23 Nov 2023

In November, four African Member Associations benefitted from DMA (Developing Member Associations) Activities held within the framework of the Participation Program. ITTF Senior Participation Officer Ramzi Mabrouk traveled to Djibouti and Liberia, ITTF Participation Officer Paul Tiendrebeogo traveled to Gabon to conduct the initial activity, while Antonio Rato (POR) is currently undertaking an activity in Guineau-Bissau, which will wrap up on 29 November. DMA Activities are offered to Category 4 Member Associations in need of greater support and include several local actions that help associations develop further. These are accompanied by action plans with long-term monitoring elements carried out by the ITTF’s Participation Officers.

From 27 October to 5 November, the Djibouti Table Tennis Association hosted a DMA activity in the capital city of Djibouti, conducted by Ramzi Mabrouk. The activity began the first day with a short and introductory meeting with members of the Djibouti TTA Executive Board and the National Coordinator, Mr. Mohamed Sougueh, during which Mr. Mabrouk explained the broad outlines of the activity and ensured that all the preparations for the various actions were ready as agreed during the various online meetings that preceded the start of the DMA Activity.

DMA Activity, Djibouti

“We moved straight on to the first action, which was dedicated to an ‘Administration Course Introduction and Good Governance Session’, with the aim to encourage the attending administrators to register for the ITTF Administration Course, and to be aware of the different topics covered by it, the benefits in terms of better and efficient management, as well as a presentation of Good Governance and how to implement these principles in order to have a well-managed administration that complies with the rules and regulations”, said Ramzi.

23 dedicated coaches from different regions of the country attended the ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coach Education course that followed. Amongst the participants were 7 female coaches. The aspiring coaches devoted themselves with great seriousness and attention to two sessions a day, each lasting 3 hours, combining theory and practice. Exchanges, questions and discussions to improve knowledge, skills, and understanding of the mechanisms that run Table Tennis were the watchwords for each session. 

In Gabon, the DMA Activity took place from 6 to 15 November 2023 at the Institut National de la Jeunesse et des Sports in the SODUCO district of Libreville. The program included training for Level 1 Coaches, a training camp, a basic course for referees and umpires, a competition for U13 and U15 players, and a promotional activity in a pilot school. Participants came from several of the country’s provinces and the city of Libreville. Around a hundred people, including 37 girls, took an active part in the event. A coastal country in Central Africa, rich in minerals but poor in population, Gabon remains a little-known country as a table tennis nation. Often represented in international competitions by its diaspora, the country struggles to produce quality players. The sport is most played in the political capital Libreville, where there are around ten clubs.

DMA Activity theory session, Gabon

Paul Tiendrebeogo was very pleased with the activity: “The event was well received by all stakeholders. The Paralympic Committee, the Prytane militaire of Libreville, the Olympic Committee, and the Ministry of Sport were all involved. A number of players of a good regional standard, motivated coaches and amateur leaders are bringing the sport to life. They all want to help promote the sport.”

As vice-president Antoine Mve Ndong said: “The Participation Program has given table tennis a new lease of life in Gabon, and we are committed to working to lay the real foundations for promotion.”

The president of the Member Association, Pépin Mouloungui, who was skeptical at the outset of the activity, praised the program in the following terms: “If the Participation Program didn’t exist, we would have had to create it. I would like to thank the ITTF very much for the operation.”

On 17 November, Ramzi Mabrouk commenced conducting a DMA Activity in Liberia, which will run until 25 November in the capital city of Monrovia. The activity kicked off with the introductory meeting, which took place between Mr. Mabrouk, members of the Liberia TTA Executive Board, and the National Coordinator, Mr. Jacob T. Cooper, LNTTA VP Technical, during which the expectations and prerequisites of the activity were laid out.

DMA Activity, Liberia

During the session on the ITTF Administration Course and Good Governance, participants were eager to sign up for the course and ensure having a solid administrative structure fit for the future.   

The following coaching course, completed yesterday, welcomed 18 coaches, four of them women, from different parts of the country. “It was great to see the dedication of the coaches and the willingness to share knowledge and experience amongst themselves.”, said Ramzi. The activity continues with a training camp, a school project, and a session on roules, and will wrap up with a tournament on Saturday.

DMA Activity, Guinea-Bissau

In Guineau-Bissau, action is ongoing. The activity, which commenced on 20 November and will run until 29 November, will include an introduction to the basic rules of table tennis, a coaching-based activity, a training camp, a school pilot project, and a session for the Member Association’s administrators.

With the groundwork laid for further development, these four Category 4 Associations are putting in the work to ensure sustainable growth within their territories.

Theory session DMA Activity, Guinea-Bissau
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