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TT NORTH | TABLE TENNIS NORTH
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Table Tennis North’s Thorsten Gohl receives the Coaching Association of Canada Impact Award

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Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, November 4, 2021 – Table Tennis North Executive Director, Thorsten Gohl, received the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) Impact Award during today’s CAC 2021 Gala. Thorsten Gohl, who is an Arctic Winter Games and Canada Games coach, has been involved with table tennis in the Northwest Territories for the last eight years. During this time, he has been preparing athletes for multi-sport games nationally and internationally and working with over 15 communities in the Northwest Territories through Table Tennis North’s outreach program. 

The Coaching Association of Canada Impact Award is presented to an individual or organization in recognition of their creation of an innovative event or program that has benefited the sport and coaching community. Earlier this year, Thorsten Gohl, along with other sports collaborators, introduced a new pilot project in Hay River, Northwest Territories, combining table tennis and hockey to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Seven goaltenders aged nine to 15 participated in this program and learned a variety of table tennis drills and games to enhance their balance and reflexes. Due to the pilot project’s success, Table Tennis North and its partners are now looking to start this program in the Sahtu and Beaufort Delta regions by 2022.

“On behalf of Table Tennis Canada, I congratulate Thorsten Gohl for this great honour. Thorsten deserves the award for his tireless work in developing sport in the North. We are very proud that our Coaching Development Chair is recognized by the Coaching Association of Canada and that his efforts are making a difference. Table Tennis Canada is lucky to have Thorsten as one of its dedicated volunteers. We are very proud of his achievements, and we wholeheartedly congratulate him for receiving the CAC’s “Impact Award.” – Adham Sharara, President Table Tennis Canada

“There are many innovative programs happening from coast to coast to coast and even beyond the Canadian border. From the Olympic Games movement to playing on an ice table in the middle of a frozen lake in the Northwest Territories, finding fun and effective out of the box projects brings sports together, like table tennis and hockey. The importance of supporting our youth, providing them with knowledge and guidance is key to help them stay active and become the best version of themselves,” mentions Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director of Table Tennis North.

Furthermore, the award highlights the Female Mentorship program that Thorsten Gohl has started and overseen since 2020, which brings coaches from the three Territories together. This program brings in international speakers like Arctic Winter Games Coach Steve Rowe from the United Kingdom, National Junior Team Coach Maxime Surprenant from Québec and former National Team Player Julia Charbonneau from Ontario. Presenting virtual sessions to bring female coaches closer together and starting the process in educating them for the 2023 Canada Games and beyond is a great initiative that will continue to grow.

“Thorsten Gohl is a force in creating a legacy of women’s leadership in communities throughout the North. His mentorship program for female coaches and Hockey and Table Tennis program are designed to have a lasting impact in changing the sport landscape for young children, and in setting the stage for the next generation of women coaches,” says Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the Coaching Association of Canada.

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Coaching Association of Canada

Table Tennis Canada

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CBC coverage on Hockey & Table Tennis

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Check out our coverage on CBC on our Hockey & Table Tennis program. Have a look at minute 20:34 and listen to our Executive Director Thorsten Gohl and athlete Deacon Tybring.

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1964248131630

Table Tennis training enhancing reaction time and hand-eye coordination for hockey goalies

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Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, October 6, 2021 – Table Tennis North is releasing the results of a six-week pilot program in the Northwest Territories, which combined skills from two sports; table tennis and hockey. Research shows that participation in multiple sports early in an athlete’s development can have benefits for young athletes, including fewer injuries, enhanced movement skills, and a greater likelihood of long-term sport participation (Côté & Vierimaa, 2014; LaPrade et al., 2016). In addition, skills developed in one sport have the potential to transfer into other sports (Baker, Cobley, & Fraser-Thomas, 2009), which could improve overall sport performance.

With this research in mind Table Tennis North, Table Tennis Canada, Hockey NWT, Hockey North, and Hay River Minor Hockey came together to develop a pilot program. From February 23 to April 4, 2021, seven hockey goalies aged nine to 15 years old participated in a six-week table tennis training program in Hay River, Northwest Territories. The goal of this program was to improve the goalies’ hand-eye coordination and reaction time both on and off the ice.

“Strong hand-eye coordination skills are essential in most sports,” said Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director of Table Tennis North. “Mixing games like table tennis and hockey is the quickest way to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time in children and teenagers. It keeps them balanced and works with reactions to determine reflex speeds”.

