The Course Conductor was Argentina�s Alejandra Gabaglio.
In addition at the conclusion of the course and with the backing of the ITTF Development Programme, a Women�s Forum was staged. The Forum was led by Norma Jara.
�One year ago Paraguay received for the first time a coaching course which included the Para Table Tennis component to teach table tennis for people with a disability, the course was conducted by the Latin American Continental Officer, Evelio Alvarez�, explained Alejandra Gabaglio. �After that, Paraguay decided to start working in this field and they had their first ever representative in a tournament for the disabled in 2008 in the Copa Tango held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.�
It was a milestone for Paraguay.
Hard Work to Follow
�Still there is a hard work to do to involve more coaches and more players, for that reason, Paraguay National Federation decided to organize another course this year but focused only in Para Table Tennis�, said Alejandra Gabaglio. �The person who led this initiative was Norma Jara, she is the Latin American Representative in the ITTF Women Working Group and also Chairwoman of Latin American Women Working Group; she is not only concerned about women, she is strongly determined to promote table tennis for people with a disability.�
Norma Jara has become more and more involved in table tennis since the Latin American Championships in Colombia in 2007 and her daughter, Lucero Ovelar Jara is one of Paraguay�s leading players.
�All aspects with regards to Para table tennis were covered�, continued Alejandra Gabaglio. �How to coach people in wheelchairs or standing with a disability, differences in techniques, the basic aspects of the classification system, differences in rules and tournaments organization were covered as well as how to give basic assistance to people in wheelchair and common physical problems and special considerations for physical training.�
A welcome member on the course was Christian Perrier, a Standing Class 6 player.
�He is the pioneer for table tennis for people with a disability in Paraguay and he is becoming the local hero, for sure he will open doors for new players being a role model to others�, continued Alejandra Gabaglio. �During the course he showed the participants his technical skills and also talked about his own experience playing at international level; his contribution was invaluable to the course and gave to the course participants a real vision about what is coaching people with a disability.�
In addition to the Para Table Tennis element of the course there was a Women�s Forum.
�The forum was lead by Norma Jara and Higinia Giosa who is an active member of Paraguay Olympic Committee; the topics were directed to try to develop new strategies to involved more women with a disability in the sport�, said Alejandra Gabaglio. �I�m sure this initiative will develop new coaches as well as new players and with the motivation that Norma Jara is giving to women and Para Table Tennis, we will see in the near future a Para Table Tennis Paraguay National Team competing in international tournaments.
Positive thinking and it is a major step forward for Paraguay.