25 Oct 2023

From 5-9 October, Mosquera, Colombia was the setting for an ITTF Competition Management Seminar, held within the framework of the 2023 Americas Development Program and conducted by ITTF Panam Competition Manager Freddy Almendariz. Held in the lead-up to the Pan Am U11 & U13 Championships, this seminar provided 15 participants from 11 Member Associations from across the Americas with an invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the management of international table tennis events. The seminar attracted a diverse group of participants, all of whom possessed backgrounds in sports management and event coordination within their respective Member Associations.

An intriguing feature of this course was its integration with an actual sporting event. As Almendariz pointed out, “The benefits of combining the course with an event helped participants gain real experiences. It was an honor for me to participate as an expert in this ITTF course. The number of competitions on the continent and the world has increased in recent years, so it will be important to add new people to the work team.” This practical approach not only enriched the participants’ learning experience but also readied them for future roles.

Over five intensive days, participants delved into the various aspects of managing international table tennis events. They were introduced to essential tools and systems, including ITTF On Site Venue Results (OVR), Online Entry System (OES), and Entries Management System (EMS). In addition, they developed a comprehensive understanding of the responsibilities associated with being a Competition Manager (CM).

Yoanna Ramirez (COL), one of the participants, described her experience succinctly: “Five days filled with invaluable learning. It was truly satisfying to have the opportunity to absorb Freddy’s wealth of experience and knowledge. There’s a multitude of aspects that a competition manager needs to address during an event, and this learning experience has been incredibly enriching.”

Vlad Farcas (USA), another participant, emphasized the diverse backgrounds within the group and their shared objectives: “Engaging with individuals from diverse corners of the continent, each bringing their unique experiences from their respective member associations, was a fascinating experience. Despite our different backgrounds, we all shared a common goal – to enhance the development of international competitions with a heightened level of professionalism. I am now brimming with anticipation and a strong desire to continue absorbing and applying this newfound knowledge.”

Uriel Lozano (MEX) expressed his appreciation for the seminar: “A wholly constructive experience. We delved into the Competition Manager’s vision, comprehending the global evolution that table tennis is undergoing and recognizing the fundamental importance of having a clear perspective on our destination and objectives. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the ITTF Development Department, ITTF Americas, the Colombian Federation, and especially to Freddy Almendariz for his unwavering professionalism. His dedication is a constant source of motivation for us to continue on this path in the world of sports.”

This Competition Management Seminar, organized collaboratively by ITTF Development, ITTF Americas, and the Colombian Table Tennis Federation, provided an exceptional opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in the world of competition management. It aimed to equip passionate individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field so that they are now poised to contribute significantly to future competitions. The seminar was not just an educational event but a crucial element of the ITTF Development Plan and one of its main pillars: building capacities within Member Associations.

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