19 Jul 2017

A Basic Umpires Course completed successfully in San José, Costa Rica; next on the agenda 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.

Organized under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in liaison with Costa Rica Table Tennis Federation, proceedings commenced on Thursday 6th July and concluded on Saturday 8th July.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Similar to the Basic Umpires Course; the offices of the national federation, located in national stadium proved an ideal venue.

“This group had members with experience as umpires; some having been referees in local events.” Freddy Almendariz

Overall, a total of 14 students, 12 men and two women, attended; in addition to San José, course members travelled from throughout the small Central American country. The towns of Guadalupe, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Colon, Santo Domingo and Esparza were represented.

Furthermore there were two members from further afield. Javier Reid from Panama attended as did Venezuela’s Ricardo de Armas.

Members were welcomed by the far seeing Alexander Zamora, President of the Costa Rica Table Tennis Federation; the person very much responsible for the fact that San José will host the ITTF Pan American Cup, later this month, from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th July.

 “For Costa Rica this kind of course is really good because every day we have more local events and we can improve all our events, I wish you the best in the next three days.” Alexander Zamora

Motivation from Alexander Zamora, the outcome was a most positive for what was an intensive three days.

 “This course needs to be a little longer because the referee needs to know everything; however the class was funny and you had to be attentive all the time.” Agustin Rodriguez

Responsive students, the most responsive of all being 20 year old Ricardo Castro, he gained the top marks.

“I am pleased with the qualification; it has really helped me prepare for the future.” Ricardo Castro

Matters concluded with Alexander Zamora, alongside members of the Costa Rica Table Tennis Federation Executive Committee, presenting certificates at the Closing Ceremony and congratulating all concerned.

“Thanks to Freddy Almendariz for supporting us. We know that Freddy always works very hard, he never stops; for us he sets an example. We are really happy to see all of you here, this group will have many opportunities in local events; the first challenge will be the ITTF Pan Am Cup, an International event, congratulations to all of you.” Alexander Zamora

Similarly, Freddy Almendariz offered his thanks for what had proved a most worthwhile visit to Costa Rica.

“I liked this course because I could learn many new things; I will use this knowledge for the local tournaments in Panama.” Javier Reid

Eleven members, including Ricardo de Armas and Javier Reid gained the necessary marks to receive the Basic Certified Referees award.

“This kind of course is very important, however we need more time so we can pose more questions and practise more. I would like to thank Freddy Almendariz because he gave us a great deal of knowledge.” José Leandro

The participants were: Ricardo Castro, Ronald Solano, Phillips Nunez, Jose Leandro, Fiorella Solano, Ricardo de Armas, Agustin Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez, Wendy Chaves, Danilo Azofeifa, Edgar Miranda, Javier Reid, Alexander Ramirez and Elmer Jimenez.

 Bucaramanga: ITTF Level One Course
Photos: Courtesy of Freddy Almendariz

High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Freddy Almendariz