18 Aug 2018

Located in Western Asia; Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, was the recent home for an ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course.

Organised under the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development in conjunction with the Asian Table Tennis Union and the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation, proceedings commenced on Wednesday 8th August and concluded on Sunday 12th August. Immediately following a three day Training Camp, which concluded on Wednesday 15th August, was staged.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Led by Jordan’s Mohamed Atoum, currently the head coach for the Oman Table Tennis Federation and one of the most knowledgeable Course Conductors, the venue for proceedings was the Kfar Chima Club.

A splendid venue, all the necessary requirements met; the hall housed four table tennis tables, a synthetic red floor, hundreds of balls and a projector for theory lessons.

Overall, a total of 14 coaches from throughout the whole country participated. Most were active coaches; one course member was a physical education teacher and two members were female.

“All the participants were enthusiastic to play and to discuss everything about table tennis even during break times.” Mohamed Atoum

Tallia Azar, a national team player attended the course (Photo: courtesy of Lebanese Table Tennis Federation)


Notably, national team players including Ahmed Harb, Tallia Azar and Maysa Bsaibes who has played on the ITTF World Tour and was the runner up in the Women’s Singles event at the recent Arab Championships attended.

“The Level One Coaches Course helped me a lot to identify my weaknesses and strengths, moreover the topics were varied. The PowerPoint presentation and videos helped us visualize things to a greater extent. After the theory sessions, we moved directly to apply our knowledge to the field of play. We learned teaching techniques that were most relevant.” Maysa Bsaibes

Likewise there was a most positive reaction from Christian Taweh, the coach at the Kfar Chima Club. He is one of the most active coaches in Lebanon working with the Hopes age group.

“We really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. It was quite refreshing; one of the most useful I’ve had in the recent years”. Christian Taweh

Coaches putting theory into practice at the Training Camp (Photo: courtesy of the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation)


Encouraging words from students, most pleasing was the fact that George Kopaly, the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation was pleased; he was of no doubt that the venture had been more than worthwhile.

“We selected this type of course to prepare and provide new coaches in order to spread knowledge of the game to the four corners of Lebanon. Our plan for developing table tennis in Lebanon is to assist and help one or two devoted and talented players to compete at international level in a successful way. Thus the number of fans will grow enormously if they see reports in the media of Lebanese player competing in international tournaments. Also, young people will be motivated to play table tennis, parents will encourage them. In this way the game will become more popular in Lebanon “. George Kopaly

It was a most intensive course and time passed quickly, a most knowledgeable group; the interaction between members was high. They exchanged a wide range of ideas; it was both learning and fun.

“Sheik Hassan Al Alty, a former player and active coach in the Barja area, believes teaching children table tennis will keep them away from bad habits and electronic games. He did a lot of funny tricks to keep everybody smiling and gave the course an added dimension.” Mohamed Atoum.

Ahmed Harb made a valuable contribution to the course (Photo: courtesy of the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation)


Now the coaches are most enthusiastic to complete the 30 hours of practical coaching. They will be supervised by Malek Al-Taweel and Ousama Houmsi, both ITTF Level Two Coaches.

“My thanks to Mr. Selim Nicolas, the President of the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation and all members of the Federation for the great hospitality which made me feel as though I was at home.” Mohamed Atoum

The ITTF-PTT Level One Coaches Course over, a three day Training Camp was next on the agenda, the focus being on technical aspects such as short play, footwork, serve and receive, in addition to combining third and fourth ball attacking play.

A total of 22 players from a range of clubs in the country, some national team players, alongside four coaches attended.

Members of the Training Camp with (far right) Mohamed Atoum (Photo: courtesy of the Lebanese Table Tennis Federation)

High Performance and Development Coaching Mohamed Atoum