by Ian Marshall, Editor
Overall a total of 21 students attended what is the first of three courses, a Basic Referees Course follows on Thursday 31st January and Friday 1st February, followed by a Tournament Organisation Course on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February.
Proceedings were opened by Rahal Abeyratne, Vice President of Table Tennis Associations of Sri Lanka and Project Co-Ordinator.
“The Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka is thankful to the International Table Tennis Federation and the Asian Table Tennis Union for providing us with this opportunity to organize three training courses; this is a very good follow up from the previous umpires’ course conducted a few years ago. There is a burning issue in shortage of umpires and referees with ITTF qualifications in our country.” Rahal Abeyratne
All responded to the efforts of Rachel Ramos who very much had to start at the very beginning.
“The participants had zero experience in umpiring and had not attended any seminars on rules before. However, all of them play table tennis, so the eagerness to learn and update themselves on the current rules of table tennis was very much in existence from the very first day of the course. As a result, everybody passed.” Rachel Ramos
A 100 per cent pass mark, it was undoubtedly a fact that delighted Rahal Abeyratne.
“The participants were very happy and enthusiastically participated in the course. They asked me to organise these types of programmes annually to enhance their knowledge. I would be failing in my duty if I do not mention few words about the expert, Ms. Rachel Ramos. She is very knowledgeable and knows how to teach lessons to enable the participants to understand better. Also, one good thing about her which was raised by the participants, she would not hesitate to repeat her explanations as and, when necessary, until the participants properly understood what she was teaching.” Rahal Abeyratne
Delight from Rahal Abeyratne, it was the same from all course members, in particular Nadeera Ginige, a university student majoring in sports sciences and physical education, an ITTF Level One Coach and professional player in Sri Lanka.
“The course conductor nicely explained the theory and practical of table tennis umpiring. We gained very useful experience. She used the time to teach very useful things.” Yasisuru Sandamal Jayakody
“You were excellent in teaching the rules and regulations of table tennis. As players we lack knowledge about the rules and regulations but with this two day course we were taught each and every rule. Now I am confident enough to act as umpire, assistant umpire and referee. On behalf of the Sri Lankan table tennis players, I am thankful to you and the International Table Tennis Federation for this type of course. Wish you all the best!” Sameera Abeysinghe
“The first day I thought I was attending a boring seminar but I was wrong. Thanks so much for conducting this important programme. Before we only knew umpiring was to toss a coin and scoring points. Now we know the right path of umpiring. Now we know the hand signals of table tennis, how to use red, yellow, and white cards for a match, how to start and announce the match very clearly. Now we know it very well.” Nadeera Ginige
“It is a pleasure to be a student on your umpires course. Your knowledge sharing sessions were very informative and easy to understand. I gathered and updated my knowledge; I am hoping to improve the sport in the country. My sincere gratitude to you madam.” Sadisi Nirasha,
Notably, Sadisi Nirasha, emerged as one of the two participants who got the highest marks on the course.