31 May 2023

The 2023 ITTF Mentorship is a unique platform that enables coaches and match officials to learn from experienced high-profile experts in their fields. Mentoring takes place for up to four months and includes regular online sessions along with relevant monthly assignments. The 2023 edition focuses on two learning fields: coaching and match officiating.

The Mentorship connects mentees with experts around the world, providing insight and expertise to candidates in a unique, direct setting. It is designed to add value to the areas where the mentees need to improve and develop, supporting the advancement of their careers across different fields. Besides respecting the aspect of gender balance, as an inclusive project the Mentorship considers the principles as well as PTT integration by targeting coaches working with able-bodied and Para Table Tennis players.

In 2022, 37 mentees from 25 Member Associations were selected overall, and the program supported them to take the next step in their careers as current national coaches, elite athletes transitioning into coaching, Para Table Tennis coaches, International & Blue Badge Umpires, or International Referees.

In line with the aim to create a sustainable mentoring program that will have a significant impact on our game across continents, the established mentoring relationship between the mentee and mentor often continues even after the conclusion of the program. Ricardo Rieff (BRA) joined in 2021 as a mentee to Alejandra Gabaglio (ARG). One year after concluding the program, he was able to visit his mentor in Argentina where their mentoring experience continued on-site as he joined a training camp for youth athletes in Argentina.

“During the mentorship program, each session was a new learning experience. Mymentor Alejandra is very experienced and very communicative, which facilitated learning during this excellent program.” Ricardo Rieff (2021 Mentee)

As part of the stream that aims to help coaches based on the areas they need to improve, Dinyar Irani (NZL) was supported by mentor Eva Jeler (AUS) to develop young athletes in New Zealand.

“I had the opportunity to create content to help young table tennis players, who represent New Zealand at the Hopes level and age group this year. I delivered this content through off-table sessions, using engaging and captivating methods to help these talented players hone their skills and reach their full potential. The mentorship and guidance provided by Eva were invaluable in supporting the young players’ and helping them achieve their goals. Eva has a unique way of thinking and explaining concepts that is easy for me to understand. She is able to break down complex ideas and present them in a way that is accessible and clear. This has helped me quickly connect the dots between different concepts and understand the bigger picture of what it takes to be a great table tennis coach, not just in New Zealand but internationally. “ Dinyar Irani (2022 Mentee)

The development of match officials is one of the main priorities in the cooperation between the ITTF’s Development department and the URC (Umpires and Referees Committee). The match officials’ pathway of the Mentorship dips into a pool of excellent umpires and referees officiating in top events who are able to mentor young match officials and be a partner for them on their way to the next level.

“Mentees have the chance to learn from Gold Badge, Blue Badge Umpires, and Advanced Referees. In the last years, we had already two editions of the Mentorship Program and young match officials exchanged their experience and discussed specific cases with our experts. I am sure we will have again interested candidates for the 2023 Mentorship Program and at the end we will achieve our goals if the candidate will be in the future also part of the pool of our excellent match officials. Don’t miss this chance and apply for the program.” Werner Thury (ITTF URC Chairperson)

 In 2022, match officials had the chance to discuss many aspects and get proper guidance to advance to the next level of their careers as future International Referees or Blue Badge Umpires.

“This is a terrific program, I learned more, got to know more umpire friends, and enhanced my capacity and confidence in officiating.” Yi Zhou (CHN) on the mentoring experience with Gold Badge Umpire Rachel Ramos (PHI)

In 2023, coaches and match officials will be selected via an online application process, where each Member Association is entitled to apply with 4 candidates in the coaching area and 4 candidates in the match officiating area, preferably 2 males and 2 females candidates per each area.

Applications are open to candidates from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.

Link to the application form: https://forms.ittf.com/form/2023_ittf_mentorship_program_application_form_en

Application deadline: 16 June 2023


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