05 Jul 2017

A successful 2017 Pan American Junior Championships completed in the role of Competition Manager; then as a Course Conductor a most worthwhile Basic Umpires Course completed, next on the agenda in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires for Ecuador’s Freddy Almendariz, the Chair of the Latin American Table Tennis Union’s Umpires, Referees and Rules Committee, was a Basic Certified Referee Course.

Once again, organized under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in liaison with Argentina Table Tennis Association, proceedings commenced on Thursday 29th June and concluded on Saturday 1st July; venue for the course was the National Training Centre known as CeNARD, an acronym of the Spanish name, Centro Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Travelling from various parts of the country in addition to Buenos Aires, a total of 14 students, 12 men and two women attended; the group notably including three International Umpires in the guise of Ezequiel Arraygada, Santiago Tissembaun and Iosu Diaz.

“It was a pleasure to be here because it is important to prepare for a higher level, fortunately my colleagues and myself passed the course. Now we go forward.” Ezequiel Arraygada

Throughout Santiago Mercade, who is employed by the Argentina Table Tennis Association, assisted throughout the course.

“It is a pleasure can to receive to all of you for this ITTF course; following the course, you will be able to work in official tournaments in Argentina”. Santiago Mercade

Notable students included Gerardo Gutierrez, the President of Bahia Blanca, a province of Argentina; he organises local tournaments every two months. Following the course he is now highly motivated, his goal to become an International Referee.

“I am working very hard in my association and after this course I can understand the rules and the procedures, this was a good challenge for me”. Gerardo Gutierrez

Motivated and learning but the fastest learner was Camila Mendez, not a table tennis player; she impressed Freddy Almendariz with the way she quickly accumulated knowledge.

“After the umpires Course I did not feel sure if I would take the Referees Course because of the responsibilities involved. However I like the challenge and now I am an ITTF Basic Certified Referee.” Camila Mendez

Notably Camila Mendez, Ezequiel Arraygada and Santiago Mercade recorded a mark of 95 per cent but they were not top of the list. Leandro Groisman, recorded a perfect 100 per cent.

“It is the first time I have known one participant gain the perfect marks. My congratulations, he did incredibly well.” Freddy Almendariz

“I like table tennis and I think I can be a good referee, after this course I need to work very hard because Argentina has a good team, but I know that I can reach my dreams to become an International Referee.” Leandro Groisman

Matters concluded with Freddy Almendariz and Santiago Mercade awarding certificates and thanking all who attended; ten students gained the necessary pass mark

“The group performed well, some had experience but even those who did not, learned very quickly.” Freddy Almendariz,

The participants were: Tulio Fraga, Andrés Goldberg, Daniel Galardi, Leandro Groisman, Gerard Gutierrez, Pablo Kibisz, Nicolas Leiva, Camila Mendez, Matias Vilte, Maria Pía Zarauza, Iosu Diaz, Santiago Tissenbaun, Ezequiel Arraygada and Walter Fernandez.

Buenos Aires: Basic Certified Referees Course

Photos: courtesy of Freddy Almendariz

High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Freddy Almendariz Santiago Mercade