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Monthly Archives:November 2022

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in Table Tennis

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Throughout the month of June, the Table Tennis community in the Northwest Territories is coming together to celebrate the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the sport. Beyond mere labels, this movement aims to create a welcoming environment where individuals from all backgrounds can partake in the joy of Table Tennis without fear of judgment or exclusion.

In a region known for its passion for table tennis, the focus is shifting towards fostering a culture of acceptance and unity, where every individual has the opportunity to engage in the sport they love, regardless of their background or identity. The emphasis is on creating a space where differences are embraced, and all players are valued for their unique contributions to the game.

The spirit of inclusivity in table tennis goes beyond representation; it’s about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or background, feels a sense of belonging and empowerment at the table. It’s about breaking down barriers and opening doors for individuals to experience the thrill of the game and the camaraderie that comes with it.

As the Table Tennis community in the Northwest Territories joins hands to champion equity, diversity, and inclusion, the goal is clear: to create a space where every player can find joy, happiness, and a sense of belonging at the table. By embracing the richness of diversity and celebrating the unity that comes from inclusion, table tennis in the NWT is not just a sport—it’s a testament to the power of coming together as one team, united in the love of the game.

2024 NWT Territorial Championships

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The anticipation and excitement is building as the 2024 NWT Territorial Table Tennis Championships are set to take place on June 23rd at the Territorial Training Centre in Fort Providence. This highly anticipated event will feature thrilling competitions in both singles and doubles categories, catering to players of all ages and skill levels.

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
10am YOUTH singles (born in 2005 or later)
01pm OPEN doubles
03pm OPEN singles

Location: Snowshoe Centre, Fort Providence (1 Mackenzie Drive)
Registration deadline: June 20th, 2024
Sign Up: https://forms.gle/91qZ2SGq8ZJQbq9w8

Rules of Table Tennis: https://documents.ittf.sport/sites/default/files/public/2022-02/ITTF_HB_2022_clean_v1_0.pdf

Players and enthusiasts alike are gearing up for a day filled with intense matches, camaraderie, and sportsmanship. The championships promise to showcase the talent and dedication of table tennis players from across the NWT region, providing a platform for friendly competition and skillful displays of the sport.

Mark your calendars and join us at the Territorial Training Centre in Fort Providence for a day of exciting table tennis action on June 23rd. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a passionate spectator, the 2024 NWT Territorial Table Tennis Championships are not to be missed!

Embracing Identity and Leading Critical Conversations: A Journey of Courage and Growth

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Embracing authenticity and leading with courage. Sarah Gallsworthy’s powerful journey towards equity, diversity, and inclusion is a reminder that growth often comes from discomfort. Let’s strive for continuous growth and embrace the transformative power of vulnerability. #Equity #Inclusion #Courage


2024 Canadian Championships

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The Canadian Table Tennis Championships in Montreal are right around the corner and we are getting ready for the event. Deadline to register is this upcoming Monday, June 10th, 2024. Please let me know if you like to participate and join Team NT. 

Please note the exact start and finish dates of the 2024 Canadian Championships:

Senior Championships days

• Thursday 18 July: setting up the equipment in the morning; players can practice as of 3 pm.
• Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21: Canadian Senior Championships

Junior Championships days

• Sunday 21 July: start Canadian Junior Championships (+ last rounds of Senior Championships)
• Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24: Canadian Junior Championships
• Wednesday evening, dismantle of equipment.

Please note the categories for each Championship:

Senior: MS, WS, MD, WD, XD and Seniors Over 40 (new)

• Teams: U13, U15 and U19 for boys and girls
• Singles: U11 (new), U13, U15 and U19 for boys and girls
• Optional event if schedule permits: U17 for boys and girls

Our plan for the event will be as follows: 

June 21-24th – Preparation Training Camp in Fort Providence
July 14th – Leaving Yellowknife to Montreal
July 15-16th – Training Camp in 
July 18-21st – Senior Championships (everyone will participate)
July 21-24th – Junior Championships
July 25th – Leaving Montreal to Yellowknife

We will have more information in the beginning of next week on booking hotels and travel in Quebec & Ontario. Please let us know by June 9th if you will participate in the Championships and send an e-mail to info@tabletennisnorth.ca.

