17 Feb 2022

The year started out well for table tennis on the island country of Madagascar. From 18-29 January, 28 aspiring coaches worked towards their goal in a course run by course conductor Julien Girard (FRA) and supported by Olympic Solidarity. As Madagascar prepares to host the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games, the Table Tennis Federation of Madagascar is looking to level up.

With the aim of increasing the number of licensed coaches, clubs and leagues, the federation persisted with their efforts in holding a coaching course despite the lingering difficult global context, setting up a bio-secure bubble for all participants, centered around the Palais des Sports Mahamasina in Antananarivo.

FMTT Presiden Jean Harley Ambinitsoarivelo, ITTF course conductor Julien Girard and FMTT technical director Tahiry Rakotoarisoa

The theoretical part of the course ran over 5 days, covering 40 hours of lessons. At the following training camp, 40 youth players participated. The participants were committed to improving their skills and techniques in coaching young players.

Pursuing the wish of having an increased number of clubs, the federation is targeting an increase in its coaching numbers to adequately meet their needs. The desire to shine in Africa and the excitement about hosting the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games causes a positive dynamic that is felt across the island, and especially in the participants of the course.

“All the coaches were very motivated with a thirst for learning and a patriotic desire to make things happen for all Malagasy people. With a 100% pass rate on the exam, we have a feeling that this enthusiasm will not stop there.”, said Julien Girard.

The course was a success in the current global health situation, with no detected cases of COVID-19 during the course.

Madagascar proved itself the land of welcome, with the hosts ensuring the smooth running of the course whilst showing extraordinary kindness to the participants and the course conductor.

“A big thank you to the Table Tennis Federation of Madagascar and President Jean Harley Ambinitsoarivelo who allowed for the best possible organization despite facing extraordinary challenges, always upholding the values of sport and humanism” – Julien Girard.

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