by Dora Jeler, High Performance and Development Operations Manager
Meanwhile, Argentina and Brazil organised ITTF/PTT Level One courses; all activities being aimed at raising the standard of play and coach education within the continent.
Argentina’s experienced Alejandra Gabaglio led a course in Cordoba from Thursday 13th to Monday 17th June.
Notably, three members of the Argentina Para Team attended: Guillermo Bustamante (Class 1), Sebastian Barrera (Class 4) and Giuliano Balbi (Class 5). They were able to share their valuable experience with their fellow participants, giving them practical insights into para table tennis elements which complemented the theoretical topics.
This led to a lightbulb moment for some of the participants who realised that they could teach table tennis to people with disabilities. Integration and inclusion played a major role in all activities and topics presented during the five days of the course.
Fourteen participants arrived from seven locations in the provinces of Cordoba and Buenos Aires plus one participant from Jujuy; a most harmonious group, one in which fellowship, collaboration and friendship were always present.
Nine attendees successfully passed the ITTF/PTT Level One Coach Education Course, five were awarded with Club Coach title. All participants can now look forward to putting theory into practice when dealing with their students, or to begin to take the first steps in teaching.
“The course was remarkable from the beginning to the end, with a very good combination of the practical and theoretical that facilitated enormously the acquisition of techniques and concepts. Both great activities; also the time frame was well organized by the teacher. Myself, a Para player, has now many more tools to develop conventional players.” Guillermo Bustamante
Elsewhere on the continent, Brazil’s Lincon Yasuda led an ITTF/PTT Level One Coaching Course in Belo Horizonte; 27 participants attended. This was the second course in as many years for Lincon in the state capital; table tennis in Belo Horizonte has come a long way since in that time.
“We could realise a totally different picture, with an increasing number of players and clubs. Coach Education is an important contribution to this growth”. Linon Yasuda
There was a staggering number of younger coaches starting out on their coaching career who joined the group, along with many teachers. The aim is to increase the number of young players. Further growth is certain to follow in this area of Brazil.
Medellin in Colombia was the next hub of activity, where 14 athletes. Six girls and eight boys from Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia were offered the opportunity to spent eight days in the company of seven practice partners giving their best effort to benefit from each session of the camp. The expert on duty was the host nation’s Jhon Cruz. He focused on the physical, technical, tactical and strategic aspect and was able to keep the balance between hard training and recovery.
Notably, the players had the fantastic opportunity to practise and compete with members of Colombia’s senior team, who will participate in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima. Also destined for Lima, Guatemala’s Heber Moscoso took part during the last days of the camp; he took second place in the tournament, losing to local man Wilmer Nuñez. He attended the camp as a sparring partner.
“The camp was positive because we worked individually with the players and likewise the doubles. We had an output of integration with athletes, which strengthened the bonds of friendship between countries.” said Byron Ventura, Guatemala Technical Director