by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Most importantly there was a wide geographical spread.
No less than 22 national associations participated. The attendance included players from Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Guatemala, Iran, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States and Wales.
Two training sessions were held per day, as well as practical educational sessions. Additionally, three evening educational sessions, designed to complement the training sessions, were staged. Notably throughout five practice partners from China were present to assist and set high standards.
“The number one goal of Hopes is to encourage national associations to run Talent Identification Programmes and also to promote and work with young talented players for future success and growth.” Daniela Gomes
A ranking tournament in order to assess the level of the players and design the best possible training sessions, commenced proceedings; the outcome was that two groups were formed for boys and two for girls. Competitions were held each day as part of the schedule in order for the coaches to make detailed assessments.
In addition, an online coach education course was organised prior to the Hopes Week and compulsory for all the coaches who were present in Luxembourg.
“Hopes Coaches were invited to share their knowledge and experience by submitting a theoretical presentation.” Daniela Gomes
Egyptian Coach Hisham Ismail submitted the best presentation; he was awarded a US$ 1,000 scholarship.