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Author Archives: TT NORTH

Territories coming closer together

TT NORTH 26 comments

The Yukon and the Northwest Territories came together in Whitehorse to discuss the continued future of Table Tennis in the North.

It all started with NWT Coach Thor Gohl, Yukon Coach Kevin Murphy and Aerobic Table Tennis’s Steve Rowe working together to give a total of seven Table Tennis Clinics in just one week. This included the Territorial Team, as well as three schools in Whitehorse. With Aerobic Table Tennis being the main focus, there was a lot of excitement and joy in the faces of the children and youth.  Over 1,000 students played, bringing them closer to the sport of Table Tennis, and having fun as they engaged in the physical activities. 

“We are small, but we are take the opportunities and possibilities that we have. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, and that is what we are doing here, trying to bring in programs like Aerobic Table Tennis and getting kids moving in a fun activity. A bonus is they are exposed to our sport and will maybe take it on. WIN WIN” Thor says with a smile.

Steve adds, “It’s always great to see the kids smiling, and more important huge territories coming together for a common goal. What an amazing week it has been!”

Here are some images from the clinics in Whitehorse. I think you will agree that Table Tennis can bring a lot fun into our lives. 

Dusk ’til Dawn Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser

TT NORTH 7 comments

Dusk til Dawn Purple Paisley Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser  April 21, 2017

Prince inspired me to play Ping Pong again …and to raise money for Autism Society NWT! I’ve always loved the music of Prince and would have loved to see him live in concert, but living in the far north, I never got the chance. When he died suddenly last year on April 21st, I was devastated. So I made the pilgrimage to the tribute concert in Minneapolis last October and went to visit his recording studios at Paisley Park. Right there in the middle of the studio was his ping pong table! I packed up a racket and played table tennis for the first time in forty years!

When I came back to Fort Smith, I kept playing and promoting the game. Over the winter I got the idea to do a tribute to Prince on the anniversary of his death. He was all about music, dusk ‘til dawn dance parties, …and ping pong! He was also a quiet philanthropist who anonymously gave money to many charitable causes. One of the rare public charitable activities he did was to play several benefit concerts for Autism Rocks, a UK based foundation. So what better way to pay tribute to Prince than a Dusk til Dawn Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser in support of our northern Autism Society NWT!

I’m so excited about the response from the community! People love the idea! It’s going to be rocking, with music, ping pong, and a celebration of the differences and the unique potential of all members of our community. The money we raise will stay in the north and go to support individuals and families living with autism spectrum disorder. Prince is loving it!

Lesley Paulette

Lesley_paulette@northwestel.net
Or text or phone at 867-872-0956

What a great event and an amazing idea. Check out the for more information!!!

All donations will go to NWT Autism Society.

Officials & Coaching clinics

TT NORTH No Comments

Table Tennis North is getting ready for the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games, what better way then facilitating a coaching and officials clinic.

March 20th 2017
This will be a NCCP Level 1 course to introduce you to Table Tennis. How to learn the basics of the Sport and teach it in your community.

March 21st 2017
The Head Official for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games will be coming to host a club umpire course. Learn the basics of Table Tennis and the role of an umpire.

Anything else to get your ready for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games? This is definitely a great start!

Check out the POSTER as well and/or print and/or share it. Let’s get the excitement of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games started!

Table Tennis at the Snowking Castle!!!

TT NORTH 22 comments

Table Tennis will be featured at the Snowking Castle!!!

Come by on March 19th from 1-3pm and say “Hi”. Come out and have fun playing Table Tennis on Great Slave Lake, challenge your friends, family to a match of Table Tennis.

South Slave Table Tennis Tour

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Here we are again, another successful Table Tennis session on the South Slave Tour. We had 2 days at DJSS school in Hay River and another 2 days at Deninu School in Fort Resolution. We also did a night of Table Tennis with the Community in Hay River and one night with the community in Fort Resolution (about 12 people showed up). 

