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Lighting the Flame of Coach Education, the Torch Shines Brightly Again in Atlanta
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The course prompted intense discussion  Photo By: Courtesy of Richard McAfee


Demand for the ITTF Coach Education Programme continues to grow in the United States; the increase in activity in recent times has been quite remarkable.

The torch was lit some three years ago in September 2010, when Glenn Tepper, in his capacity as the Director of ITTF Development Programmes, visited Colorado Springs.

Now it shines more brightly than ever.

Most Recent Course
The most recent course was staged in Atlanta, Georgia from Sunday 11th to Friday 16th August 2013 with the Course Conductor being Richard McAfee, the former Chair of the United States Table Tennis National Coaching Advisory Committee and a man who is no stranger to the city.

Returning Home
He was the Competition Manager for the table tennis events at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. It was to some extent a home coming; he lived in the city from 1994-2004 and served as the Competition Manager for the table tennis events at the Atlanta Olympic Games.

In 1996 the focus was very much on the players, as Liu Guoliang and Deng Yaping won the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles titles in the Atlanta Convention Center; now 17 years later the focus was on coaches; providing mentors with the necessary knowledge.

First in Region
It was the first self-funded ITTF Level Two Coaches Course to be staged in the south east region of the United States and it attracted eleven students, who travelled from Wisconsin and Illinois in addition to the host state of Georgia to attend what was to prove an intense itinerary.

“Long days of classroom and practical exercises along with evenings filled with homework and study proved successful, as all the course participants were able to pass the exams”, explained Richard McAfee. “Three coaches scored high enough to qualify to continue on and take the ITTF Level Three Course next year.”

High Marks
High marks and there were high marks for the venue that housed the course.

“Home for the course was held at the Atlanta Table Tennis Academy which is a new full time professional training centre featuring great conditions for 10 tables along with a classroom”, continued Richard McAfee. “Jie Chang, General Manager of the Atlanta Table Tennis Academy made sure that all the course participants felt welcome and had everything they needed to be successful.”

Valuable Assistance
Furthermore, Jon Gustavson, President of the Atlanta Table Tennis Association, was present

“He provided invaluable assistance in making the course possible”, stressed Richard McAfee who has been most active in promoting course designed by the ever growing ITTF Development Programme.

“The year 2013 is a milestone for USA Table Tennis”, he concluded. “Some ten ITTF regional courses are scheduled to take place.”

Compare that fact with three years ago; there is no comparison, a bright light, no ashes.

Richard McAfee third from left front row with the members of the ITTF Level Two Coaches Course
Photo courtesy of Richard McAfee



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