04 Jun 2017

Staged in Mexico City, self-funded, organised locally by the Mexican Table Tennis Federation under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, the Central American country’s Paralympic Centre was the home for a Basic Umpires Course from Monday 29th to Wednesday 31st May.

The course conductor was Freddy Almendariz, the Chair of the Latin American Table Tennis Union Umpires and Referees Committee.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A total of seven students attended, two men and five attended; in addition to Mexico City, course members travelled from Tlaxcala, Mexico State and Ameca.

Locally proceedings were co-ordinated by Francisco Mendoza, the Chair of the Umpires and Referees Committee for the Mexican Table Tennis Federation. Notable it was the first such course in the country.

A second is planned from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th June in Villahermosa, the motivating force being Miguel Cervantes, the President of the Mexican Table Tennis Federation.

“We are making a major effort to bring these kind of courses to Mexico, our idea is to improve and have an International Umpires exam here next year. Miguel Cervantes, president of the Mexican Table Tennis Association who now is in Düsseldorf, sends regards to all participants and he hopes that you take in advantage this course.” Francisco Mendoza

Notable Para participants included Martha Verdin, Class 4, Claudia Perez Class 8 and Milton Garcia the National Coach for Para players in Mexico.

“I liked this course because I could learn the rules, as player I never imagined all the things we needed to learn and understand. The Course Conductor has excellent knowledge; he explained everything to the class.” Martha Verdin

“This course for me was amazing, I want to continue learning more and more, as the professor said, this is our first step”. Claudia Perez

“I recommend this type of course; I intend to combine umpiring and coaching.” Milton Garcia

Notably also present was Pamela Pedraza, the youngest member of the course, she is only 20 years old and is studying chemotherapy, she proved an excellent student and would like to officiate at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

“I want to update my knowledge, I want to be a Blue Badge Umpire, Freddy Almendariz is a good motivator because all the time was talking to us how we can reach our dreams; he is very good.” Pamela Pedraza

Meanwhile, the top marks went to Javier Ortega, he had only two questions not correct; he enjoys basketball and has experience as a National Umpire, he is a lawyer.

“I like to learn more every day; now I will start to prepare for the Basic Referees Course.” Javier Ortega

A successful course; somewhat unusual in that there were more women in attendance than men.

“My thanks to the Mexican Table Tennis Federation for organising this self-funded course, congratulations on your qualifications; you are an amazing group and for sure all of you will have a good future, good luck in the Basic Referees Course.” Freddy Almendariz.

The participants were Javier Ortega, Milton Garcia, Pamela Pedraza, Claudia Perez, Martha Verdin, Silvia Hernandez and Linda Blando; all gained the necessary pass mark.

 Day Five: Liebherr 2017 World Championships
Photos: courtesy of Freddy Almendariz

Development, Education and Training Coaching Freddy Almendariz