Belize Hosts Successful Hopes Week - Butterfly Table Tennis
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Belize Hosts Successful Hopes Week Photos courtesy of Aleksey Yefremov

Belize Hosts Successful Hopes Week

Belize Hosts Successful Hopes Week at Recently Open Training Center
Courtesy of ITTF

Situated in Central America, the one country in the region where English is the first language, recently Belize hosted a National Hopes Week which included a Challenge Tournament.

Proceedings commenced on Monday November 23rd and concluded on Monday November 30th; head coach for whole eight days was Aleksey Yefremov of Belarus, currently resident in the Colombian city of Medellin.

Dedicated Venue
Organized under the direction of the ITTF Development Program and the Latin American Table Tennis Union, the venue for the whole itinerary was the Body 2000 Gymnasium in Coney Drive, Belize City.

The venue was opened earlier this year and is a full-time dedicated facility with four Stag table tennis tables.

Attendance
A total of 23 young players from Belize attended; notably 12 of the players were in the Under 12 years’ category.

Schedule
Two training sessions were held each day after school. The first was from 4.00pm to 6.15pm, the second from 6.15pm to 8.30pm.

Additionally, a separate session was held from 10.00am to 1.00pm for coach education; local coaches attended, taking the opportunity to enhance their knowledge.

Tournament
Taye Parkinsons born in 2005 and Jude Castellanos born one year early emerged as the winners of the Challenge tournament staged on Friday 28th November, an event organized in two stages, a group phase followed by knock-out.

A total of 12 players competed, all in the Hopes age group; players finishing in first and second places in each group advanced to the main draw, those in third and fourth positions progressed to the consolation competition.

Valuable Training
“Following the tournament the Training Camp continued on Sunday 29th and Monday 30th November”, explained Aleksey Yefremov. “The two days of training after tournament were very productive for analysis and correction of technical and tactical mistakes seen in the competition.”

Important for techniques also to analyze other vital aspects in the make-up of a table tennis player.

“We considered each player and looked for the “winner attitude” and psychologically how to prepare for a match”, added Aleksey Yefremov.

Media Coverage
A successful course, one that attracted the attention of the media; National Television Channel 5 broadcast various sessions and conducted interviews.

“The Belize Table Tennis Association, led by Arturo Vasquez is making best use of all opportunities”, concluded Aleksey Yefremov. “They are working hard to keep moving forward and developing the sport locally.”

Relatively Recent Members
Undoubtedly a successful course and another step forward for one of the newer members of the International Table Tennis Federation.

The Belize Table Tennis Association was formed in February 2008.

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