25 May 2017

Play in the 2017 South American Under 13 and Under 11 Championships concluded in Asuncion, Paraguay on Sunday 21st May; immediately a Basic Certified Referee Course followed.

Led by Ecuador’s Freddy Almendariz, the Chair of the Umpires, Referees and Rules Committee for the Latin American Table Tennis Union, proceedings commenced on Monday 22nd May and drew to a close on Wednesday 24th May.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, a total of seven students, six men and one woman, arrived for the self-funded course organised by Paraguay Table Tennis Federation.

Notably the participants travelled from various parts of Paraguay; in addition to Asuncion there were representatives from the cities of Ñemby, San Lorenzo, Mariano Roque Alonso and Lambare.

Home for the course was the national federation’s Estadio de Tenis de Mesa, the same venue as had been the home for the South American U13 and U11 Championships.

One notable course member was Manuel Britez, the Chair of the Umpires and Referees Committee for the Paraguay Table Tennis Federation.

“I am happy to learn more every day; this kind of course will help to us in our local tournaments and for sure in international tournaments that will be held in Paraguay. After this course I know how to apply the rules in specific moments, I would like to congratulate to Freddy Almendariz for his knowledge, he is a person with great experience.” Manuel Britez

A positive response from Manuel Britez, it was the same from Lucy Lezcano, the one woman in this course who is an international umpire and aims to start the Blue Badge programme in the near future.

“This course was more difficult that the umpire’s course, I understand the referee cannot make any big mistakes, the referee is the most important person in a tournament, big responsibility.” Lucy Lezcano

A Blue Badge candidate, also there was a positive response from Rafael Martinetti, a recently qualified Basic Umpire. He had travelled some 40 kilometres from Ñemby to be present and excelled; he gained the highest marks on the course 95 out of a possible 100.

“Three long but good days, all the items were interesting; he course was hard. It is important to read the all rules and regulations. I asked about the International Referee status, the expert told me this is the first step. I know I must study hard. I’m pleased I had a positive result.” Rafael Martinetti

A successful course, Freddy Almendariz thanked all concerned.

“Everyone needs to take advantage of these opportunities, not all the associations make self-founded courses, I would like to congratulate the Paraguay Table Tennis Federation. For those who did not pass, please try to find another opportunity and for the people who passed, this is the first step, try to read and apply everything you learned”. Freddy Almendariz

A successful course and very much made possible thanks to the efforts of Benjamin Real, the far seeing President of the Paraguay Table Tennis Association.

“The Paraguay Table Tennis Federation is making this effort because we would like to improve in all areas, I want to thank to Freddy, he always enjoys coming to Paraguay and for sure he is professional and works very hard.” Benjamin Real

Members of the group comprised: Manuel Britez, Lucy Lezcano, Rafael Martinetti, Adrian Martinez, Silvia Nuñez, Walther Pedrozo, and Arturo Sanchez. Two members emerged successful.

Team Event: 2017 Ibero-American Championships
Photos: courtesy of Lincon Yasuda

High Performance and Development Coaching Freddy Almendariz