Solomon Islands Table Tennis Federation (SITTF) commenced an eight-week school and community Para Table Tennis program from 6 October to 26 November 2021. The program took place in the Honiara area under the umbrella of the ITTF Oceania Development Program.
The program’s objective is to increase participation for people with physical disabilities and for the participants to become more physically active by engaging in table tennis activities. The program provides fun and interactive table tennis training through school and community sessions.
Solomon Island National Development Officers visited the Red Cross School for the Blind and Deaf as well as the Bethesda Disability Centre and People with Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI). National development officer Gary Nuopula spent time in Australia learning and developing his coaching skills prior to the pandemic. With the current situation offering the opportunity to remain at home, he is actively passing on his table tennis knowledge and skills to the next generation.
A total of 53 athletes (26 female and 27 male) participated in the program, which was later concluded with a tournament where the players had the opportunity to showcase the techniques and skills they learnt during the program.
“This program has really helped us a lot. With the 2023 Pacific Games coming up in Solomon Islands, perhaps one of us will make the team for the Games!” – Hellen S, Program participant.
Within the framework of the ITTF Americas Development Program, Colombia organized an ITTF Para Table Tennis Classification Seminar Level 1 (National Classification) in Melgar, Tolima (COL). The seminar was staged from Tuesday 16 November to Saturday 20 November 2021.
A total of 13 participants (8 men and 5 women) from Colombia attended the seminar, all with different technical and medical backgrounds.
The activity was set up in two phases under the supervision of the classification expert Cintia Mariño (ARG). The participants received the theoretical information as the first part of the seminar, which took place in the dissertation hall followed by the observation part which took place in the national PTT competition venue. After that, groups of participants were asked to evaluate the players with the guidance of the expert. In the observational step, the group commented on the observed player. Both venues were well prepared to welcome the participants of the seminar.
Sixty-nine athletes participated in the National Tournament of Colombia, and 24 new players were classified.
“The Colombian organizing committee worked in an excellent way, always attentive to every detail so that the seminar developed in a successful way. The participants were very active at all times, they showed great interest in learning, They were able to resolve general doubts about national players who were already on the national circuit regarding their eligibility.“ Cintia Marino, ITTF Classification expert on duty.
A few days after the successful ITTF PTT Classification Seminar in Colombia, the next activity took place under the direction of Table Tennis India. As part of the 2021 Asia Development Program, the ITTF HPD National Para Table Tennis training camp was organized at Abhay Prashal Indore (IND) from 24 November to 3 December 2021. The training camp was organized by Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Association (MPTTA) and the Para Table Tennis Promotion Association under the supervision of the national coaches Smt. Rinku Acharya, Shri Jitendra Singh Bist and Shri Nilay Vyas.
15 Players (8 male and 7 female) of different classes participated in the camp. It was a progressive step for Para Table Tennis in India, which will benefit the Para athletes as well as their coaches. Two local coaches, Shri Pramod Soni and Shri R.C Moriya, were present to render their services, while the camp was organized under the leadership of Shri Om Soni, president of the MPTTA, Shri Jayech Achareya, General secretary MPTTA and Shri Pramod Gangrade, General secretary PTT Promotion Association. The camp was well supported by the efficient camp coordinator Shri Gaurav Patel and his support staff.
All necessary arrangements for the camp, such as a well-prepared field of play and equipment, had been made for the participants, who enjoyed safe hospitality with strict hygiene measure in place.
The coaches expressed their gratitude towards MPTTA for their wonderful hospitality extended to all participants.
“The Training Camp sessions were both informative and inspirational. I feel confident that the processes will really improve Para table tennis in India.” Trivendra Singh, player
“The support, motivation and training we get from coaches is very helpful for my career and future tournaments. And it’s a blessing to have energetic and fantastic coaches and officials. I’m deeply indebted to TTFI, MPTTA & PTTPA best service.” Vishwa Tambe, player
“It was very good training which has helped me playing my game to higher level. All the coaches are very expert and trained us considering the disability aspects of all the players. The accommodation and all other facilities were excellent.” Sanjeev G. Hammannavar, player
“It was really helpful for all the players, we all came to know our mistakes & strengths in this camp. I hope that these training camps will be organized again soon in future.” Kunal Arora, player
As part of the Europe Development plan, the first ever Para Table Tennis Training Camp organized by ETTU took place in Lasko (SLO) from 5-10 December 2021. The camp was led by Gorazd Vecko (ENG) together with coaches Alessandro Arcigli (ITA), Sasa Dragas (SVK) and Matjaz Sercer (SLO).
A total of 31 Athletes participated in the camp, 22 standing athletes (2 female and 20 male) and 9 wheelchair players (2 female and 7 male) from 11 different Member Associations (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Great Britain, Wales, Germany, Portugal, Holland, Slovakia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Hercegovina).
The training was organized in the big hall Tri Lilije from 6 -9 December. The schedule contained training sessions, multiball sessions and matches. In the first two days of the camp, the sessions were divided in two different periods, morning and evening, with regular and special training exercises, while for the last two days, the main focus was on playing matches. At the end of the camp there was a short medal presentation.
“The camp in Lasko was a great opportunity to meet many players from different countries and to train in a different way than usual. I really appreciated the advice of the coaches who gave me many useful ideas to introduce variations in my playing style. It was a very positive experience, to be repeated for sure.” Mirko Bruschi (ITA), Class 7
“It was my first experience of an international training camp and it was great. I played with players from all over Europe and of different classes, so it’s been a wonderful chance to improve and learn a lot of things. Thank you all for the opportunity.” Carlotta Ragazzini (ITA), Class 4.
The last Para Table Tennis activity of 2021, the ITTF HPD National Para Table Tennis Training Camp, took place in the city of Queretaro (MEX) from 16 to 19 December 2021, as part of the 2021 ITTF Americas Development Program.
In the Queretaro 2000 park, one of the best PTT facilities in Mexico, 7 players (4 women and 3 men) from different classes participated in the national PTT training camp. The camp was led by national coaches Angel Martinez and Milton Garcia, in addition to the local coaches Alan Cosio, Bruno Miramontes and Juan Hernandez.
Three players who participated in the recent Paralympic Games in Tokyo joined the training camp, encouraging new players to learn different techniques and strategies that helped them to succeed on the international stage.
Many theoretical sessions complemented the practical aspect of the camp, focusing on rules, most common rubbers used in different classes, ways to upgrade the wheelchair and many other important aspects for athletes’ development.
The training hall offered very good training conditions, and the accommodation was completely accessible for PTT athletes. In addition, several national able-bodied athletes supported the camp in the daily training sessions, which increased the technical training level of the camp.
“The local coaches and the players really saw an improvement in the daily work of the camp, as the training camp was very important to the development and motivation of PTT athletes in Mexico.” Milton Garcia, Mexico PTT National coach.