19 Sep 2019

August was a busy month in Asia, with a plethora of self-funded courses running across the continent. The majority of these were ITTF-PTT Level 1 courses, the “entry level” of ITTF’s coach education.

Participation is limited to 30 attendees, and aspiring coaches taking part in one of the courses can look forward to five days of learning with 30 hours in total, including a PTT (Para Table Tennis) element. After conclusion of the course, coaches have to complete 30 hours of coaching practice, five of which supervised, before being awarded the ITTF-PTT Level 1 coach certificate.

For those taking on these courses throughout Asia in August, proceedings commenced in Malaysia where Christina Chee ran two ITTF-PTT Level 1 courses at the beginning of the month. The first course, was attended by 28 primary and high school teachers of whom five were women. It was the first coaching development course to be organised in the West Malaysian state of Pahang and carried out in the world-famous hill resort of the Cameron Highlands.

The five-day course was conducted in fresh mountain air, and cool temperatures resulted in the enthusiastic participation of all teachers who put their energy into getting a full pass rate in the practical evaluations.

“Aspects of the course were very useful for me to improve my players’ footwork, work towards correct basic techniques and even the innovation of tournament organisation to improve and to develop my students.” Zulhilmi, teacher from Kuantan District.

Participants in Malaysia also furthered their knowledge of the Para game (Photo: Christina Cher)

The Para Table Tennis element encouraged the participants to learn about the basic fundamentals, and experience playing the sport in a wheelchair and using crutches. The evenings were dedicated to learning the elements of organising a Para table tennis event.

“I hoped all of them learned all the strong foundation knowledge of coaching approach from the expert by application with more practical practice when the teachers return to the districts; not just only for completion thirty hours practical coaching after the course.” Azahari Talib, Table Tennis Technical Chairman, Sports Division of Pahang Education Department.

The second course, again led by Christina Chee, was staged in Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, which has produced many top Table Tennis players nationally and also in the international arena for the past 45 years.

“Due to the sport’s evolution and development, the state is in need to organise more coach education courses to produce more coaches from the base for greater future performance.” Lisa Ludong, Sarawak Development Officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation for Table Tennis.

A motivated group of participants consisted of seven full-time coaches, nine part-time coaches and 13 teachers responsible for state divisions and school development programs attended the five-day course.

“The comprehensive course contents learned and introduced on each day helps us to enrich both theoretical and technical skills, and enable us to put more into practical approach to carry out the program efficiently after the course.” Ling Kah Nge from Sibu, an active veteran player and a state Table Tennis legend.

“I enjoyed the course being conducted especially the skills demonstrations and Table Tennis science which gave me a deeper understanding and awareness of how to coach and play the sport more efficiently.” TT2 player Liu Bee Sang, Chairman Sibu Spinal Cord Injury Association.

Thomas Tay, former national player, said it was “a bonus to attend the course and it was extremely informative and satisfying, I admire the conductor’s approach with no boredom at any time.” Mikar Changgan, Sarawak Sports Corporation Central Zone Youth and Sports Officer provided the opening and closing address with words of encouragement to the coaches. He urged the participants to raise playing standards to a new level, and to believe that all coaches together can achieve and make things better for the state.

23 Physical Education teachers were among those present in Manama, Bahrain (Photo: Karima Tellaa)

Bahrain also focused on their base by staging an ITTF-PTT Level 1 course from 21st to 25th August 2019, led by Karima Tellaa.

The course took place in Manama, the capital of the country, in the Federal Hall, with the participation of 30 trainees including 14 women. Notably, 23 participants (13 women and 10 men) were Physical Education (PE) teachers from different schools; the remainder of the participants were made up of active coaches and players. All The trainees were motivated and very involved, especially the PE teachers who followed the training with great attention and seriousness, and whose sole purpose it was to highlight and transmit their knowledge to change the practice of table tennis in their schools.

The Bahrain table tennis association is very active, providing all means for table tennis development and the training of table tennis players. The association plans to organize further training for next year through its Level 3 course, training of international referees, running an Under 15s training camp and by organizing an international competition.

“I would like to pay great respect toward the President of the Bahrain Table Tennis Association Mr. Sheikha Hayat Bent Abdul Aziz Alkhalifa, who does not stop making enormous efforts to preserve this discipline, his precious devotion and seriousness working for its development and my special thanks also to the Ministry of National Education for his interest in supporting sport in general and table tennis in particular. I hope that my participation will greatly stimulate the development of this discipline in schools and also in clubs.” Karima Tellaa

Bangkok hosts ITTF-PTT Level 1 and Level 2 courses (Photo: Korakij Sermkijseree)

Thailand concluded the bustle of coaching courses in Asia with two ITTF-PTT Level 1 courses and one ITTF Level 2 course. Proceedings commenced in Bangkok at the ITTF-PTT Level 1 course led by Arsa Amornrattanasuchat from 19th to 23rd August 2019. The 27 participants were fully engaged throughout the course, during both the theoretical and the practical part. The PTT session was met with special enthusiasm, as this aspect of table tennis training was new to most of the group.

The second course in Thailand also took place in Bangkok, at the Sports Authority of Thailand. It was host to 20 aspiring Level 2 coaches from 26th to 31st August. Nowadays there are table tennis tournaments in Thailand almost every week. Increasing the number of athletes and qualified coaches is vital. Coaching courses are therefore of high importance for the development of knowledge and ability of coaches and athletes in Thailand.

“I would like to thank Mr. Richard MacAfee for being both the educator and the adviser. Thank you to ITTF and TTAT for the policy. The course was successful as well by all the participants. They were very pleased to learn and study hard in grouping after class.” Korakij Sermkijseree, course conductor

The ITTF-PTT Level 1 coaches met in Yala, approximately 1200km from Bangkok. Organized under the auspices of the Table Tennis Association of Thailand, Yala Municipality National Sports University, Yala table tennis club and Yala Municipality, the coaching course was held from 24th to 28th August 2019.

Its main objective was to raise the standard of education for students of the Yala Campus National Sports University to have more access to table tennis. This was the third such course held in Yala. More than 30 people were interested in joining, and of these 27 people were selected to participate. All of participants were very eager to learn and took part enthusiastically in every practice lesson.

Students of the Yala Campus National Sports University pay close attention (Photo: Nattaporn Wongpanit)
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High Performance and Development Coaching Thailand Malaysia Coaching Coach Course Bahrain