ITTF Mentorship Program: Empowering Table Tennis Coaches and Officials Worldwide

ITTF Mentorship Empowering Table Tennis Coaches and Officials Worldwide

The ITTF Mentorship program is a vital component of the ITTF Development Plan, offering invaluable learning opportunities for aspiring table tennis coaches and officials. This initiative, running up to four months, provides mentees with regular online sessions, monthly assignments, and interactive discussions with experienced experts in their respective fields.

This year, the ITTF Mentorship will focus on two key areas – coaching and match officiating. In the coaching domain, the program will target able-bodied and Para table tennis coaches, as well as top athletes transitioning into coaching roles. On the match officiating front, the initiative will offer training for Young Umpires and prospective Evaluators.

Exceptional Opportunities for Top-Assessed Candidates

The ITTF Mentorship program presents exceptional opportunities for top-assessed candidates. Selected coaches may be invited to attend the ITTF Youth Summit connected to the 2024 ITTF World Youth Championships. Meanwhile, the top-assessed Young Umpires will have the chance to officiate at an international event in 2025, and the top-assessed Evaluator trainees may be invited to the ITTF Train the Trainers Workshop in November 2024.

In 2023, the ITTF Mentorship program welcomed 24 mentees from 20 Member Associations across four continents. Thirteen mentees, including umpires and referees, were mentored in the match officials area, while eleven were mentored in the coaching realm for able-bodied and Para table tennis.

Highlights of Former Mentees

The ITTF Mentorship has paved the way for several professional milestones for its former mentees. Yoanna Ramirez from Colombia, a 2021 Referee Mentee, will serve as the Deputy Referee at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She will be joined by Mohamed El-Rawdy (EGY) and Akram Ben Attia (TUN), selected as umpires for the prestigious event.

The mentoring relationships have also been instrumental in advancing the careers of other mentees.

Eli Meliana from Indonesia and Ricardo Rief from Brazil, mentored by Rebecca Bergfeldt from Sweden in 2023, have gained invaluable experience in match officiating. Chadha Azzabi from Tunisia, mentored by Anja Gersdorg from Germany, has also benefited from her mentor’s expertise as she takes her first steps in international match officiating.

On the coaching front, mentees such as Eduardo Vargas (BOL), Byron Martiniz (ECU), and Yasiris Ortiz (DOM) have achieved remarkable professional milestones, including earning ITTF coaching certifications and leading development initiatives in their respective regions.

Application Process for 2024

In 2024, the ITTF Mentorship program will once again offer opportunities for table tennis coaches and match officials. The selection process will be conducted through an online application, in alignment with the respective Continent Development Programs. Member Associations are encouraged to apply, with a maximum of two candidates (one female and one male) for each area – able-bodied coaching, Para coaching, Young Umpires, and Evaluators Trainees.

The ITTF Mentorship program continues to be a valuable platform for table tennis enthusiasts to enhance their knowledge, skills, and professional development. By fostering meaningful connections between mentors and mentees, this initiative is shaping the future of the sport and empowering coaches and officials worldwide.

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