On 19 November 2020, the Brazilian Table Tennis Confederation (CBTM) launched the University of Table Tennis, a program offering training for professionals wanting to work in the sport as coaches, referees and managers.

Professor Taisa Belli, leader of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Racquet Sports (Griper) at the School of Applied Sciences at Unicamp (SP), heads up the initiative. She has previously been involved with CBTM as a course leader, and this initiative will link directly linked to the development of the sport.

According to Professor Belli, the purpose of the University is to offer a complete development training program to coaches, referees and managers within Brazilian table tennis in order to inspire new professionals to join these work areas and improve the capacity of those already working within it.

The importance of training women in the process is a factor in the University’s planning, because the discrepancy in numbers between the genders is still significant within the sport. The goal is to try to get as close as possible to gender equality, with men and women sharing all spaces.

“The initial plan includes the initiation of a new CBTM’s course for the development of coaches consisting of classroom courses and online modules in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Racquet Sports at the School of Applied Sciences at Unicamp. And we will also have online courses for referees and managers”, she explains.

With this initiative, CBTM intends to help the progress and evolution of the sport, with professionals working more often based on scientific than empirical methods.

“Coaches, referees and managers are the main professionals related to the development of table tennis players and athletes. Thus, the work of the University of Table Tennis directly affects the development of this sport. Improving the work of our coaches, managers and referees translates directly into better athletes for our sport. That’s why it is so important to offer a professional environment for development to these table tennis players”, explains the teacher.

Classroom and online courses

Upon its launch, the University of Table Tennis presented, live on the internet, its first courses which will be available in the coming months. The content will be available for coaches, managers and referees of both genders. Specifically for coaches, it will offer the first national certification courses with sports initiatives. In addition to this, online courses will be available for anyone wishing to apply regardless of the certification course.