The ITTA summer camp which took place in the IWA from the 17th to the 20th of August proved a huge success with junior players from various clubs around Leinster gathered in preparation for the new season. The camp was conducted by ITTA Technical Director and Level 3 coach John O’Donoghue who was assisted by top senior players Gavin Maguire, Sam Hanley, Mark O’ Flynn and Maciek Szymanski. Attending the camp were many top under 12 and cadet players of recent years as well as some fresh young faces who we hope to see competing in domestic tournaments over the coming season. The schedule each day consisted of three sessions with training commencing at 10am each morning and concluding at 4pm. The camp gave players the chance to practice with different players of their own age as well as the opportunity to spar with the likes of National Champion Gavin Maguire and newly crowned Senior classification winner and Irish Junior number 1 Sam Hanley. Each player was also given one-to one multiball training with the main emphasis put on improving the players technique.
As well as the successful few days training, the highlight of the week came during the visit of the RTE cameras on Wednesday for a programme to feature on Capital D this Winter. This move was the latest in a number of recent initiatives by the ITTA to promote table tennis in Ireland and attract more people to the sport. Featuring on the programme will be top Irish players Maguire and Hanley as well as blasts from the past such as Colum Slevin and Tommy Caffrey. Away from the elite side will focus on the young hopefuls who were in action over the four days along with the training methods used by the coaches. The programme will also feature a piece on the IWA Social Night, another initiative used by the ITTA in an effort to increase the participation levels in the country. The Social Night took place in Clontarf place over an 8 week periodand has been a great success, with people of all levels and ages coming together to play and improve their games, aided by the coaching of members of the Irish senior squad.