by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The home for the whole itinerary was the “Club BH” hall in Hafnarfjordur; a total of 15 enthusiastic coaches, 11 men and four women attended, all highly motivated. In order to accommodate work obligations the coach education aspect was held each evening from 5.00 pm to 10.30 pm.
Much travelled and a most experienced course conductor, Aleksey Yefremov of Belarus was at the helm. He devised a most thorough programme, highlighting such items as multi-ball training, modern methods of teaching beginners, whilst stressing the need for good technique.
“To be honest, we actually forget about time, sometimes the evening was longer than six hours with a short break but when I saw coaches’ eyes with wishes to continue, I just went on. Also because of light nights, no darkness, I was confused whether it was day or night.” Aleksey Yefremov
Locally matters were organised under the direction of Ingimar Ingimarson, the President of the Icelandic Table Tennis Association. Overall five table tennis tables were available plus large stocks of balls in addition all the necessary requirements for theory sessions. Refreshments were available throughout.
After five intense days, the course concluded, being followed by a training camp on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June; six boys and six girls attended. Notably, all members of the coaches course were present; a fact appreciated by Aleksey Yefremov.
“The players showed quite good technical skills, there is still space for improvement, especially in physical and tactical aspects, including service and return of service.” Aleksey Yefremov
A detailed schedule focused on technique, footwork, tactics and physical preparation. Notably training started early in the morning.
“I was happy to come to Iceland for the first time and work for a whole week with Islandic coaches and players. It was a pleasure to give them my best and share my passion and knowledge of this game. In November last year two Icelandic coaches gained ITTF Level Two certification by attending a course in Malta which I conducted. In my opinion, guided by Ingimar Ingimarsson Iceland is moving in the right direction.” Aleksey Yefremov
A most successful course was completed; a most satisfied course conductor departed Reykjavik.