by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Overall, aged from 10 years to 16 years, a total of 34 players from four countries attended; in addition to Kyrgyzstan, players travelled from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.
Throughout 10 Double Happiness table tennis tables and 500 training balls were made available; in addition there was a plentiful supply of fruit and drinks.
Each day two training sessions were staged; the first from 9.30am to 12.30pm, the second from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Players were divided into two groups, one group focused on multi-ball training, the other worked in pairs on practices to develop both technical skills and tactical awareness. Items such as balance, footwork, speed, power and co-ordination were all covered.
“Personally I was very happy to meet some of coaches from this region; they had attended some past ITTF courses and training camps in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. I noted some professional improvement, seeing them working with the young generation. I had also pleasure to have conversations with them about new methods of training, some new trends and changes of technique according to the requirements of modern table tennis.” Aleksey Yefremov
A positive reaction was received from all concerned, players, coaches and officials; notably Genrih Balyan, the President of the Table Tennis Association of the Kyrgyz Republic and Shukhrat Teshaev, the General Secretary, were most enthusiastic. Genrih Balyan is the founder of the Karven Club, an active veteran player and open to the idea of hosting a Middle Asia Regional Hopes week and challenge in 2018.
“On behalf of the Table Tennis Association of the Kyrgyz Republic I would like to express our satisfaction and interest to continue with this kind of activity supported by the Asian Table Tennis Union and International Table Tennis Federation. We have excellent conditions to organize a Regional Hopes Week and Challenge in Issyk-Kul Lake. It is a peaceful and beautiful place with fresh air and clean water; we can use the Karven Four Seasons Hotel and Apartments for accommodation. Also we have a good size hall for up to 20 tables”. Shukhrat Teshaev
At the conclusion of the training camp almost all the players competed in the Middle Asia Youth Club League; the tournament created by the late Yuri Posevin, former Vice President of European Table Tennis Union; he was born in Kyrgyzstan. Teams from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan alongside Russia, in the role of guests, participated.