by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The whole week, organised in a most efficient manner, was held at the Léopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar; a total of 19 students attended the 30 hour coach education course with 14 passing the final test.
Supporting the students was Papa Anthiouname Diagne, the President of the Senegal Table Tennis Federation, alongside Mamadou Lamine Guéye, the National Coach and Bala Lo, the Honorary President. All are desirous of increasing the number of qualified coaches in order to promote table tennis in the West African country.
“Our aim is to promote regular technical meetings with our team of coaches.” Papa Anthiouname Diagne
Notably, all three officials stressed the need to develop active coaches and positively discourage certificate collectors.
Most certainly there was a very enthusiastic response, all were motivated by Nicolas Guigon who, at the closing ceremony presented over 40 items of clothing plus racket coverings, balls and second hand blades to the Federation; the donation being made possible through the efforts of Ping Sans Frontières.
Following the ITTF/PTT Level One Course, a total of ten young Senegalese players attended the training camp; six boys aged 14 to 20 years of age were present in addition to four girls whose ages ranged from 17 years to 20 years old.
“Avoiding too many training routines, trying to motivate were the main goals, we invested time in service and receive, changing the spin on the ball, basic requirements for success.” Nicola Guigon
Focusing on quality, multi-ball practices were included in the itinerary with physical training taking place in the park, where the Hann Ping Pong Club is based and Salif Niang is a most enthusiastic member.
“We have built table tennis tables everywhere in the city, with wood, concrete and iron, thanks to the investment made by my club President, Ahmed Sakr.” Salif Niang
On the concluding afternoon an innovative tournament was held, in which eight players and three coaches took part. Each match was best of five games; win the first game and the player started the next losing 6-7, win the second then start the third at 6-8, lose the third then back to 6-7 for the fourth.
An open international tournament is planned for Monday 30th October following the National Championships.