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Unprecedented Heights, La Paz Hosts Level One Coaches Course
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Forehand drive the subject on the agenda  Photo By: Courtesy of Ramon Ortega Montes


Recognised as the highest administrative capital in the world, even though not the official capital city; that distinction belongs to Sucre, La Paz with the majority of Bolivian government departments, was the home for a recent ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches Course,

Proceedings commenced on Wednesday 13th July and concluded on Sunday 17th July. The initiative that was organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme and supported by the Foundation for Global Sports Development

Notably the Foundation for Global Sports Development has supported courses administered by the Development, Education and Training Department of the International Table Tennis Federation since 2009.

Tried Running
The expert of duty was Ramon Ortega Montes, the Development Officer for the Latin American Table Tennis Union; known always as Moncho, he is man who puts fitness high on the agenda and soon realised the perils of living at high altitude.

“My first thought was to go jogging; I was told that I would not be able to run one kilometre”, explained Moncho. “Soon, I realized that any small movement or effort you get very tired, the air did not seem to enter my lungs.”

It was very quickly back down to earth for Moncho where 30 students, six of them female, were ready to start the course.

Notably they represented six regions in Bolivia: Copacabana, La Paz, Oruro, Potosi, Santa Cruz and Sucre; also there was one from Chile.

Difficult Situation
“It is a difficult situation for the national association who do not receive any financial support from the government”, added Moncho. “Their survival comes from their own incomes and from the help of the National Olympic Committee.”

Nevertheless, as with all such courses there was an eagerness to learn whatever their background in the sport with Moncho able to introduce coaching methods he had learned in Japan.

Different Sporting Backgrounds
Julio Cesar Tellez from Oruro often visits La Paz; he is an accomplished player and often practises with Jordan Acuña from Chile, the Technical Director.

Conversely Rosse Mary Gonzalez and Roberto Goyzueta did not have a great deal of experience and were somewhat concerned that they would be able to cope with the course content; their fears were soon allayed.

Met National Olympic Committee
Additional to the course, Moncho was able to meet Antonio Arze, the President of the National Olympic Committee as well as members of the National Association.

Discussions being centred on applying to host an Olympic Solidarity supported Developing a National Sports Structure Course.

Over 26 students, all with a full attendance, passed the course.



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