by Dora Jeler, High Performance & Development Operations Manager
Located in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique on the mainland and the island of Madagascar, Comoros staged the first of these proposed courses. Notably, 30 aspiring coaches attended the initiative organised in the brand new Moroni stadium, a gift from China to Comoros.
Guided by Frenchman Nicolas Guigon, of the students who attended, 14 met the requirements to work towards their ITTF-PTT Level One coach certificate. The course was followed by a training camp, which 80 school children and players attended from four clubs in Moroni, the capital city.
Further support to the development of table tennis within Comoros was given by Ping Sans Frontières; training shirts, bat rubbers, balls and rackets were donated thanks to the support of the French Table Tennis Federation. The goal is to launch table tennis clubs in Anjouan and Mohéli by hosting specific events, creating links with partners, building tables, enlisting the help of Ping Sans Frontières and supporting World Table Tennis Day.
Meanwhile, the Seychelles hosted an ITTF-PTT Level One course at the Olympic headquarters and training facility in Rochecaiman, a dedicated table tennis facility.
A total of 21 coaches participated under the guidance of Clement Meyer. The participants included four national players, the rest being community and school teachers. The national players were eager to put back what they learnt during the course to the broader Seychelles community, especially the schools.
Janice Mellie, a Sports Officer for the National Olympic Council and the head coach of the Seychelles Table Tennis Association was most positive.
“I thoroughly enjoyed both the theoretical and practical sessions of the course. It will definitely assist in the implementation of the table tennis development programmes in the communities and schools on the island.” Janice Mellie
Likewise, Fatima Boniface and Nicholas Esther, both national team players, eager to harness their newly learnt skills in promoting table tennis in Seychelles were upbeat.
“The skills learnt on the course will not only assist in developing table tennis in general but will also be used by our national team players to steadily improve our performances in all African competitions.” Nicholas Esther
A most pleasing response, one that delighted François Remi, President of the Seychelles Table Tennis Association; he intends to apply for Olympic Solidarity support to in order to stage further such courses.
Positive responses from the Seychelles, it was the same from those present in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia where 30 aspiring coaches attended under the direction of Algeria’s Karima Tellaa.
“The course was well organised with all means available, the trainees were motivated and very involved. Everyone followed the training very attentively and with remarkable seriousness. The motivation to participate in this course was the same for everyone. The single objective was to acquire new knowledge and skills to execute within their clubs and to train future champions, as well as to see the number of young table tennis players increasing in the future”. Karima Tellaa
At the same time the first Course Conductor Training in Tunisia took place, seven students participated.
The two days of training were very busy but despite tiredness and the work load, the trainees showed a great desire to succeed.
The policy of the Tunisian Federation is to establish table tennis among other popular sports of the country, by organising international competitions and ITTF educational courses.
Initiated by the Table Tennis Federation of Guinea Bissau, in co-operation with Olympic Solidarity, the Guinea Bissau National Olympic Committee and the National Sport Institute, an ITTF-PTT Level One coaching course in Bissau, the capital of the country, was organised. The expert was Venezuela’s Luisana Perez.
Overall, a group of 26 physical education teachers from the eight regions of the country participated, significantly, 11 were already certified as club coaches; the remaining 15 coaches will follow an accreditation process that will give Guinea Bissau the first internationally certified coaches in history.
Notably present was Sergio Mané, the President of the Guinea Bissau Olympic Committee, alongside Avelina Jandi, the President of the Table Tennis Federation of Guinea Bissau; he welcomed Luisana Perez.
“Let’s go forward. This course will allow you to resume the path left when Leandro Olvech came to Guinea Bissau a few years ago. We are all full of expectation. We want to develop table tennis throughout the country mainly in the schools where our coaches work. It’s difficult but not impossible. We are very willing to do things but we need a lot of support.” Avelina Jandi
Forward thinking from Avelina Jandi, her confidence is undoubtedly well-founded, Luisana Perez was delighted to have been given the opportunity to visit the West African country.
“It has been an exceptional experience: the teaching capacity of all, the dedication and effort especially in the Para sessions, the joy, responsibility, respect and discipline. A lack of equipment and space to play did not limit the desire to learn and teach, these very important values were demonstrated to me here. The potential of human resource is immense. Without a doubt it was been one of the best courses I have been to. I feel very honoured to be part of the ITTF team and to see table tennis grow in the world. Guinea Bissau is an example of the fight for a better life through table tennis and through sport.”Luisana Perez
Proceedings concluded with coaching being organised for children between eight and 15 years of age. A total of approximately 60 children participated.
The Table Tennis Federation of Guinea Bissau hopes to celebrate International Table Tennis Day with a National School Festival; the newly appraised ITTF-PTT Level One coaches to be certified in the near future.