Located off the south east coast of the African continent, the splendidly located island of Madagascar was the recent home for series of Basic Umpires and Basic Referees Courses.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, proceedings commenced on Friday 13th March and concluded on Monday 23rd March.

The expert on duty was Patrick Ringel from France.

Antananarivo in Focus
Four courses were held with the 16 students attending, being principally from Antananarivo.

Following a Basic Umpires Course to serve as a refresher, National Umpires and National Referees Courses were held.

Overall Result
The end result was that in Madagascar there are four newly qualified umpires, who succeeded on the basic level course and ten national umpires.

Meanwhile, for the referees course, five gained national level certification, three the basic standard.

Tournament
Furthermore, the students had the opportunity to put theory into practice.

On Saturday 21st March, a selection tournament was staged to choose players to represent Madagascar in the Island Games to be held in Reunion in August 2015.

It was the first Basic Umpires and Referees Course to be staged in recent times in Madagascar; however the island is no stranger to course held under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme.

Previous Courses
Algeria’s Karima Tella led Olympic Solidarity Coach Education Courses in 2007 and 2014 as did Switzerland’s Georg Silberschmidt in 2014.

Meanwhile ITTF Level One Coach Education Courses were staged in 2006 under the leadership of Etienne Guichard, like Patrick Ringel from France; whilst in 2009, Togo’s Kaka Lawson was the man at the helm.