Kate Powell, Principal Deninu School Fort Resolution: “Our students from K-12 were fully engaged in all of the Table Tennis lessons. Thor and Steve delivered a dynamic program which developed skills in a fun way, incorporated lots of cardiovascular work and built towards being able to play a game. Often students do not want to engage in skill development, but the music, movement and drills kept everyone engaged 100% of the time. These lessons built a great foundation and introduction to the sport of Table Tennis. Fantastic facilitation!”

Steve Rowe, Aerobic Table Tennis: “My time in The North West Territories has got off to a great start, our visits to Hay River and Fort Resolution could not have gone any better. Smiling faces and everyone having fun taking part in Aerobic Table Tennis. It’s always great to see the kids keeping fit and learning about the great sport of table tennis. Table Tennis North is doing a fantastic job in NWT and i am so pleased to be part of it.”

Thorsten Gohl, Executive Director Table Tennis North: “A huge thank you to Peter Daniels from MACA in having us on the South Slave Youth Tour. We are very fortunate to have Steve and Aerobic Table Tennis back in the Northwest Territories. This is such a great introduction to our Sport, actually any sport really. Music, movement and a lot of smiles, what can go wrong!?”

She Takes The Cake Café

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Table Tennis North was on the road to Kakisa on January 25th 2017 to bring Aerobic Table Tennis​ to Kakisa Lake School.

BUT, both Executive Director Thor and Aerobic Table Tennis Steve​ decided to first have a coffee in Hay River at She Takes The Cake Café. “We love the coffee here and thought it is definitely worth while taking a little detour.” It was great and definitely made our day.

Executive Director Thor “If people ask why we ended up in Hay River, we just say that we missed the Kakisa exit.”

Table Tennis North on the front page of the International Table Tennis Federation

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A huge thank you to Ian Marshall and the International Table Tennis Federation for putting Table Tennis North and Team NWT on the World map. A great article on the many things we are doing in the Northwest Territories.

True North strong and free!

Table Tennis North made it onto the front page of theInternational Table Tennis Federation, how cool is that. Being next to Ma Long 马龙 Official, Xu Xin 许昕 and FAN Zhendong 樊振東, the TOP 3 Table Tennis Players in the World!!!

http://www.ittf.com/2016/12/21/raising-temperature-table-tennis-rocks-north-west-territories/

4 Regions, 7 communities, WOW, 2017 Territorial Table Tennis Championships

TT NORTH 22 comments

Deh Gah School in Fort Providence hosted the 2017 Territorial Table Tennis Championships. A two day event featuring different age groups, singles and double events from January 27th to 28th.

“This was an amazing event, a huge success! We are a very young Territorial Sports Organization still and competing with sports like Hockey, Volleyball, Soccer and Basketball in the Northwest Territories. BUT, we are getting out there, one day at a time and one kid at a time. Really, this was amazing!!!” says Executive Director Thor Gohl. He continous with a smile on his face “Even when there was no matches to be played or umpired, the kids found a free table to play. That says it all!!”

The tournament is definitely growing. From three Regions and four communities, to four regions and seven communities. Participants came from Yellowknife, N’Dilo, Fort Resolution, Hay River, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson and Tulita. We also split the School Championships from the Open Championships, so we have two tournaments a year in two different communities.  

A huge thank you to all our sponsors and partners, without you, this would not be possible. Therefore, a big MAHSI CHO to the Mackenzie Recreation Association, Aerobic Table Tennis, Rowe’s Group of Companies, Butterfly North America and Deh Gah School. 

All awards received a Mackenzie Recreation Association package with  backpack, hat, and t-shirt. They also received t-shirts from Olympic Team Canada and professional Table Tennis rackets from Steve Rowe’s Aerobic Table Tennis.

A great weekend of play and competitions!!

