NTTA Gets Long-Term Youth Development Program Underway

THE Namibian Table Tennis Association (NTTA) kicked-off its long-term youth development program with a three week long intensive training camp.

The camp was led by Chiang Lin, owner of Tony’s Table Tennis Academy in Cape Town, South Africa with the aim of improving local youngsters as well as to identify talents that can represent Namibia at upcoming international events, like the Zone 6 Games next year in Namibia.

Former professional Shane Obermeyer, who was in Namibia at the same time to prepare the senior national team for the World Cup in Japan, took over with a training session as well.

The cooperation started with negotiations with the Table Tennis Board members last year as they requested him to assist him with development and coaching. Thanks to the kind sponsorship contributions of HRS Consultants CC, Saunderson amp Company as well as Sunflower Travel amp Tours the cooperation could finally materialize now.

“I was amazed at how passionate and committed the participants were. Some had to travel vast distances to attend the camps. Everybody was very focused and I really enjoyed that a lot,” Chiang Lin, who doubles as the Western Province provisional coach, explained.

For the camp, Chiang Lin, concentrated on fundamental basics, movement and footwork as well as controlling the ball, a key aspect of the game, since Table Tennis is one of the fastest ball games in the world.

“In Table Tennis, one has a reaction time of about 0,3 seconds. It is important to control the ball, in terms of placing it where it needs to go. Combining it with good movement and footwork allows you to have more time between ball exchanges. Speed will follow naturally,” he said.

Chiang Lin also trained the youngsters to help each other in terms of supplying their team mates with good balls during various aspects of training. This way, his students become their own teachers and help each other better every time they go out and play, Chiang Lin said, adding, that this was common through out professional Table Tennis. Even the Chinese, currently ranked number one in the world, have team members that supply their compatriots with the ball during training.

Although all participants showed great commitment, one child in particular showed his love for the sport. 13-year old Marnus Garbers sold his Play Station gaming consul to acquire his own table tennis board. “It shows the love that some of these players have for the game. It’s an amazing story,” NTTA secretary Heiko Fleidl said.

Source : The Namibian