07 Mar 2018

Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was the recent home for an ITTF/PTT Level One Coach Education Course.

Supported by Olympic Solidarity and organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in conjunction with the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, proceedings commenced on Sunday 11th February and concluded on Sunday 25th February; the expert on duty was Patrick Würtz, ITTF-Oceania High Performance Officer.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

A total of 16 coaches from the four main islands of Micronesia were present for the gathering at the Yap Sports Complex; the course being held very much with the 2018 Micronesian Games in mind.

“Table tennis is still a growing sport in Micronesia, the goal for the attendees was to not only to learn the basic skills to start coaching in their local communities but also to learn the sport specific skills necessary to volunteer at the upcoming 2018 MicroGames. The focus of the course was the introduction of coaching skills for beginners, the rules of the game, basics of tournament organization and competition formats. Topics related to disabled athletes also were discussed.” Patrick Würtz

Staged every four years, the Games will be held from Sunday 15th to Friday 27th July in Yap. Teams from the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Nauru, Palau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are expected to compete.

“Table tennis is still a small yet growing sport in the Federated States of Micronesia. I was surprised to see how eager the coaches were to prepare their teams for the Micronesian Games. The majority of the participants were not active coaches before the course, however, the interest they have shown during the course makes me excited for the future of the sport in FSM.” Patrick Würtz

Notably there was a most positive reaction from the course members; Martin Ruwniyol, the Competition Manager for the 2018 Micronesian Games was most praiseworthy of the efforts made by all concerned, especially the Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee (FSMNOC).

“Thanks to FSMNOC and ITTF-Oceania, we will not just have passionate but also educated volunteers who will help to make table tennis at the 2018 Micronesian Games a success. I have had very little experience with table tennis in the past. Hence, it was very valuable for me to learn the basics of the sport and get insights about tournament organisation and Rules of table tennis.” Martin Ruwniyol

Equally, there was a most positive response from Loatis Seneres, a most enthusiastic course member.

“There are coaches from all four islands in FSM, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap at this course. We all coach in schools and local communities and therefore, the course content was perfect for the kind of players that we coach at home. We will also start with more serious state team training to prepare the players for the Micronesian Games. Particularly, the new equipment that was donated by Stag will motivate our players to give their best.” Loatis Seneres

Anyone interested in working as a volunteer at the 2018 Micronesian Games should contact by email: 2018MicroGames@gmail.com

Explaining the shake-hands grip (Photo: courtesy of Patrick Würtz)
High Performance and Development Patrick Würtz Federated States of Micronesia