Guinea-Bissau Level 1 Course - Participants with tutor, Vitor Cabral
A Coaching Beginner & Intermediate Players Course (Level 1 Coaches Course) was organised from 15 to 26 July in Guinea-Bissau. It is the first time that a tennis course using an ITF syllabus has been organised in this small African country with an approximate population of 1.5 million inhabitants.
The course had 17 participants, of which 3 of them were women and was conducted by ITF expert, Mr Vitor Cabral from Portugal, who was assisted by two local Level 1 coaches. The tennis play standard was good and some of the participants were students at the local Physical Education University. The group was generally very attentive and disciplined. A lot of kids from the local classes were always available to interact with the coaches - this was very helpful in giving a more practical "hands on" experience to the coaches.
Despite being one of the poorest countries in Africa, having suffered from civil wars and coups d’etat since its independence from Portugal in 1973, the organisation of the local federation was very good, providing the necessary facilities and accommodation. Everything ran smoothly and on time, with the President of the Federation, Mr André Sousa, always available to solve any problems.
Opening and closing ceremonies were attended by local officials, with the closing ceremony being honoured by the presence of the Secretary of Sports, NOC President, NOC Secretary General, President of the National Tennis Federation and General Manager of Sports. The event was televised by RTP Africa, available to all Portuguese-speaking African countries. Media coverage was a constant during the course.
Course tutor, Vitor Cabral commented, "This was a very good experience and also an indicator of the country's ability to host this type of event. Local dynamics are good but input from outside can help to organise the sport on a national level. We hope that they can maintain political stability so the projects can thrive and foreign assistance can safely operate."