“It is exciting to be partnered with Table Tennis North and seeing innovative projects like this being put on. To be able to see first hand how this pilot program was developed and see how engaged and excited the participants were was excellent,” said Lee Cawson, VP Operations, Aurora Group. “We are looking forward to seeing this continue and other innovative projects come out of our partnership.”

The Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) was contracted to evaluate this pilot program. The purpose of this evaluation was to assess if, and to what to extent, the 6-week table tennis program increased participants’ hand-eye coordination and reaction time. A secondary purpose was to explore participants’ experiences in and perceptions of the program.

“This program offered a unique opportunity for young hockey goalies to develop their skills in a fun, creative and supportive learning environment,” said Veronica Allan, Manager of Research and Innovation at SIRC. “The findings of the evaluation put a spotlight on the early successes of the program, and showed support for its expansion.”

On average, participants improved their off-ice hand-eye coordination by 20.5% after participating in the table tennis training program. Participants’ off-ice computer reaction time, on average, increased by 9.7% following the table tennis training program. On the final test, participants improved their on-ice save percentage by 15.8% following the table tennis training program.

“A multi-sport approach is the best way to enhance and develop physical literacy in individuals, and Mackenzie Recreation Association was excited to support this innovative pilot project that brought together Hockey & Table Tennis to do just this,” added Jessica VanOverbeek, Executive Director Mackenzie Recreation Association.

Table Tennis North and its partners are excited to continue this program in 2022 and expand it to additional northern communities. [ML1] 

Table Tennis North is a not-for profit organization that supports, promotes and develops an active, healthy and fun environment with the sport of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories.

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For more information, please contact:

Thorsten Gohl

Executive Director

Table Tennis North

867-373-2101

media@tabletennisnorth.ca

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation gives us the opportunity to recognize and commemorate the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused to indigenous families and communities. It aims to honour those who have been affected by this injustice, celebrate resilience and affirm a commitment that every child matters. 

“This illustration for Truth and Reconciliation Day is about remembering those who didn’t make it home during residential schools. The hand print design is about how each child has history, sacred culture and is unique. The eagle feather is honouring them and the birds are bringing them to peace.” – Elaine Landry

On September 30th we will wear orange to remember, to reflect and to celebrate resilience. We hope that you all join us. 

About Elaine Landry

Elaine a local artist from Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. She studied fine arts at AuArts Calgary and has been drawing for as long as she can remember. 

Saying #ThanksCoach

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National Coaches Week is a time to celebrate the positive impact coaches have on athletes in our communities. The annual campaign is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by taking the time to say #ThanksCoach.

Media Release from the AWG IC regarding the AWG 2023 age categories

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Raising awareness about National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, August 23, 2021 – Table Tennis North, in partnership with Table Tennis Canada, recently hosted an interactive workshop raising awareness about National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the new statutory holiday commemorating the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada.

“The purpose behind it was very simple; we want to create a message from the Territorial and National Sport Organizations to highlight the importance of those days with the voice of the athletes,” said Thorsten Ghol, Executive Director for Table Tennis North. “It is essential that we support our athletes and their growth in the sport of table tennis, and reduce barriers to sports participation.”

Special guest Greg Henhawk, Mohawk of the Bear Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Southern Ontario, interacted with participants about land acknowledgement, sharing circles, treaties, and modern Indigenous peoples vocabulary. A second learning session is scheduled at the end of September to celebrate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and commemorate the legacy of residential schools across the country.

Table Tennis North is a not-for profit organization that supports, promotes and develops an active, healthy and fun environment with the sport of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories.

2021 Canadian Championships

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At the Members Council (MC) meeting during the TTCAN Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 12 June 2021, the MC allocated the hosting of the 2021 Canadian Table Tennis Championships to the Quebec Table Tennis Federation to be held in the city of Montreal.

Table Tennis North had to withdraw the application after asking the membership to delay the vote on the bid by 14 days. “We would have love to host the event at a beautiful facility in Hay River at the Recreation Centre. We just needed to wait for 2 more weeks to get an answer from Protect NWT, what would have save us $200,000 in hosting the event. Giving an opportunity for everyone in Canada seeing the beautiful North and creating some excitement in our communities.” Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director Table Tennis North

Montreal received 6 votes, Summerside (PEI) received 4 votes, and Calgary (AB) received 1 vote. There was one abstention.

