by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A welcome visitor on the second day of play was Benjamín Real, President of the Paraguay Table Tennis Federation, a proud man.
Most certainly he is delighted in the confidence shown by the International Table Tennis Federation and the Latin American Table Tennis Union in allocating the event to his country.
“I am impressed with the professional approach of the coaches, the way in which the players are taking matters seriously and the high level of enthusiasm.” Benjamin Real.
Furthermore, Paraguay will host the forthcoming 2017 Latin American Under 11 and Under 13 Championships; play commences on Monday 25th September and concludes on Saturday 30th September.
“We are preparing with the whole Olympic Committee, for Latin American Under 11 and Under 13 Championships. We will add more lighting and bring in a special floor; we want to make sure that everybody will be satisfied with the tournament.” Benjamin Real
A pleased Benjamin Real; it was a very similar response from Maxime Surprenant who, after assessing the level of the players on the first day, set rather more testing practises on the second.
“It was a nice surprise and it makes me very happy to see how these boys and girls want to be here, all the coaches have joined in and are giving a lot of feed back to the children. In the end, everyone learns from everyone, so that when everyone goes back to their country, they share new knowledge and continue to improve.” Maxime Surprenant
A detailed programme is in place with the ensuing competition very much in mind.
“Starting from the basics to trying to reach match shape; for me it is important that the players consider this week as the best experience they have had so far within their young careers; when they play in the Latin American Championship they will be well prepared.” Maxime Surprenant
Good preparation for the players and it is also most valuable for the coaches.
“Every night I meet with the other coaches to discuss the day and to adapt the training in relation to the players. Therefore we can choose what I think is best for everyone. Even if I was the best coach in the world, with the best plan, if that plan does not fit the players, it wouldn’t be effective. I want everyone to go out every day saying wow, today was very good learning experience.” Maxime Surprenant
A busy week and a busy week to follow, the 2017 Latin American Under 11 and Under 13 Championships comprises no less than 14 events – Boys’ Team, Girls’ Team, Boys’ Singles, Girls’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles, Girls’ Doubles, Mixed Doubles – in each age group.