Official of the Year – Shari Olsen

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In a well-deserved recognition of her dedication and expertise, Shari Olsen, Territorial Umpire with Table Tennis North, has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Officials of the Year Award by Sport North. This accolade celebrates Shari’s outstanding contributions to officiating on a territorial, national and international level and highlights her unwavering commitment to the sport of Table Tennis.

Over the past five years, Shari has been a cornerstone of the officiating community, lending her skills and passion to various events, from the NWT School Championships to high-profile competitions like the Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games. Her consistent presence and reliability as a Territorial Umpire have earned her respect and admiration from players, coaches, and fellow officials alike.

Shari is very grateful about the recognition, “Officiating isn’t just about making calls, it’s about giving back to the sport we love. Witnessing athletes grow and share their passion on the court is truly rewarding.”

Receiving the Officials of the Year Award signifies a significant milestone in Shari’s officiating career, signaling her transition to the national level and opening up new opportunities for growth and development. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the rules and regulations of Table Tennis, Shari is poised to excel as she takes on more challenging roles and responsibilities as a National Umpire.

Shari’s passion for the sport shines through in her work, as she continuously seeks to enhance her skills and expand her knowledge base. Her proactive approach to learning and her willingness to mentor and support her colleagues exemplify her exceptional leadership qualities and dedication to fostering a positive officiating environment in the Northwest Territories.

As Shari embarks on this new chapter in her officiating journey, the Table Tennis community in the NWT is excited about the prospect of her continued growth and success. With her unwavering commitment to excellence and her passion for guiding and empowering others, Shari is not only a role model for aspiring officials but also a driving force behind the development of officiating standards in the Territory.

Congratulations to Shari Olsen on receiving the 2024 Officials of the Year Award, a well-deserved honor that recognizes her outstanding contributions to the sport of table tennis and her exemplary leadership within the officiating community. We look forward to witnessing Shari’s continued achievements and the positive impact she will undoubtedly make as she advances in her officiating career.

Coach Thor Embarks on Advanced Coaching Diploma Program

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Coach Thor, a dedicated mentor and leader in the field of sports coaching, has taken a significant step forward by enrolling in the Advanced Coaching Diploma program offered by the Canadian Sport Institute Alberta. This intensive one-year program focuses on deepening understanding of the core principles of the National Coaching Certification Program in collaboration with the Coaching Association of Canada.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the program, Thor shared, “It is a great opportunity to connect with coaches from various sports, exchange knowledge, and forge valuable connections. I am eager to bring back insights and experiences to share with fellow Table Tennis Coaches in Canada and coaches in the Northwest Territories.”

As part of the program, Thor recently completed a thought-provoking assignment titled “Living My Coaching Philosophy.” Through this exercise, he delved into his personal beliefs, values, and aspirations as a coach, gaining valuable insights into his coaching approach and philosophy.

In his presentation, Thor articulated his vision, mission, and values as a coach, emphasizing the importance of creating positive and meaningful experiences for athletes and coaches, fostering personal growth, and empowering individuals to reach their full potential. By aligning his coaching philosophy with the five competencies of the national coaching certification program, Thor has honed his skills and deepened his understanding of effective coaching practices.

Thor’s commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement shines through in his reflective journey, as he navigates the complexities of coaching and strives to make a positive impact on the athletes and coaches he works with. His dedication to holistic development, encompassing the mind, body, and spirit, underscores his passion for nurturing talent and fostering a culture of excellence in sports.

As Coach Thor continues his educational journey through the Advanced Coaching Diploma program, the sports community eagerly anticipates the valuable insights and contributions he will bring back to the table. His dedication to personal growth and professional development serves as an inspiration to aspiring coaches and athletes alike, embodying the spirit of lifelong learning and excellence in coaching.

“A huge thank you to Sport North and the Mackenzie Recreation Association in contributing in this learning experience.” – Thor, ChPC (Chartered Professional Coach)

The future looks bright for Coach Thor as he thanks Sport North and the Mackenzie Recreation Association in supporting the continuation learning as he embarks on this transformative coaching journey, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact he will make in the realm of sports coaching and mentorship.

