductor was Ronald Wee, Chair of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee.
Delighted to visit the country noted for its vast rugged terrain but Ulaanbaatar is over 3,200 miles north of his home in Singapore. The sovereign city state is located a stone’s throw from the Equator, at the moment I suspect temperatures are around the 30 degrees mark.
Ronald Wee discovered that Ulaanbaatar was slightly cooler, the concept of warmth slightly different; designer sports shorts needed to be changed for thermal long johns.
“Oh, the weather will be warm, about three degrees in the afternoon and about minus 15 degrees at night”, the greeting received on arrival
A total of 21 students attended, 13 men and eight women. Following the courses, the participants officiated in the Junior Tournament from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25th March. The tournament proved an excellent opportunity for the course members to receive immediate practical appearance.
“They were receptive to my feedback and comments. They improved throughout the four days of competition, extended by one day due to overwhelming response”, Ronald Wee
Overall a positive response and one that clearly delighted Ronal Wee; the ability to organise competitions in an efficient and productive manner had been enhanced.
“I am confident that the umpires will continue to improve, to take on the challenge in April when Mongolia organizes its international tournament for the East Asia Qualification and the Mongolian Cup”, Ronald Wee
It was the first such course to be staged in Mongolia; however the country is no stranger to initiatives promoted by the ITTF Development Programme.
In 2006, Pakistan’s Arif Khan conducted an ITTF Level One Course; he was followed by Switzerland’s Georg Silberschmidt who led and Olympic Solidarity supported initiative in April 2007 and in October 2009, an ITTF Level Two Course.
Similarly, Frenchman, Nicolas Petit was present in October 2014, he led an ITTF/PTT Level One Course followed by Training Camp.