by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Overall a total of 13 students attended, 10 men and three women, travelling from throughout the country, the towns and cities of Quito, Tena, Portoviejo, Cuenca and Guayaquil being represented.
The course conductor was Freddy Almendariz, the current ITTF Panam Competition Manager, a native of Guayaquil.
“It was my second time to conduct an ITTF Umpires Course in Ecuador; the first one was in Cuenca with Silvia Garro in 2014. Now to lead such a course in my home city with a most receptive group was a good experience.” Freddy Almendariz
Locally matters were organised by Joe Elias Urdanigo, the Chair of the Ecuador Table Tennis Federation’s Umpires and Referee Committee.
“The group was enthusiastic from the very start; Paul Calle, the President of the Ecuador Table Tennis Federation, supported this course from the beginning. It was a positive for all of us.” Joe Elias Urdanigo
Step at a time but everyone had their eyes set on becoming an International Umpire; some like Roberto Torres from Napo, now in the twilight of his player career, wishes to continue his involvement in the sport by following the officiating route.
“After a long time as a player, I would like to represent my country as an umpire. Many of us have seen the progress that Freddy Almendariz has made and now has a good position with the International Table Tennis Federation; that motivates us to follow our dreams. He will help us.” Roberto Torres
Player to official; it is the same step that Vilma Durazno seeks to take; she had been waiting eagerly for the course to commence.
“When I received the information, immediately I applied because I wanted to do this course. It is funny because previously I did not like umpiring; now my opinion has changed. I am happy to take this course; I would like to become a Blue Badge umpire.” Vilma Durazno
Notably, the response from Vilma Durazno was echoed by German Quinoñez, born in Ecuador but spent 12 years in Colombia, before returning back to the country of his birth in 2000 to live in Guayaquil; he is an avid table tennis player.
“The course was a good experience because I gained understanding. Also I met new and very pleasant people. I would like to thank everyone who made this course possible.” German Quinoñez
Everyone responded to the efforts of Freddy Almendariz, his enthusiasm in whatever role he assumes never diminishes; his attitude always positive. The efforts made were greatly appreciated by all, none more so than by José Banda, an experienced umpire who has officiated in many national competitions.
“I would like to thank to the Ecuador Federation for making this course possible and for organising the expert. I am happy I passed and hope I can become an international umpire.” José Banda
Matters concluded with the presentation of certificates; Freddy Almendariz congratulated all concerned, a total of 11 course members reached the required standard.
The participants were: Byron Alvarado, Paola Arias, Catalina Arteaga, Jesus Aviles, José Banda, Frank Carriel, Diana Durazno, Luis Intriago, Carlos Nieto, Fernando Sanchez, German Quinoñez, Roberto Torres, Edwin Villacis.