Young Officials Course with a difference


An unusual request for a Young Officials course saw Tutor Mark Dare jetting off for Germany earlier this month. Read Mark’s report on events below and to get a flavour of the day from the school’s perspective see this short piece from Suzi Lloyd – PE teacher, Kings School – Germany:-

In order to help improve the practical coursework grades for the GCSE PE students at King’s School in Germany (a British school serving the military community) we requested a Course Tutor from Table Tennis England to deliver the Officiating Course. The students thoroughly enjoyed the course and gained lots of new skills. The course was led by Mark Dare who delivered the course in a very student friendly manner. Nearly all students have increased their practical coursework grades significantly and it is great to see the interest that has been generated during extra-curricular clubs as a result of this course.

Special thanks to Mark Dare and Table Tennis England .

Mark reports:-

Over the past few years, I have delivered a number of Table Tennis England Young Official Courses but recently I received a request from London & South East Development Lead John Andrews to tutor a course with a difference.

John had received a request from Kings School in Gutersloh, Germany. The school serves the local military community and follows all UK educational statutory requirements and frameworks.

I was delighted to take up the opportunity, once I confirmed that wouldn’t be required to deliver the course in German!!

It was the first time that Table Tennis England had been asked to deliver a student leadership course outside the UK.

So travel arrangements were made and on Tuesday 1st December I flew from Stansted to Dortmund airport, then took the train to Gutersloh. Suzi from the school PE department very kindly met me on my arrival as showed me around the town, which had a very pretty and lively Christmas Market in full swing. A very nice place to spend an evening.

The following morning, I was taken to the school, which houses around 450 pupils and is situated within Mansergh Barracks.

There were 28 students attending the course, more than the normal amount but with assistance from the school PE department on the day, this was not a problem.

All 28 of the students were from year 11 and were studying GCSE PE, for which one of the subjects they were taking was Table Tennis Officiating.

The course went well – I was very impressed by the table tennis knowledge of the pupils. The PE staff organise a number of after school table tennis activities each week which are very well attended. The school has 14 tables which were all in use.

The course covered at all aspects of table tennis officiating, as well as how to deliver a table tennis skills circuit to primary aged children.

All 28 of the students were successful in passing the Table Tennis England Junior Umpire award.

I was very impressed with the quality of the students at the school. They were very well mannered and behaved, and they contributed greatly to the success of the course. A credit to the teachers. I can see them getting top grades in the Table Tennis Officiating part of their GCSE PE.

Following the course it was straight back to the train station, then on to Hannover rather than Dortmund for the return flight back to Stansted Airport.

A very enjoyable and successful trip.

Finally, many thanks to the school, in particular Suzi and Rhys, for the kind hospitality they showed me during the trip. Very much appreciated.

Mark Dare


John Andrews
December 14, 2015