02 Apr 2018

Situated in a valley in the Andes Mountains, the Bolivian city of Cochabamba was the recent home for an ITTF Basic Umpires Course; proceedings commenced on Wednesday 28th March and concluded on Friday 30th March.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, self-funded, the course was administered in liaison with the South American Table Tennis Federation and the Organising Committee of the South American Games; the multi-sport event to be staged in the city from Saturday 2nd to Friday 8th June. Notably in 2009, Bolivia hosted the Bolivarian Games, the competition being open to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and VenezuelaThe South American Games presents a greater challenge.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Led by Ecuador’s Freddy Almendariz, the Competition Manager for the table tennis events at the forthcoming South American Games, students travelled from Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba in order to attend.

“It is important to highlight the enthusiasm and the high quality of young participants in this course who were motivated to learn and to be part of the South American Games.” Freddy Almendariz

One of the problems at the moment in Bolivia is that the national association possesses no international umpires; the recent course provided a starting point and was well received, especially by Lucerito Medina.

“This was a good course for us, we need this kind of course in Bolivia to help us to learn how to apply the rules; with this knowledge we will try to teach to more people”. Lucerito Medina

A successful course, one that achieved the goal of providing fundamental knowledge as well as opening the door to progress to a higher level; a base from which to progress was laid.

“One of the objectives of the courses was to motivate the course members to continue learnng and maybe in the future become Blue Badge umpires who can to represent their associations in a major event such as the Olympic Games.” Freddy Almendariz

A positive outcome one that pleased Sender Terrazas, a member of the South America Games Organising Committee, referred to as Codesur from the Spanish “Comité Organización Deportiva Suramericana”.

He was quick to acknowledge the support of South American Table Tennis Federation, referred to as Consuteme being derived from the Spanish “Confederación Sudamericana de Tenis de Mesa” and the national federation, Febotome, likewise in the native language “Federacion Boliviana de Tenis de Mesa.”

“Codesur is very happy to have been given the opportunity to stage this course and prepare more umpires in the discipline of table tennis. The intention of these Games is not only to leave a legacy and an infrastructure; also to have personnel that can strengthen the sport. I must thank Freddy Almendariz for his predisposition, professionalism and his willingness to lead this course, as well to Consuteme and Feboteme for their constant support. ” Sender Terrazas

A successful course, the most successful member being 19 year old Pablo Dominguez, he gained the highest marks.

“I enjoyed the course very much and I feel that we all learned a great deal; we can be part of change in our country. Our next challenge now is to pass the International Umpire Exam and to be part of the South American Games, I am motivated to continue learning; knowing the experience of Freddy Almendariz in the different events where he participated as umpire, makes us to want to continue advancing in this career. I want to thank him for his efforts, his knowledge was invaluable. Also I thank to Codesur, Consumeme and Feboteme for making this course a reality. ” Pablo Dominguez

A delighted student and it was also a delighted Course Conductor.

“I am very happy and satisfied with this group. I congratulate each of the participants for their good performance during these three days of course; I appreciate the efforts made by each of the institutions and I am sure that these courses are leaving a legacy in Bolivia.” Freddy Almendariz

The participants were: Napoleon Antequera, Maria Fernanda Duran, Pablo Dominguez, Isaac Gareca, Omar Maradiegue, Sergio Maradiegue, Lucerito Medina, Mario Nava, Roberto Nava, Pamela Nisttahuz, Seder Terrazas, Gabriel Zurita and Javier Zenteno.

Bolivia has now seven new umpires who have passed the first hurdle.

 Day One: South American Junior and Cadet Championships
Photos: courtesy of Freddy Almendariz

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High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Umpires & Referees Freddy Almendariz