17 Oct 2018

Located on the Horn of Africa, Eritrea one of the most recent members of the International Table Tennis Federation, having been formally accepted at the Annual General Meeting staged in 2017 in the German city of Düsseldorf; recently made another significant step forward.

Supported by Olympic Solidarity and organised under the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development, an ITTF/PTT Level One Course, followed by a Training Camp, was held from Tuesday 2nd to Wednesday 10th October.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Staged in the Dembe Sembel School Gymnasium, Tunisia’s Ramizi Mabrouk, the ITTF-Africa Development Manager, was the expert on duty. He advised a group that comprised 16 men and four women; the course members representing six zones in the country and having been nominated by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of High Education.

Later for the Training Camp 13 players attended, aged from six to 16 years old, all enthusiastic and all learning in a fun way.

“Eritrea is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. Since the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, everyone in this country is very ambitious, very thirsty to perform miracles. The Eritrean Table Tennis Federation is a new, created in 2016 but is a very dynamic; it has a strong commitment to move forward and to develop table tennis.” Ramzi Mabrouk

A successful initiative was completed; the local organisers proving most helpful, everyone responding to the efforts of Ramzi Mabrouk, a plethora of questions and seemingly endless discussions underlined the high level of enthusiasm.

Furthermore, in addition to conducting the ITTF/PTT Level One Course and leading the Training Camp, Ramzi Mabrouk met major Eritrean officials: Ambassador Ambassador Zemede Tekle, Sports and Culture Commissioner as well as Luul Fishaye, President of the National Olympic Committee.

“The Commissioner of Sports reiterated his support and assistance to the Eritrea Table Tennis Federation. He underlined the fact that Eritrea relies on sport in general and table tennis especially as a way for the country to become known more and more in the world, as is the case for other highly targeted sports such as cycling or athletics. As for the President of the Eritrean National Olympic Committee, I met him on the first day of my arrival in Eritrea. He welcomed me to his country and praised the International Table Tennis Federation for their close collaboration and for organizing a course that was appropriate for a young federation.” Ramzi Mabrouk

A major subject of discussion was the possibility of organising, with the support of Olympic Solidarity, a Development of National Sports System course, the concept was applauded by Luul Fishaye.

“I welcome this proposal and promise to do my best to offer this opportunity in order for the Eritrea Table Tennis Federation to grow and develop; the benefits of these kind of programmes will have repercussions on many aspects for the good of table tennis, Eritrean sport and the Olympic spirit”. Luul Fishaye

Positive words from Luul Fisaye, it was the same from Borhene Isaac, President of the Eritrea Table Tennis Federation; he was present at the Closing Ceremony.

“Throughout the Para table tennis sessions, all participants were fascinated and took the trouble to familiarize themselves with the use of the crutches and wheelchairs. They also learned how to take care of athletes with different disabilities and how to assist them in moving.” Borhene Isaac

All the course members completed successfully their practical presentations; they now need to fulfil the 30 hours of practical coaching to gain accreditation.

Eritrea - 2018 ITTF/PTT Level One Course

High Performance and Development Coaching Ramzi Mahbrouk