The Southern African Region remains active after a historical ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Durban. A regional training camp was organised in conjunction with the ITTF World Championships Finals 2024 Southern Africa Regional Qualifications in Gaborone (BOT) from 3-7 July 2023.
Organised under the auspices of the 2023 ITTF Africa Development Program, the regional initiative supports African Regions by offering a grant to host and organise a regional activity tailored to the region’s greatest needs. The 2023 Southern Africa Training Camp was concluded after the regional qualifications in Botswana under the supervision of the expert Mr.Ominiyi Adedotun from Nigeria.
“We are delighted to have been given the platform to attract and manage international athletes in the form of competitions and international training camps. Experiencing different cultures through physical interaction is worth appreciating. The impact of the two events allowed us to improve our training methods and positively contributed to the play of our regional athletes and to be tested on our hosting capacity and this will influence our decisions positively going forward as far as hosting events is concerned.” Kudzanani Motswagole, President Botswana Table Tennis Association
20 athletes participated in the initiative, which attracted 70% of the region’s Member Associations, with seven participating in the training camp (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola). Impressively, the activity recorded 60% female participation, a fantastic result for this regional activity.
“The athletes responded to the training effectively, and upon their feedback from each session, we worked on improving their skills. The training camp was a huge success for the region, and the athletes were very happy to participate in it” Ominiyi Adedotun, ITTF Expert
The training camp started on 3 July, directly after the conclusion of the regional qualifications. Sessions were held daily in the morning and evening sessions. On day 4, participants had the opportunity to train match play, with the last day finishing after the morning session for a total of 9 training sessions.
“The camp was a transformative experience. The expert’s coaching methods were highly effective, focusing on techniques and tactical play and challenging so it pushed me to a higher level. His constructive feedback elevated my game and refined my skills. I saw an improvement in speed and agility as well as gaining a better knowledge of strategic gameplay.” Magdeline Tshepiso Rebatenne (BOT), participant
The regional training camp was a great opportunity for the athletes in the Southern Africa Region to prepare for the upcoming ITTF Africa Championships in Tunis (TUN), and to gain more international exposure which will support them also in the upcoming events this year.
“I am happy to have participated in this training camp. The skills learnt and the corrections done on my movement will assist me to do well subsequently. I want to thank the organisers and the instructor for an impactful knowledge. I look forward to seeing more of it.” Choolw Hamalambo (ZAM), participant