Here are the results:

Men’s Open: 1. Jeremy Kielstra (N’Dilo) 2. Mike Mathison (Yellowknife) 3. Robert Heath (Fort Resolution)

Women’s Open: 1. Shirley Zhang (Yellowknife) 2. Teresa Vandell (Fort Providence) 3. Slavica Jovic (Yellowknife)

Open Double: 1. David Sangris / Jeremy Kielstra (both N’Dilo) 2. Riis Schaub (Hay River)  / Christopher Canadien (Fort Providence) 3. Zachary Mathison / Shirley Zhang (both Yellowknife)

Girls Junior (U18): 1. Tamara Jovic (Yellowknife) 2. Aurora Fraser (Yellowknife) 3. Shannon Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence)

Boys Junior (U18): 1. Brian Liang (Yellowknife) 2. Riis Schaub (Hay River) 3. Zack Horton (Hay River)

Girls Cadet (U15): 1. Aurora Fraser (Yellowknife) 2. Shannon Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence) 3. Starr MacLean (Fort Resolution)

Boys Cadet (U15): 1. Zachary Mathison (Yellowknife) 2. David Sangris (N’Dilo) 3. Isaac Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence)

Hopes Girls (U13): 1. Taneisha Franki (N’Dilo)

Hopes Boys (U13): 1. Zachary Mathison (Yellowknife) 2. Jude Simon (Fort Resolution)

Junior Doubles: 1. Jude Simon (Fort Resolution) / Zack Horton (Hay River) 2. Riis Schaub (Hay River) / Chase Yakeleya (Tulita) 3. Adam Nadli (Fort Providence) / Zachary Mathison (Yellowknife)

Zack Horton (Hay River) received the Fair Play award for his amazing attitude. Winning or not winning he was always cheerful. When someone else made an amazing point, he would cheer for them and tell others about it. When there was a free table he would want to play with all different players. Very great to have that kind of energy around.

David Sangris (N’Dilo) received the Most Improved Player award with winning a Silver Medal in the Cadet Boys category and a Gold Medal in the Open Doubles. We have seen much improvement, just during the tournament. He is a dedicated player, coming with the school to Table Tennis clinics and tournaments.

Starr MacLean (Fort Resolution) received the Most Improved Player award and bronze in Cadet Girls category. We were in Fort Resolution recently and we can see fast improvement. When she was not playing in the competition, she was looking for others to play with.

Great article in News North about the Youth Tour in North Slave

TT NORTH 6 comments

“Thorsten Gohl is becoming one of the busiest sporting personalities in the NWT.”

 

What a great way to start the article, written by James McCarthy from News North. And very true, Table Tennis has been very busy over the last 16 month and getting more and more attention in the Northwest Territories. With only 13 month to go to the Arctic Winter Games, it is definitely a good sign!

Get your copy of News North or check it out right HERE.

A fun way to learn Table Tennis

TT NORTH 3,407 comments

After playing Table Tennis with over 2,500 kids, you can definitely see a pattern. Not that it is a lot of fun, but also an it’s an amazing learning experience for students, teachers and myself.

It all starts off with the introduction. “Good Morning everyone!” and right there is the first indication on what the next 30min to 1.5 hours will look like. Most of the time you will hear a very loud “GOOOOOOOOOD MORNING” and we are ready to go. If not, it will definitely come after the full introduction. “So, my name is Thorsten, but you guys can call me THOR” and you can see the smiles on the kids faces. Of course some random comments of “Where is your hammer?” or “How is your dad Odin doing?”, but that is good, that enables them connect right away. And they bring their attention!

If you ask the questions “Who can play Table Tennis?”, 95% of the kids of all ages will say “Me!” and they raise their hand. If you ask, “Who can beat me in a match to 11 points?”, guess what? 95% of the kids will still say, “Me!”

Having experienced and played many international competitions, I can tell the kids that I will play them with one eye closed, hoping on one leg, my dominate arm behind my back, playing with my non-dominate hand and singing the German National Anthem, all at the same time. It is always fun to see the kids getting excited about it. Guess what? 95% of the kids still say that they can beat me!

