30 Jul 2019

Places at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at stake; most recently Taichung, was a centre for excellence. The best in the continent were present for 2019 Asian Para Championships.

Equally, immediately prior to competition and during the initial days of play, the city was also a focal point for excellence but of a rather different nature; from Saturday 20th to Wednesday 24th July, a Classification Seminar was staged.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Staged at the Providence University, directed by the host city’s Sheng Wu alongside Slovakia’s Juraj Stefak, a total of 10 participants attended, representing Australia, Hong Kong, China, Chinese Taipei and Iraq.

“It was an honour to hold a classification in my home city. I am delighted to have received so much interest from classifiers all over the world and I am sorry for those who could not get a place”. Sheng Wu

A concentrated five days of theoretical presentations, actual classification and observation in conditions that met the very highest standards. Two large private rooms with the necessary official flooring were provided, a medical bench and table tennis table plus coffee, water and refreshments combined to make the intensity of the programme more than bearable.

Dr Sheng Wu conducts a theory session (Photo: Pablo Perez)


Understandably, there was a variety of backgrounds; medical doctors, a physiotherapist and even one former Para player was present, the aim being gain a level two or possibly level three qualification. All whatever the background responded, the efforts of Shen Wu and Juraj Stefak were greatly appreciated, none more so than by Clara Pang, a physiotherapist from Hong Kong.

“The seminar was incredibly comprehensive. We had a lot of theory and it was combined with hands-on practice in very small groups; that allowed participants not only to share the experience with senior classifiers but also with the students who have different backgrounds. I am looking forward to continuing my training.” Clara Pang

A practical demonstration by Dr Juraj Stefak (Photo: Pablo Perez)


Notably, as of 2018, access to classification seminars has not been open, a selection process is conducted three months prior, the effect being that the level of the candidates has increased dramatically.

Furthermore, in order to improve the quality of education, the available places have been reduced; consequently, no more than 10 persons were admitted.

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Juraj Stefak Sheng Wu