Four Israeli cadets spent a whole month of November in the National Training Centre in Havířov. They are members of the Israeli table tennis academy and this monthly camp was their first experience spending a long time in a foreign training centre.
According to the words of their coach Shimon Rabinovich, it was a great experience and the whole group should visit the centre again at the beginning of the next year. „Two years I worked with former French national team coach Michel Gadal, who personally coached the world champion Jean-Philipp Gatien. When we planned this project, he immediately recommended contacting Nikolas Endal and visiting the centre in Havířov. Now we head back to Israel and I have to say that everything was perfect here. Quality training and wonderful facilities. All the coaches and others at the National Training Centre were really helpful. We thank them all. There aren’t many centres with facilities of this quality. I believe that when we come back in January, the partnership will be along the same lines.“
The Israelis were accommodated right in the centre. They had everything the centre offers. „It’s the first time we spent a few weeks at any training centre outside of Israel. The project started a couple of months ago and it’s good that we found such a great centre at the beginning. We’re really happy about it.“
The young Israelis are above standard in comparison to other European players. Shimon Rabinovich thinks they are a hope for Israeli table tennis. For instance, Eitay Shushan is 13th in the cadet world rankings. Itay Avivi, Uri Almor, and Elinor Davidov aren’t as high. However, all four worked really hard in the last four weeks. „The beginning wasn’t easy for the youngsters. They are only 14 and they knew they’d be out of home for a month. But they got used to it with time and the best news for me was when they asked me if we could do it again for two months in the future. That confirms they’re happy here and that they like this model. It’s also a big compliment for the centre in Havířov,“ continued the Israeli coach.
He didn’t forget to mention a very important part of their preparation. All four participants still go to school and so studying was an integral part of the camp. Online classes were not an issue in this case. „Yes, regarding school, I think it was okay as well. I had multiple meetings with teachers and school representatives. The most important thing is that all the camp participants are great students. It was all about getting the rules right so that teachers, parents, and players themselves are satisfied. We agreed on school being more important than sport. That’s why they have regular online classes according to their individual needs. They receive homework and the tests will be taken after they come back. The success of this project depends on if they’ll be able to maintain good results at school. And I think everyone understands that,“ added Shimon Rabinovich.