20 Nov 2018

Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Southern Pacific Ocean, from Sunday 28th October to Sunday 4th November, French the principal language, Tahiti was the home for a Basic Umpires Course followed by a Basic Referees Course.

Organised under the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development, the expert assigned with the task of visiting the Paradise island was Patrick Ringel from France; a tough task but someone has to fulfil such demanding engagements! My heart bleeds!

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The Basic Umpires Course comprised two days of intense activity; each day starting at 8.00 am and concluding at 6.00 pm; a total of 22 students attended, five being female and overall ten being under 18 years of age.

“All were present for the Basic Umpires Course but only 13 where able to take the exam, the other participants were too young but participated during the competition scheduled just after the course. All of them passed the test easily.” Patrick Ringel

Studying intensely, a theory session conducted (Photo: courtesy of Patrick Ringel)


Later the Basic Referees Course was conducted, seven students attended, one being female. Again just as on the first day his visit to the idyllic island, all responded to the splendid efforts of the experienced Frenchman.

“It was with this reduced and very interested group that the Basic Referees Course was conducted. Finally five reached the required standard.” Patrick Ringel

Theory complete, it was time to try out the skills learned. On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November in a quite magnificent hall, the first international tournament in Tahiti was staged. Assisted by Frédéric Gioria and Xavier Bouly both from Tahiti, in the role of Deputy Referees, a total of 59 players enrolled, 43 men and 16 women. Players from local Polynesian islands in addition to Australia competed.

Moreover, notable names competed, players who have in recent times possessed creditable world rankings. Tahiti’s Ocean Belrose won the Men’s Singles title, the silver medallist being Australia’s Rohan Dhooria; likewise from Tahiti, Bydhir Carnet and Alizé Belrose were the bronze medallists. Meanwhile, in the Women’s Team event, all four steps of the podium were secured by the hosts, Melveen Richmond emerged as the winner, Cyrine Sam, the runner up; Heimoe Wong and Tuarikirau Thunot were the runners up.

“Many thanks to Gerald Huioutu, President of the Tahitian Federation and also to Alize Belrose for their availability, help and kindness. Also, I must thank Frederic and Xavier for their help during the tournament.” Patrick Ringel.

An international tournament in Tahiti; could it be the start of more? The island known for holidays and honeymoons would surely be a popular destination?

Patrick Ringel (standing third from left) with members of the Basic Referees Course (Photo: courtesy of Patrick Ringel)

High Performance and Development Patrick Ringel