24 Oct 2017

Tacarigua, the heavily populated north eastern city in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago was the recent host for a self-funded ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches course.

Organized under the auspices the ITTF Development Programme, locally administered by the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association and financed by the Central Table Tennis Zone; proceedings commenced on Monday 2nd October and concluded on Monday 9th October.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably it was the second such course to be conducted in the islands, the first having been in the city of Scarborough in 2014, as in Tacarigua, under the guidance of Aleena Edwards.

A total of 27 students attended, 17 men and 10 women representing a diverse background.

Aleena Edwards conducts a theory session at the start of the course (Photo: courtesy of Aleena Edwards)

 

Notably, the group included physical education teachers, national team players and table tennis enthusiasts, all aiming to become coaches in local clubs. Significantly, table tennis is being promoted in the region in a most positive fashion.

“Since conducting my very first course in the island of Tobago, I was approached to conduct another course in the Central Zone by the President Mr. Clive Ramsingh in 2015; their goal is to work alongside the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association and to take table tennis to every school in that region from grassroots level. They also started a Muslim League to give these players an opportunity to showcase their talent.” Aleena Edwards

An explanation from Aleena Edwards at the start of a practical session (Photo: courtesy of Aleena Edwards)

 

Aleena Edwards, who has been the High Performance Coach in the islands for the past ten years and is a part time lecturer at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, continues to promote table tennis at all levels in the islands.

She has the avowed goal of motivating women and young players; her dream is to attract more young girls to table tennis, believing sport is a most valuable educational tool. The task is to steer young people on the path to a worthwhile and rewarding life.

An explanation from Aleena Edwards (red shirt) for an attentive student (Photo: courtesy of Aleena Edwards)

 

Unquestionably all members of the group in Tacarigua responded to the efforts of Aleena Edwards.

“The Para was very interesting to me; to actually be put in situations to feel how a person in a sitting position plays the game.” Deonarine Dave

“I found the demonstrations and practical part of the course was most useful for me as I was able to visually see what was written in theory in real life. The theoretical part also taught me new things which I found very important and useful.” Kareema Ali.

“I found the practical aspects of the course useful particularly on ball control, the basic strokes and footwork patterns. It is vital to get these right when helping kids to develop proper foundation.” Yuvraaj Dookram.

“The basic rules, skills and techniques of the game; I am competitive player so this was a good refresher in addition to learning new information.” Catherine Spicer

Practising the skill of multi-ball (Photo: courtesy of Aleena Edwards)

 

Positive responses, equally, the Course Conductor was most positive.

“I would like to thank Central Table Tennis Zone for assisting with the organisation of this course and also believing in me to conduct this course. I must also thank the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago for facilitating the amazing venue, the National Racket Center and the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association. Meetings have already started with the primary schools in the zone and disabled schools to introduce the Para athletes to table tennis. Central is buzzing with excitement with table tennis.” Alena Edwards

Foundations laid and a most successful course was concluded.

The Para element as always was well received (Photo: courtesy of Aleena Edwards)
Development, Education and Training Coaching Aleena Edwards