01 Aug 2022

Throughout late June and early July, ITTF experts have been busy across Africa, Asia and the Americas delivering courses supported by Olympic Solidarity. Botswana, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Oman and Paraguay hosted a range of courses aimed at developing a strong base for their table tennis progress. Olympic Solidarity’s main mission is to provide assistance to National Olympic Committes (NOCs) for athlete development programs, in particular those with the greatest need for it, in order that NOCs may fulfil their responsibilities to the Olympic Movement while adhering to the IOC’s strategy.

One of Olympic Solidarity’s targets for the programs is to contribute to the education and technical level of coaches allowing them to further support the development of their athletes and their sport.

The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) through the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) was one of the first MAs to indicate its interest in hosting.  Having had a lull in its development activities, the MA felt it to be the opportune time not only to increase the number of coaches at the basic level but to also motivate and bring more people to the sport. Thirty coaches attended the technical training that was held from the 19 – 25 June 2022 and led by Ahmed Dawlatly (EGY). For the first time in the history of the association, the training was held in Letlhakane, a town 492 km from the capital city Gaborone.

The MA President, Mr. Kudzanani Motswagole, expressed his gratitude to the NOC and OS for accepting their request, together with ITTF for sending an expert to conduct the activity.

“Botswana and the table tennis family wishes to thank the IOC, BNOC and ITTF for this opportunity. We are determined through this program and other initiatives offered by ITTF to improve table tennis development and participation in the country. In our endeavor to spread the sport we decided to host this course outside the city to give an opportunity to coaches who are unable to travel long distances to attend such trainings.”

The technical course also included 2 days of Course Conductor’s training where 5 participants qualified. Three of these participants were graded as National Course Conductors. 

In Kazakhstan, an OS ITTF-PTT level 1 and training camp was held from 7-16 July 2022 in the ADD Table Tennis Center in Almaty, a state-of-the-art training center with an integrated hotel, which facilitated the movement of the participants during the course.

Mohamad Atoum, ITTF Participation Manager, led the course, which had full attendance with 30 participants (21 men, 9 women). All participants were enthusiastic and motivated to learn during the 10 intense working days.

During the first five days, basic skills and methods of teaching for beginners were discussed. The level of the course was consistently high thanks to fruitful discussions and the exchange of experiences. Subsequently, a training camp was staged with the support of course participant and national team coach juniors Yevgeniy Timchenko, who assisted in designing the training camp plan with the intention of giving course participants the opportunity to apply their acquired skills. 27 players participated in the camp, divided according to the level into groups, and the coaches supervise a number of players so that the goals are achieved and the players improve according to the plans.

TIMCHENKO Yevgeniy (National Team Head Coach Juniors) “I have taken part in various ITTF development projects and always with very good and professional experts. Every time you get interesting and useful information, sometimes you get the confirmation of the knowledge and views, but sometimes you change your opinion. This coaching course was very good, all coaches were engaged in the educational process, the atmosphere was very friendly and positive. The coaches of different ages did the exercises at and off the table with a lot of enthusiasm. I am sure that we all will use the knowledge and skills received during the course and this will apply to the overall table tennis development in our country. With the busy schedule the time passed very quickly and now the other coaches, having learnt about the July ITTF activity, are asking when the next activity is scheduled and how they can attend it”.

“I would like to thank The Table Tennis Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstan Olympic committee for their efforts to make it happen and Yelena Druzhkova the Head of Participation for helping and facilitating everything during the course, I believe the group of coaches who attended have the ability to develop table tennis in the country and introduce good players in near future.” Mohamad Atoum, ITTF Participation Manager

Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LeTTA) was the next host for an OS activity, another ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coaching Course.  The activity was held in Maseru from the 11 – 15 July 2022. Twenty-nine coaches attended the event, out of which 11 were women – a 38% percentage representation surpassing the recommended 30% for hosting such an activity.

In his welcome speech, Lesotho National Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Morake Raleaka highlighted that the LNOC is prepared to assist the MA with all the resources in its control to ensure sport development initiatives as envisioned by the MA. The President of Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) Mr. Lits’itso Mots’eremeli as he indicated that it is about time that table tennis is played in the rural areas. He applauded the efforts of the MA’s to invite participants from all districts of the country to ensure resourcing goes to all those players.

Among the various programs offered through Olympic Solidarity, the ITTF enthusiastically supports the “Development of the National Sports System”. The main objective of this program is to develop and strengthen basic coaching structures and related sport systems by putting in place a medium-or long-term action plan. Paraguay is one of the first Member Associations to benefit from DNSS this year. The detailed program plan was prepared and three visits of Carlos Esnard, ITTF Participation Officer, were agreed with the MA of Paraguay to start its implementation. The first phase was scheduled from 12 to 20 July and included the ITTF-PTT Level 1 coaching course with 17 participants for 5 days, training camp with the participation of 13 players who are preparing to compete in the South American Sports Organization Games (ODESUR) 2022 in October 2022. In addition, several hours of educational sessions and meetings were organized with MA officials and staff after the coaching and practice time. The main topics for discussion were related to the reorganization of the MA’s structure, development of procedures and protocols, as well as the creation of the detailed short-term action plan that will be monitored and followed up in the next visit.

“This first visit of the ITTF expert has given us a realistic approach of where we are and where we should direct our efforts in the coming months, we will restructure our entire work system and carry out all the recommendations left by the expert” Benjamin Real – Vice President of the MA Paraguay and Treasurer of the OCP.

The two next visits are planned for 30 Aug to 9 Sep and 21-30 November – a lot of work to be done and more efforts to be taken to get Paraguay table tennis to a higher level.

From 23-28 July 2022, Oman welcomed participants to the first OS-ITTF Level 2 coaching course held in the country, which was led by Karima Tellaa (ALG). Both theoretical and practical sessions took place in the Sultan Qaboos sports complex in Muscat, organized impeccably by board member Mohammed Al Jassasi and Adil Al Balushi, Scretary General OTTF (Oman Table Tennis Federation).

“The coaches were motivated and very involved, they followed the training with great attention and seriousness. They were excited to apply everything they learned from this training and to put their new knowledge into practice in the field with their club players.” Karima Tellaa (ALG), ITTF expert

“The theoretical and technical sessions were fully helpful for all of the coaches to increase our information and skills to train the players. The six days of the training included many discussion between the participants and the ITTF expert who shared with us all of her experience as a player and as a coach.” Badar Al Shandoud, course participant.

The next Olympic Solidarity supported ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coaching Course and training camp will take place in Kosovo from 18-28 August 2022.

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