Mentorship with Canadian National Team Athlete Ivy Liao 

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Ivy Liao, a Canadian National Team Athlete, has taken on a mentorship role with Table Tennis North. The British Columbia resident will be supporting Table Tennis Athletes from the Northwest Territories as they prepare for the 2024 Canadian Championships, the 2026 Arctic Winter Games, and the 2027 Canada Winter Games. This mentorship will cover various aspects such as social interactions, coach mentorship, and athlete mentorship, with monthly sessions led by the Pan American Games medalist. The focus will be on monitoring the progress of the athletes and supporting them in maximizing opportunities to reach their full potential. Additionally, a training camp will be planned in collaboration with the National Team athlete. 

Ivy Liao: “The sport of Table Tennis has blessed me with so much growth, purpose, and appreciation since I first started competing 15 years ago; I’m very excited to share my experiences and support the talented athletes and coaches from the Northwest Territories as they prepare for success in their participation at upcoming competitions and multi-sport Games.”

The community is excited about the future prospects and achievements that Ivy Liao’s mentorship will bring. They will also be cheering for Ivy as she competes in the 2024 Olympic Games Qualification event in Lima, Peru from May 14-18, 2024.

Won bronze as part of the women’s team at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games
Competed at the ITTF World Championships in 2016, 2017, 2022, 2023, and 2024
Won singles bronze at the 2022 Canadian Championships
3x Canadian U21 women’s singles champion (2016, 2018, 2019)
Won medals in six of seven events at the 2018 Canadian Championships, claiming national titles in U18 girls’ singles, U21 women’s singles, U18 mixed doubles, and women’s team
Won two silver medals and one bronze at the 2015 Canada Winter Games
Seven-time medallist at the junior Pan American Championships

A Little More About Ivy

Getting into the Sport: Started playing table tennis at age 7 when a friend of her parents recommended they enroll Ivy and her brother at a local club to keep them active during a community centre strike… Played in her first national championships at age 9…Outside Interests: Graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Commerce in April 2023… Enjoys reading, watching other sports and movies and spending time with her family when not training, competing and studying… Odds and Ends: Inspired by Canadian badminton player Michelle Li for both her mindset and international results… Favourite quote: “Isn’t it funny that day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” – C.S. Lewis…

May 5 – National MMIWG2S Awareness Day

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Also known as Red Dress Day, May 5 honours the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, 2 spirit, and gender diverse people in Canada by encouraging learning and building awareness to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, 2 spirit, and gender diverse people.

Call to Action 41 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report calls on the federal government of Canada to begin an inquiry into the numerous cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Sport North – They Can Coach Grant

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Sport North offers a Coach Development Grant to support NWT coaches in attending customized professional development and education opportunities that will enhance their skills and abilities.

Application: https://forms.monday.com/forms/8f087c76c3ae27ffb2b0a6d5bb78e7da?r=use1

Here is more information:

From Table Tennis Enthusiast to Arctic Winter Games Gold Medalist

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Karissa Sadowick’s journey with table tennis began when she crossed paths with Steve Rowe from Ping Pong Literacy during his visit to the Northwest Territories several years ago. In a small community of 700 people, Steve introduced his innovative program on Table Tennis Physical Literacy, integrating the sport with subjects like Mathematics and English for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3. It was in this setting that Karissa first experienced the joy of table tennis, learning to balance a balloon and engaging in fun activities centered around the sport.

Fast forward five years, and Karissa has emerged as a shining star in the world of table tennis, clinching a gold medal at the Arctic Winter Games. Her dedication, countless hours of training, and unwavering support for her community and club have propelled her to success, proving that with hard work, anything is possible.

Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director, emphasizes the importance of creating opportunities and possibilities for youth to reach their full potential. “At just 11 years old, Karissa stands as a remarkable example, already a two-time Arctic Winter Games athlete with a coveted gold “Ulu” in her collection. Beyond her athletic achievements, Karissa’s commitment to fair play and community involvement sets her apart, making a positive impact on those around her.”

As we continue to follow Karissa’s journey, we eagerly anticipate witnessing the incredible accomplishments that lie ahead for her and the inspiring influence she exerts on her community and peers. Karissa Sadowick exemplifies the spirit of determination, sportsmanship, and excellence, embodying the essence of a true champion.

We look forward to celebrating Karissa’s future successes and the positive impact she continues to make in the world of sports and beyond.

Are you interested in Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories?