by Ian Marshall, Editor
Venue for the whole itinerary was the National Olympic and Paralympic Academy of Iran, the expert on duty was Cheong-ki Chan from Hong Kong; always known as CK Chan.
Overall, a total of 16 International Umpires attended the Advanced Rules Refresher Seminar; later 19 were present for the National Referees Course; in each instance 11 members of the group were women. Translation, when necessary, was provided by Hamid Sabbaghian, a Blue Badge umpire; his efforts appreciated by all.
On the first day of the Advanced Rules Seminar, Mahmood Nazari, Secretary-General of the Table Tennis Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, officially opened proceedings, explaining that a major aim throughout the country is to both increase numbers and raise standards amongst officials.
Everyone responded to the efforts of CK Chan, all sitting the Advanced Rules Examination at the end of the course, the results are yet to be announced. Sevana Daneghian and Nasibeh Delirheravi reflected the opinions of the group.
“It was a great seminar, many doubts related to umpiring were resolved and everyone got new updated information.” Sevana Daneghian
“It was a very enjoyable and valuable experience from which I have learned and benefited a lot. The active involvement and sharing of valuable experiences made the course really useful and successful. I have learned many good points from the way the teacher conducted the course.” Nasibeh Delirheravi
The Advanced Rules Refresher Seminar concluded, on Wednesday 12th December, the National Referee Course commenced; Mehrdad Alighardashi, President of Table Tennis Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addressed the group prior to the start of proceedings.
“In recent years, the performance of Iranian table tennis players has improved immensely both in Asia and in the World. In this regard, the Iran Table Tennis Federation is also focusing on educating Iranian technical officials. In 2016 and 2018, the Iran Table Tennis Federation decided that Dr Behnam Habibzadehnt, the Vice President for Umpires would take the International Umpires examination only in English; this encourages and motivates Iranian International Umpires to become Blue Badge Umpires as well as International Referees.” Mehrdad Alighardashi
A detailed and intense itinerary was conducted, addressing every conceivable aspect involved in the role of the Referee; similar to the preceding course the response was positive. Hamid Sabbaghian, Khalili Marandi Behzad and Shirvani Nahid endorsed the overall opinion.
“It was really a pleasure to learn in the past few days. The class was very different from what I had experienced before. The atmosphere of the class was great and we learned a lot.” Hamid Sabbaghian
“The class was very technical and important in table tennis. The most important thing I learned was how you needed to be flexible when of dealing with players.” Khalili Marandi Behzad
“It was a great experience for me. The contents were well designed and very useful.” Shirvani Nahid
Instruction over, all 19 candidates sat the National Referee examination; impressively, 13 reached the required standard; Mahmood Nazari making the necessary presentations.
A highly successful five days, Lale Pooryamanesh, who had attended both courses, being in particular, delighted.
“I experienced a class that was of very high standard. It was very attractive to me. A class that strengthened my English as well as providing valuable reminders in introducing new items; it was the best place for everyone to make progress and develop.” Lale Pooryamanesh
Delighted students it was a more than satisfied Course Conductor; CK Chan concluded matters by congratulating those who had gained the required pass mark, encouraging those who had fall just below the line, whilst thanking all concerned.