by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Overall ten players with disabilities from throughout the country, in addition to two coaches who worked full-time in a sports school in Yerevan, attended; the course being realized following discussions with Leandro Olvech, the ITTF Director – Development.
“It is only two years ago that an organization dedicated to table tennis for the disabled in Armenia has been in place. The Table Tennis Federation of Armenia Organization for Disabled Persons with the help of the Paralympic Committee asked the International Table Tennis Federation to help organize a training event for the disabled.” Ela Madejska
A full and detailed itinerary was organised; the topic to create the greatest level of interest being that of classification.
“Practical and theoretical training classes took place twice a day. The players worked on mastering and improving their basic techniques. They learned correct ready position, methods of footwork and other such skills. Physical preparation for disabled players was quite a novelty.” Ela Madejska
The differences in rules for standing players and those playing in wheelchairs came as a surprise to the participants; however, in matches organised during the camp they were able to put theory into practice and become well versed in the regulations.
“It was a busy period. Much more time than the syllabus advised allowed the coaches to master the material, so all passed without any problems. I’m sure they will use the newly acquired knowledge to effectively train athletes with disabilities and raise the level of Para table tennis in Armenia.” Ela Madejska
Thanks to the efforts of Ela Madejska, a most positive attitude pervaded, motivation for the students being enhanced by the visit of Artur Sedrakyan, a representative from the Ministry of Sport and Youth and Hakob Abrahamyan, President of the Armenian Paralympic Committee.
“It was a very pleasant group; all topics were received with great enthusiasm; all were eager to learn new skills. They worked very ambitiously and with great interest. Everyone was determined to use these eight days to the maximum. Participants rated the camp very highly, noting the need to repeat such a training camp in the future. We went to our homes in the hope that we would meet soon.” Ela Madejska
A most successful venture, the efforts of Ela Madejska were well received by all.