by Daniela Gomes, Course Conductor / ITTF Development and Education & Training Projects Officer
Overall, a total of 15 participants attended the coaching course; capacity building being the motto for the practical course, designed to support community leaders, school teachers and coaches who will have a decisive role to play in the development of table tennis in Gibraltar.
A common purpose, the love for table tennis unites all those who attended the Coaching course.
“I want to learn how to organise training sessions, how to become a good coach and how to manage things at our local federation. I want to learn more things about table tennis” Fiodor Veresciaka (Course Member)
“When I was younger I loved playing table tennis amongst other sports and I became the Gibraltar Under 18 Champion. My objective is to become a Level One coach so that I can teach table tennis and pass on my experience to the younger players, as I have always loved this sport. I want to be part of a team to develop further table tennis in Gibraltar, with a view to coach and establish a closer relationship with other teams, from other countries who will be visiting Gibraltar in 2019 to participate in the Island Games” Albert Diani (Course Member)
“I would like to increase my knowledge and be able to encourage more players to join and rebuild table tennis in Gibraltar” Paul Camilleri (Course Member)
The Island Games – a force for positive change
The 2019 Island Games will start in the summer of 2019. Gibraltar welcomes the opportunity to host the biennial international multi-sports event organised by the International Island Games Association
Both the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority (GSLA) and the Gibraltar Table Tennis Association (GTTA) wish to ensure that Gibraltar is left with the most positive legacy of expertise, experience and equipment.
Two years ahead of the 2019 Island Games both parties started working to ensure that as many sustainable benefits as possible are generated prior, during and following the event; this positive plan led to the creation of a new GTTA committee responsible to “organise table tennis events locally and for the running of the table tennis event at the Gibraltar Island Games of 2019” said Joe Martinez, GTTA committee member.
Increased table tennis participation in the host country at all levels, from participation to excellence, is the main objective of the integrated working efforts of both GTTA and GSLA, through the implementation of key developmental programmes well before the event.
An ITTF/PTT Level One Course was the logical first step embraced by the new elected committee and fully supported by the National Sports and Leisure Authority
“We will ensure that we use our new coaching skills for the improvement of table tennis in Gibraltar” Eugene Pons, GTTA representative
”This will be the first step in reinvigorating the sport of table tennis in Gibraltar”. Michelle Turner, GSLA Sports Development and Training Officer
“The coaching course has now offered us a platform in which to relaunch Table Tennis in Gibraltar and give the boost in participation levels that the sport deserves.” Matt Reoch, GSLA Head of Facilities, Sports Development and Training
An introduction to the well-designed ITTF Administration Course was also embraced by the GTTA Committee; a wrap up activity who aimed at helping the GTTA committee members develop administration skills to take the Association to higher levels by learning practical tips on the ITTF administration course modules.
The tasks at hand will take a large level of organisation and commitment, a challenge that this passionate group is ready to face.