by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Overall a total of 17 students attended on a day when the teaching of intellectually challenged children and under privileged was the focus.
“Flash floods occurred in Ajmer in July 1979, it rained for five days and had a devastating effect on the ecosystem; there was a loss of human life, irrigation was destroyed as farm lands were turned into wilderness. In order to provide immediate relief an organisation called Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal Sanstha was established by a social worker named Sagar Kaushik to provide immediate relief to the victims of the devastating flood that struck the Ajmer city. Today the organisation supports some 1,200 children with special needs. It is the biggest such institution of its kind in northern India.” Vismay Vyas
Proceedings were opened by Dhanraj Choudhary, the Secretary-General of the Table Tennis Association of India, who spoke at length about the importance of modern day coaching principles and the need to heed the advice of coaches with national and especially international experience.
Additional tribute was paid to Tenvic (To Ensure Victory) an organisation formed by Vasanth Bharadwaj, a former India international table tennis player and Anil Kumble, the former captain of the Indian cricket team. The aim of the organisation is to support young people in sport, especially at grass roots level.
Overall a successful course was staged but not without some tribulations, there had been a curfew imposed in the region prior to the course starting owing to civil disobedience; for some course members travelling to Ajmer was not without problems.
“I am sure all those who attended will become good coaches. My thanks to the International Table Tennis Federation and to the Table Tennis Federation of India; in particular my thanks to Dr. Atul Dubey, International Referee and to Mr. Anil Dubey and his team from Rajasthan State Table Tennis Association for setting up the facility and arranging all the requirements. Also I thank Mr.Mohan Kumar, the Project Manager from Tenvic Sports for ensuring every detail was addressed and making sure the course met all the necessary requirements.” Vismay Vyas
Notably present towards the end of the initiative was Christian Lillieroos from the United States whose help was gratefully appreciated, as was the support of Richard McAfee, also from the United States and who in the past, like Christian Lillieroos, had conducted a whole range of courses in India.