11 Jan 2024

Three Olympic Solidarity supported coaching courses took place in December in Uruguay, Bahrain and Eswatini, organized by ITTF Development. Olympic Solidarity’s primary mission is to provide assistance to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) for athlete development programs, particularly those with the greatest need, so that NOCs may fulfill their responsibilities to the Olympic Movement while adhering to the IOC’s strategy. With Paris 2024 fast approaching, Member Associations only have a few months left to benefit from the current programs offered by Olympic Solidarity.

In Uruguay, ITTF Participation Officer Carlos Esnard conducted an ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coaching Course at the National Combat Center in Montevideo.

“The course was fantastic, and now I’m just thinking about how we are going to organize more training camps throughout the Colonia region to get more children excited and get them on track to practice table tennis regularly,” expressed Nelson Pagua from Colonia Province.

Diego Jiménez, a coach from Montevideo, echoed the sentiment, praising the course’s completeness and expressing the desire for continued collaboration. In addition to the coaching course, Carlos conducted a training camp in Colonia province, involving twenty U11, U13, and U15 players. This initiative not only focused on regular training but also incorporated recreational elements from parents and club directors, fostering community engagement and social activities.

“The enthusiasm of the children, the desire to play to improve themselves, and above all the passion with which the organizers look to the future of table tennis in this region fills us with satisfaction for continuing to support these projects through the ITTF Development Program,” said Carlos.

Jorge Correa, President of MA URU, emphasized the federation’s commitment to developing table tennis beyond the capital, envisioning national and international events in provinces, complemented by a focus on coach education, player development, and leadership training.

“The Uruguayan Table Tennis Federation is very focused on the development of the interior of the country. For years, table tennis has been practiced mostly in the capital, where the clubs are located, and national competitions are also held, but in reality, we are changing it because we are carrying out projects, supporting projects in provinces, and the final objective is to be able to have national and international events in the provinces of the country as well as players who compete for the first places in all competitions. To this end, coach education, player development, and leadership training are a priority for us.”

In Eswatini, ITTF Participation Officer Kealeboga Keitseng led an ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coaching Course and a U15 training camp, supported by Olympic Solidarity.

“I wish to thank the NOC and ITTF for accepting our request to host these two activities. You might be aware that we hosted an ITTF-PTT Level 1 two years ago. We were of the view that it was not enough as we need to train more coaches who can later on establish clubs and training centers across the country, hence the current activity. This course will go a long way in ensuring we reach our mandate of ensuring that table tennis is played across the country. From the mass participating in the sport, we will be able to identify and nurture future champions for our country,” said Percy Zulu, President of the MA.

OS ITTF-PTT Level 1 Coaching Course, Eswatini

Mr. Maxwell Jele, CEO of the Eswatini Olympic Committee, commended the association’s determination to develop the sport, urging coaches to actively participate in the program. In his speech during the opening ceremony of the course, he said:

“I am happy that today we are experiencing the determination by the table tennis association in developing the sport. The Executive Committee has been very agile in the application process as they were very much interested in ensuring they also get to tap into the available resource we have at the office. I wish to implore all the coaches here to show the same enthusiasm towards the program and to ensure they get the skills and concepts from the ITTF Expert here.”

In Bahrain, Olympic Solidarity supported an ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course aimed at cultivating high-level coaches, focusing for the first time on a regional approach with coaches from 6 Member Associations participating. The host Bahrain embraced this novelty within the Olympic Solidarity program due to overwhelming demand for a high level course from coaches from the region. “The level of the game has significantly improved in the last few years due to sincere efforts by BTTT in different domains of the sport,” said Ahmed Dawlatly, ITTF Expert on duty. “The numbers of table tennis coaches are increasing, especially among those with a sport education background.” The fully equipped BTTT venue in Manama hosted the course, with participants displaying homogeneous enthusiasm and a 100% attendance rate.

OS ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course, Bahrain

Anwar Maki, a well-known player and coach, attended the course and said, “The ITTF Level 3 Course contained a huge amount of information, and we learned it in a very smooth way from our international lecturer because of his experience in terms of theoretical, practical explanation and through showing related videos.”

ITTF Participation Officer Ramzi Mabrouk, who was a participant in the course, said: “The ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course held in Bahrain 2-9 November 2023 was the second of its kind in the Arab region, following the one organized in Egypt in December 2016. The course took place in a very good atmosphere with local coaches from the host country Bahrain, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen. During the 8-day course, which was carried out by Mr. Ahmed Dawlatly (EGY), the coaches worked hard, with great seriousness, attention, and mutual assistance and support. Most of the participants did well in the 5 exams that made up the course’s assessments, during which there was a lot of group work and preparation and presentations in pairs, which facilitated understanding and produced quality presentations. The overall level of the participants was good, with coaches who have experience and many years of practice, and with other youngsters who have ambition and the will to make their own path to the top level.”

General News High Performance and Development