10 Dec 2018

Sri Lanka, a holiday destination but when sport is the issue, cricket is top of the agenda; however, table tennis is making major strides thanks very much to the initiatives of Chandana Pereira, former President of the Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka.

It was a fact which Martin Adomeit, former German National Coach who has worked in many different countries in the world, teaching at a high level for over 30 years discovered on a recent visit.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Organised by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund -DOSB), in conjunction with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Martin Adomeit was present recently from Sunday 28th October to Wednesday 21st November to conduct four weeks of both coaching and coach education; throughout he was accompanied by Chandana Pereira.

“Table tennis is played in 85 per cent of local schools. In 1997 Chandana Pereira started a programme to bring table tennis to every school in Sri Lanka. He started with 250 tables and now you can see the success. Table tennis is the most popular indoor sport and the basic level of young players is really good. Especially the young girls are top level. More than 50 per cent of the players in Sri Lanka are girls.” Martin Adomeit


Intense training the order of the day (Photo: courtesy of Martin Adomeit)

 

The itinerary started in Colombo, the capital city, where Martin Adomeit spent two weeks. Later he travelled Ambalangoda, Kegalle and Kandy.

Throughout he received a warm welcome. Coaches and players attended sessions organized in the evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. Intense discussions were the order of proceedings as every possible aspect of the sport was covered


A training session takes place in Kegalle (Photo: courtesy of Martin Adomeit)

 

On many occasions Martin Adomeit coached Sri Lanka youth ranking players, notably leading a three day training camp for the national team. However, in addition he did conduct sessions for school groups; the numbers attending far larger than the number of tables available.

“The next step to reach high international level has to be a structure for table tennis in Sri Lanka. There are many talented players but they need good partners for practice; they lack international experience because of financial problems. Also there is no structure after young people finish school, only one annual national tournament for senior players is not enough. There are no training groups for adult players in the country, when leaving education players stop table tennis or work as coaches. Sri Lanka needs to find a solution fast.” Martin Adomeit

Notable a conference has been organized for December.


An enthusiastic group on Kegalle with Chanadana Pereira (back row third from left and (fourth from left) Martin Adomeit (Photo: courtesy of Martin Adomeit)

 

Visit of Martin Adomeit: Detailed report by Chanada Pereira (Monday 10th December)

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High Performance and Development Coaching Martin Adomeit