by Ian Marshall, Editor
A French speaking country, the expert on duty was Switzerland’s Katja Brand.
The first two days of the itinerary were dedicated to the Basic Umpires Course; all from the host country, a total of 23 students attended. Matters concluded with an examination, most creditably, 18 course members passed and thus received the Basic Umpires certificate.
Next on the agenda was the Basic Umpires Course, again held over a period of two days, all the students were from Burkina Faso. A total of 28 students were present, the majority new to the sport of table tennis; hence the pass rate was not high. Unfortunately only six members of the group succeeded in gaining the necessary marks.
The same numbers on the fifth and sixth day of the itinerary, all 18 students, all local, attended the Tournament Organization Course, all passed and received the appropriate certificate. Proceedings concluded with a tournament for cadet and junior players; it afforded the newly qualified umpires and referees the opportunity to put theory into practice.
Most certainly all reacted positively to the efforts of Katja Brand
“The courses gave me a better knowledge of table tennis rules and made me understand the different skills and responsibilities of umpires and referees.” Judicaël Bakala
“I appreciated very much these courses and I learned a lot. I also learned that we all need to practise hard if we want to reach the next level of umpiring. In my opinion, the time of the courses was too short, especially as most of the candidates were not familiar with table tennis.” Rosine A.Hortense Kibora
Delighted students and there was a positive response from Katja Brand
“I express my thanks for the warm welcome and the great support of the organizers, even though circumstances were not always easy, late arrival of some participants due to bad roads and traffic, hot temperatures, lack of knowledge of participants in our sport. Thanks also for the kindness of warm hearted people surrounding me in Ouagadougou!” Katja Brand
A developing part of the world, the efforts made will no doubt prove most valuable.