Table Tennis Coaching Course
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Marshall Islands Table Tennis Federation (MITTF) as they have been visiting public and private schools throughout Majuro to conduct basic level clinics. The conductor of the clinics is Oceania Table Tennis Federation (OTTF) expert, Choy Freddy from Kiribati. The clinics are a part of his one month stay in Majuro to help develop the sport in the RMI. All of the schools met the clinic with great enthusiasm and expressed the need to diversify the sports that are available for students. The schools were also happy to receive a large plywood donated to each of the participating schools, courtesy of MITTF.
Mr. Freddy will be joined on the 5th-December by Nicolas Petit from France to conduct a five day International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Level 1 Coaching Course to develop current and aspiring table tennis coaches from the community clubs and PE teachers from the schools. This course is supported by Olympic Solidarity under the auspices of the ITTF Development Program. Mr. Petit is just coming out of Gambia, in Western Africa where he conducted similar courses. Many of the participants in this course are from Public School System’s School Enrichment Program (SEP), which are responsible for providing physical activities for students at the public schools.
One of the first questions asked when visiting the schools is, “What are the benefits of table tennis?” This is a good question, and the benefits are many. While it can be played outside, you will likely find that it’s an indoor sport, shielded from the scorching sun or falling rain. With regards to safety, there are minimal risks of physical injury — so it’s a fairly safe sport. If you have a good racket and a ball, you can play on virtually any flat surface. This sport is truly for any age. I’ve seen very young kids mastering this sport within days. Table tennis is considered an individual sport, therefor the financial burden of sending players to international competition is smaller than sending large teams. One of the greatest benefits is travel and scholarships. For instance, MITTF has expressed interest in sending some young players to train in Kiribati on the HOPES Scholarship Program in February. This is just one of the many opportunities that can be realised from playing the sport of table tennis. Enthusiasm for this sport is growing rapidly and you will find new clubs popping up in almost every community from Laura to Rita.