15 Aug 2018

Situated in the South Island of New Zealand, Christchurch, the garden city and principle city in the Canterbury region was the venue for a recent five day ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course.

Organised under the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development, self-funded the course was held over two consecutive long weekends; from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August and on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August; the reason being to meet the times when both junior and senior players would be available.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The venue for the whole proceedings was the Table Tennis Canterbury stadium with 18 tables available throughout; the Course Conductor on duty was Grant Wilson from Christchurch.

Overall, a total of eight students completed the course and are now completing their 30 hours of practical coaching in order to receive their award.

A theory session commenced matters (Photo: courtesy of Grant Wilson)


Pertinently, three of the students are all ranked inside the top 30 players in New Zealand and three of the young players are current New Zealand junior internationals.

“One of the highlights of the course was the presence of Para player John Marrable, a former New Zealand champion, who helped deliver the Para sessions; his first-hand experience and excellent presentations were appreciated by all concerned.” Grant Wilson

The Para element gave a major insight into coaching players with a disability (Photo: courtesy of Grant Wilson)


Notably all the course members are actively involved in Table Tennis Canterbury’s coaching programmes for players of all levels from novice to the Canterbury squad training for the National Championships in October. Eyes on success in two months’ time and a course member was Hongyi Li, he is the fourth ranked player in New Zealand.

“As a coach you need to know how to coach strategies and explain techniques clearly and simply to all levels of players”. Hongyi Li

Making the best use of available equipment (Photo: courtesy of Grant Wilson)


Undoubtedly, Hongyi was well aware of the requirements needed to become an effective coach; international players may know what to do but transmitting that knowledge is a totally different ball game. A major part of Grant Wilson’s task was to advise on the fundamentals of efficient coaching techniques.

“Not all top players make the transition from top player to coach but the participants on this course have shown the motivation and desire to make this happen. Canterbury now has a larger coaching base to help accelerate its already strong culture of pathways and coaching programes to help get players into Table Tennis New Zealand’s regional and national squads and ultimately, national teams.” Grant Wilson

A most successful course, one for the benefit of not only the local area but in the long term, undoubtedly it will be of value for the whole nation.

A training session in progress, multi-ball being practised (Photo: courtesy of Grant Wilson)

High Performance and Development Coaching Grant Wilson