Day 1 | eye-hand coordination

We begin to get the kids used to the table, the balls and the environment that Table Tennis can provide them. There is no need for any rackets at this point, as they need to work with eye-hand coordination first.

Some fun activities include, try to bounce the ball from one side to another, hitting targets or keeping control of throwing and catching the ball. There are hundreds of possibilities to set this up. Keeping the kids engaged, excited and competitive. Learning while playing, playing and learning!

table-tennis-set-up

Day 2 | Racket Skills

First off, how to hold a racket. There is 2 different kind of grips, can you guess them? If you said Shakehand and Penholder, you are right.

We are building a little “parkour” for the kids that will get them moving. Again, the competitive part plays a big role. Going through the ladder, side stepping around the cones, jumping over the hurdles and back into line up.

If that sounds too easy, let’s try that with balancing the ball on your racket. Then bouncing. Still easy? Let’s try forehand, backhand, alternating from one side to another. Still too easy? You might be a professional free style Table Tennis Athlete! So, you can see where this is actually going and how many varieties you can add to this. A great way to learn some eye-hand coordination, this time with the racket.

For the younger ones we use balloons instead of Table Tennis balls, always a lot of fun to see the kids get excited about it and even better, a wonderful photo opportunity!!!

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We can also work on more skills like rolling the ball on the floor, first against the wall by yourself, then adding a partner, …

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Playing games, competing together, is always a great way to get the kids interactive. Relays are the best way, if you include a few teams and make some obstacles!

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Day 3 | Target Practice

We are going back to the set up from Day 1, but this time we add the racket. To begin, one person will throw the ball, like a serve, to the other side and then, we hit it back. Working as a team to practice together. 

Let’s make it easier in self bounce the ball before hitting it back to the other side. When the ball comes to you, try and hit it to yourself, let it bounce one time on your side, and then over. So again, there are ways to make it easier and harder, depending on the experience the kids already have. 

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Day 4 | Play Time

Everyone worked very hard and now it is play time. We have good basic of skills. Yes, we hear, “When can we finally play at the table?”, but most of the time, the kids are not ready. The skills training may seem like a waste of time, but if you include a challenge, combined with a competition, you will be the winner! So, it’s time to play now!

“Around the world” with an obstacle! You have to run through the table. Everyone has a few lives and you loose them if you are unable to play the ball on the the table. BUT, you always loose a life when you actually get hit while running through the table. That definitely adds a fun “kick” to the game.

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Champions Table is well known among many sports and a favourite for most. The winner moves up a table, the other person moves down a table. At the end, we can see who will achieve the top table. To make it a bit harder, we can add obstacles on the tables, where you can only play on one side or maybe over a higher net, and so on.

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If you do this for 19 days long, 4 to 9 classes a day, then yes, it is getting repetitive. On the other hand, you are building the foundation blocks for those kids in fundamental basic skills. Table Tennis will score 8 out of 9, because it includes agility, balance, co-ordination, catching, throwing, hitting, running and jumping (Paul Noel, Saskatchewan Table Tennis Technical Director). The only one that is not included is kicking. So, not only are we teaching the skills of Table Tennis, we are also supporting skills for overall athletic skills, with a fun sport to play. 

It always amazes me on how fast everyone can learn. Seeing them being excited about something new is great, actually being able to control the ball for a few bounces for and back, is absolutly amazing. The most important thing of all is to keep them accoupied with competitions and challenges, create obsticles and you are golden. As an experienced coached, you already have 100 different scenerios in your head, but if you start of, be prepared to adjust your plan.

The best part of  Table Tennis clinics for me is always afterwards. You go shopping, into the restaurant, or just walking on the sidewalk and there is always one kid that says “Hi Thor!” and you just cannot help it, but SMILE … makes my day!

 

Story & Images by Thor

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