Wang upset over certificate hiccup

Wang upset over certificate hiccup
Wang Yuegu (far right), who began coaching when she retired after the 2012 Olympics, says she has a medical certificate for her absences from the course.

Her stellar resume includes victories against some of the world's top players, a world team title and two Olympic medals.

But one thing former national paddler Wang Yuegu looks unable to add to that impressive list of accolades is a certificate from the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) endorsing her as a coach.

The retired paddler has run into road blocks while enrolled in the ongoing ITTF-Para Table Tennis Level 1 coaching course conducted by the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).

Among course requirements is one where participants have to go through 30 hours of syllabus.

According to STTA records, Wang was absent for five hours over two sessions on Saturday.

She was informed at the halfway mark on Tuesday that she would not receive certification at the end of the course as she has failed to fulfil the 100 per cent attendance requirement so far.

Her gripe: That the decision was made despite her producing a medical certificate for her absence, and an assurance that she would be present for the remainder of the course.

It is understood that she has written to Sport Singapore and the ITTF, appealing for their assistance.

She told The Straits Times yesterday: "I took the course seriously even though it's a low-level one and a lot of the things taught were basic to me."

"I did it because I'm serious about coaching and I respect the sport," the 34-year-old added, noting that former national players in countries such as Germany are sent straight to advanced-level courses if they are interested in becoming coaches.

In response, the STTA said that course requirements were spelt out clearly on both the ITTF and STTA websites, and also presented to participants on the first day of the course.

"As the national body governing the table tennis certification, the STTA is obliged to uphold the highest standards and follow strictly the rules and regulations established by the ITTF," said STTA chief executive officer Wong Hui Leng.

She added that participants who failed to meet any of the requirements will still be awarded a Club Coach certificate as long as they fulfil at least 12 hours of coursework.

Wang retired after the 2012 Olympics when she was part of the squad that won a team bronze.

She moved on to coaching shortly after, starting the Champion Table Tennis Club in April 2013 with her husband Gabriel Lee, who used to coach in Germany.

She holds a Level 1 coaching certificate under SportSG's national coaching accreditation framework, and currently partners ActiveSG to head its Yio Chu Kang Table Tennis Academy, where she coaches about 50 young paddlers.

Said Wang: "I've worked tirelessly for the last two years on being a coach and I want to stay in Singapore to pass on what I know and my experience to the younger generation.

"At the end of the day, the children I coach are all for Singapore. But this has disappointed me."


This article was first published on March 19, 2015.
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