21 Dec 2017

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, the Mexican city of Querétaro was the recent home for an ITTF/PTT Level One Course from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th December; the accent being very much on the Para element.

Locally proceedings were administered by Miguel Cervantes, President of the Mexican Table Tennis Federation, in conjunction with the University of Anáhuac and alongside the Para Sport Department at the Institute of Sport and Recreation of Querétaro; the organisation being known universally as INDEREQ, an acronym of the Spanish, Instituto del Deporte y La Recreación del Estadio de Querétaro.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Venezuela’s Luisana Perez was the expert on duty, her major task being to advise the community leaders, teachers and club coaches who comprised the course, the rudiments of helping those with disabilities.

Notably of the members present, two were Para athletes with the majority of the members being women, one of the most celebrated being Patricia Valle, Head of Para Sports at INDEREQ. She won swimming gold at both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

“The course was very interesting; there was a great deal of information for both able bodied as well as disabled athletes. Now, I have a great deal of knowledge I can pass on to others.” Patricia Valle

Also present on the course was Marisel Ramirez, now a coach who represented Cuba in the table tennis events at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

“The course was very interesting because you learn things that when you were an athlete you do not have the chance to learn. In particular it was beneficial in how to transmit knowledge to children and most importantly how to teach people with disabilities. I hope that other courses of a higher level become available, I spent many years as a player, now such course will benefit me as a coach.” Marisel Ramirez

Positive responses from prominent names; it was the same from Miguel Cervantes.

“Involving disabled people with able bodied people in Querétaro, gives us the opportunity to promote more Para players and provide better care. Luisana is an excellent human being and very capable, she did great job.” Miguel Cervantes

A successful course and for Luisana Prez, it was a most rewarding challenge for a lady who like Marisel Ramirez, is an Olympian; she partnered colleague Fabiola Ramos in the Women’s Doubles event at both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

“It was a great experience! Each course is also part of personal and professional learning. Sharing experiences with Para athletes during the course was most significant. I thank Miguel Cervantes and the various institutions who supported this activity.” Luisana Perez

The course concluded, now the task is for the coaches to complete 30 hours of coaching, five hours being supervised.

Mexico – Para Table Tennis Course
Photos: courtesy of Luisana Perez

High Performance and Development Coaching Luisana Perez