As South Africa is warming up to host the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championship, it becomes imperative to present a formidable team to represent the Rainbow Nation at the global competition.

Apart from assembling a good team for the tournament, South Africa is working hard to become a force to reckon with in Africa in order to rub shoulders with the likes of Nigeria, Egypt, Congo Brazzaville and Algeria.

At the eight-day training camp handled by Jan Berner of Norway in Cape Town, over 24 players and eight coaches took part in the exercise held from October 3 to 10.

The participating players were made up of 12 boys and 12 girls who were taking through the basics of table tennis by the Norwegian tactician.

Explaining what transpired during the camping exercise, Berner said: “During the camp, we started first session with basic techniques. It was 24 players and eight coaches where I explained all type of strokes for the first three days so that everybody can understands. Also on, ”Why” we do the strokes in that way we do. I believe if we understand how and why we do things, we are able to maybe change or develop.”

Berner said the coaches were familiar with strokes by the why was what has been missing. “Some of coaches said to me they do nearly the same, but maybe they did not know why. I’m sure the understanding of the game, ”Why” become much clearer for both coaches and players.”

“The second part of the camp was focused more on serving and receiving. But the word, ”why” was there still. Why we serve in different position and receiving in the way we do. We also had a lot of exercises where we started from middle of table (pocket) and not in middle of backhand or forehand. We had to learn practice more like the game. In my opinion we play games like we practice, so than we need to be more focused on playing more to the middle,” Berner said.

Apart from the practical aspect of the training, there were class sessions where so many questions were asked by the coaches.

“We also had two meetings where we spoke about these things, while other topics were girls’ techniques versus boys’ techniques. We also use each other experience when you see each other in competitions and other camps. All coaches were very cooperative and it was a very nice atmosphere in the camp. I strongly believe we should have a follow up camp in 2016 – to see what has happened during the period, and also to help with next step,” Berner admitted.