17 Oct 2018

Landlocked in Central Africa, the capital being Bamako; Mali was the recent home for an ITTF/PTT Level One Course followed by a Training Camp.

Organised under the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development, proceedings commenced on Monday 1st August and concluded on Monday 8th August.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The Course Conductor was Abdelghani Souaf, a coach who very much applauds the policy of “Breaking Down Barriers with Table Tennis Balls”.

Overall a total of 18 students attended the initiative, notably two being Para athletes in a country where development and establishing a sound foundation is very much the key; Mali is one of the most recent members of the International Table Tennis Federation. Under the leadership of the President, Abdoulaye Sidib, the Mali Table Tennis Federation was accepted officially as a member of the International Table Tennis Federation at the Annual General Meeting staged at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Championships in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo.

Principally, the itinerary comprised 48 hours, sessions of six hours per day with a one hour break but on occasions it was necessary to adapt in order to meet the availability of the premises.

An intense schedule was the order of the day with Abdoulaye Sidib leaving no stone unturned as he explained the teaching skills needed, encouraging the students to make clear explanations when coaching, organise simple understandable practices, whilst observing the players in question before correcting technical skills and asking for feedback.

Matters concluded with the coaches being required to perform exercise to demonstrate the topic learned: now the task is to put theory into practice and promote the sport of table tennis throughout the country.

Importantly in addition, Abdoulaye Sidib met with member of the National Olympic Committee and with officials from the Mali Table Tennis Federation; a full itinerary, a most rewarding visit.

High Performance and Development Abdelghani Souaf