In a show of goodwill and good sportsmanship, the delegates from PEI and Alberta warmly congratulated the delegate from Quebec.

“I was very surprised that we had 4 bids for these Championships, even if one bid had to withdraw prior to the vote for good reasons, having to choose from 3 good bids is not easy. I congratulate all bids and of course I congratulate Quebec (Montreal) for winning the right to host our national championships. We all look forward to a great event and a return to competition after the pandemic.” Remarked Adham Sharara, TTCAN President, after the vote was confirmed.

Quebec (Montreal) won with a narrow margin. Rémi Tremblay thanked all the delegates at the AGM and promised very successful championships. “We will make you proud” were his exact words after the vote.

The 2021 Canadian Championships will have the merged format of both junior and senior events. The prospectus and entry form will be available soon.

The Championships will be held from 30 September to 3 October 2021 at the Claude Robillard Sports Centre.

Thank you NWT & Nunavut Lotteries

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We love to say THANK YOU to NWT & Nunavut Lotteries, and with 17 Territorial Sport Organizations and Sport & Recreation partner coming together, it makes it so much more powerful. Part in the advertisement campaign are:

NWT Swimming Softball NWT Table Tennis North Mackenzie Recreation Association Hockey NWT Tae Kwon-Do NWT Gymnastic NWT Broomball NWT NWT 55+ Games Association NWT Judo Curling NWT Squash NWT Wrestling NWT NWT Snowboard NWT Cross Country Ski Athletics NWT NWT Speed Skating

THANK YOU NWT & Nunavut Lotteries for your help and support in Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation in the Northwest Territories!!!

Mission accomplished for Table Tennis North and Richmond Olympic Oval

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Over a 12-week program, Table Tennis North and Richmond Olympic Oval offered fitness, nutrition and mental performance training sessions to youth, sports enthusiasts, athletes, and coaches in the North and across the country. Since March 2021, weekly fitness sessions were held virtually on Zoom every Saturday mornings, and mental performance & nutrition webinars were offered on a bi-weekly on Saturday at 11am, also via ZOOM.

“The Richmond Oval High Performance Team is excited about the dynamic evolution of this integrated service program with Table Tennis North. Accessibility to training services and facilities has been a challenge over the past year but also opened up the incredible opportunity to support athletes and teams in the Northern Regions of Canada virtually.

We want to thank Table Tennis North for the opportunity to be involved and are looking forward to seeing how we at the Richmond Olympic Oval can continue to support athletes as they pursue their goals regardless of their geographic location.” – Richmond Olympic Oval

Athletes from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and even Québec came together and participated in the weekly sessions. Being active in the fitness program and adapting this to the sport of Table Tennis as well as understanding the importance of Mental Performance and Nutrition in sports, but also day to day life.

The participants had a lot to say about this new webinar series:

Team NT athlete Nikhilesh: “It is a cool experience and I wanted to train with other athletes virtually. I enjoyed it like it was. It does not overwork us. It is the perfect fit and it challenges us to give our best. It was a little bit different to do it virtually, but still great to participate in.”

Canadian National Team Athlete Sophie: “My favourite part was learning new things. I never had classes like that, so I can apply it to my daily life even after this program. Doing it once a week does not overwork us, but still makes us work every week. Virtually was good as the teachers adopted to the classes. And it made me train, even for times when I did not want to train.”

Team Yukon Athlete Krish: “I enjoyed it like it was. It does not overwork us. It is the perfect fit and it challenges us to give our best. It was a little bit different to do it virtually, but still great to participate in.”

“It was amazing to work with the staff of the Richmond Olympic Oval,” said Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director of Table Tennis North. “From Ashley managing the program, Emily doing the weekly fitness classes, Scott and Evan alternating with the Mental Performance and Nutrition sessions. Everyone was very professional, well planed and made it easy for our participants to have the best experience possible.”

Table Tennis North will expand the program to open it up for more athletes to join in and prepare for upcoming multi-sport games like the 2023 Arctic Winter Games, the 2023 Canada Winter Games and the 2024 Arctic Winter Games. Including our athletes in taking part of our webinars and sharing their stories from a participant perspective is key to the success of our webinar series.

Are you interested in Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories?