• info@tabletennisnorth.ca


Why is Physical Activity
Important for Indigenous
Children and Youth?

TT NORTH No Comments

Beth Warner-Hudson on behalf of Table Tennis North

“Who are we without the love we have for our children? It is this
hope of a good life for our children, our grandchildren, and those
who are yet to come that this work is based in. It is the work of the
previous generations who have sacrificed themselves in knowing
that the future generations will need space to exist as per the
instructions of the Creator. Space where they will be free to grow
and thrive as the Creator intended; for our children to be good
people and to live a good life. Only, our children can’t do that.”
– Grand Chief Gerry Antoine of the Dene Nation,
speaking at the Dehcho Physical Literacy Conference;
Fort Providence, Northwest Territories; March 2022
Physical activity for Indigenous Peoples across Turtle
Island is more than just the enjoyment and benefit of
movement: it’s a foundation for living “the good life”
that Indigenous Elders and Ancestors have continued
to pass down to the next generation. Since time
immemorial, Indigenous Peoples have lived, thrived
and grown in harmony with the Land and all our
relations with Mother Earth. Colonization took away
the ability to speak, to share, to grow and to pass on
our teachings to the next generation. A lot was lost and
there is still a lot to reclaim. How has this impacted
how Indigenous Peoples engage in physical activity?
The Dene Nation exists within the colonial borders of
the Northwest Territories and is home to many distinct
nations and regions that have shared relationships with
the Land known as Denendeh since time immemorial.
Grand Chief Gerry Antoine, elected representative for
the Dene Nation within the Assembly of First Nations,
recently spoke at the Dehcho Physical Literacy
Conference on the importance of storytelling and
passing on knowledge to the next generation of young
Leaders. The Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories
is helping to better understand and deliver quality
physical literacy programming as a leader in the field
in the North.

What is “the good life,” and why is it important for
Indigenous Children? Canada now exists as a settler
state in our global society, which erases and limits
what we know about Indigenous Peoples and their rich
histories with the Land. Being on the Land is one way
in which to share, support and learn from the very
knowledge holders who want so badly to pass on their
teachings to the next generation. Our ability to pass
on these gifts was stolen because of Indian Residential
Schools, and while we have been able to maintain some
knowledge through whispers and storytelling from those
who escaped, we are critically aware of the losses – of
language, ancestors, family members, culture and identity.
But that does not mean there is no hope for a better future.
Indigenous Communities across Turtle Island are diverse
and vast, and all have their own teachings, languages and
cultural protocols. There is no “one way” to bring together
all Canadians on the field or in the gym, but there are
ways in which we can work together to bring back what
was lost. While it is important to avoid generalizing
about all Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island, there
is unification in our responsibility as Guardians and
Stewards of Mother Earth to protect, honour and respect
her, and to live the good life she continues to gift us every
day. Indigenous Peoples do not view physical activity as a
singular domain for achieving the benefits of health, but as
one of the important areas of life in which we must remain
balanced to be healthy.

We cannot exist as grounded, healthy and thriving Peoples
if our lives are out of balance. Balance is achieved by
supporting the individual as a whole and taking a holistic
perspective on wellness to address barriers to physical
activity; our physical health will not be good if our social,
emotional, intellectual, spiritual and cultural health are
struggling. Therefore, supporting more Indigenous-based
physical activity programming is critical in supporting
a healthier Canada for all Canadians. It is time to stop
and listen to all the teachings, gifts and knowledge that
Indigenous Elders and Ancestors have been saving for us
since colonization began. It is time to find ways to include
Land-based teachings and opportunities in our school
systems, our afterschool programs and our sports teams,
and at home with our families. It is time for all of us to
take that step out of our front doors and take seriously
our inherent responsibilities as Guardians and Stewards
of Mother Earth to protect, honour and respect her, and
to live the good life on Turtle Island.

Table Tennis in The Minor Hockey News

TT NORTH 667 comments

Once again we are happy to see our articles in The Minor Hockey News! Check out the articles “What’s been happening with Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories” and “2016, the Year of Table Tennis North’s Executive Director Thorsten Gohl.”

A fun read and you will be up to date on what is happening with Table Tennis in the NWT.

Read the full articles right here: Minor Hockey News – Table Tennis

Top European Table Tennis Coach Paul Noel coming to the North

TT NORTH 1,810 comments

Paul Noel is from Belgium. He began playing Table Tennis at the age of six and by 11-years-old had joined a club. He did well through competition and would go on to obtain a Master’s in Physical Education and become a professional coach, after working his way up from an assistant coach.

He’s been involved in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Saskatchewan as a coach and has enjoyed his time giving back to the sport.

Table Tennis, Noel states, is a great way to build skills as children grow and develop: everything from agility, balance, coordination, catching, throwing, hitting, running, and jumping within the game. It also develops youths’ dexterity and focus as they utilize hand-eye coordination to return an opponents’ hit.

Paul was probably the youngest coach winning the European Cup during his 4 years in the German Bundesliga with TTC Jülich in the 90’s. He reached the cup final 4 times and won it 3 times during that time. Paul is since 2011 in Canada and the head coach for Table Tennis Saskatchewan, being the coach for gold medal winning Alayna Chen in the Senior Women Doubles category at the Canadian Championships.

We are very excited to have Paul in the Northwest Territories! Welcome!


Aurora Ford and Table Tennis North, a strong partnership for the North

TT NORTH one comments
“This is exciting. We have done a lot of ground work in the last two years in the Northwest Territories, bringing our sport into 14 communities and now having 60 professional Table Tennis tables in the communities. Imagine what we can do with the partnership!” says Marny Twigge, the Vice President of Table Tennis North.
The Northern Ford dealership will provide the Table Tennis Association with a Ford F150 for the next two years. This is a huge milestone for the Territorial Sport Organization, being able to reach more communities with clinics, workshops and regular check ins.
Lee Cawson, VP Operations, Aurora Group, said: “We are very excited to be able to support Table Tennis North and do whatever we can to work with Thorsten to continue to bring these types of activities and events to our Northern communities and youth. The energy and passion that Thorsten brings to Table Tennis North fits in perfectly with our energy and passion at Aurora Ford both in Hay River and Yellowknife.”
We are looking forward to more amazing stories and images to share  from our Northern Communities, now with our Aurora Ford F150 on the road!
About Table Tennis North
As a not-for profit organization we support, promote and develop an active, healthy and playful environment with the sport of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories.
About Aurora Ford
The Aurora Group of Companies serves a wide range of automotive and industrial customers throughout the NWT. Aurora encompasses two Ford dealerships, one in Hay River & one in Yellowknife. A heavy truck franchise, recreational vehicle department, tank manufacturing and fabrication facility, automotive body shop, Esso service station, Budget Rent a car facilities and service locations at local Diamond Mines.
At Aurora Ford & Group of Companies, we are committed to putting our customers first which is why we are the leading dealer in the NWT. We are always proud to support our North and its organizations. Same Great People, Same Great Service, Same Northern Commitment

Table Tennis North in Minor Hockey news

TT NORTH 559 comments
Table Tennis is growing in the Northwest Territories and with it is healthy living and being active. We have reached 13 communities so far and working on projects in the new fiscal year to reach even more. We have played Table Tennis with over 2,000 children in just the last 18 month. The word is out there, now it is time to manifest it, create leaders in communities and build a base.
We are very fortunate to have so much support from our partners, sponsors and the communities. Without that, we would be nothing. The media also plays a big role and next to being featured many times in local newspapers, we are very lucky to have had an article in UP HERE Magazine and in May 2017 we will be featured in Readers Digest Magazine as well.
Next up more clinics in the communities, preparations for the Arctic Winter Games and putting a Team NWT into place that will be able to compete in National events as well …
Check out the full article right HERE.

“The Power of Ping Pong” – Readers Digest

TT NORTH 730 comments

A beautiful article by Elaine Anselmi from UP HERE.

A wonderful article to support our vision to promote and develop an active, healthy and fun environment with the sport of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories.

One huge supporter of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories is Principal of Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, Lois Phillip. “It’s about creating opportunities and creating a safe space,” says Lois. “A safe space where kids can be kids.” And that is what we are trying to do with Fort Providence, and also bring our multi seasonal sport into other communities, creating those same opportunities and fun, safe spaces. 

Once we reach the communities, it is about keeping involved. One hopes by being constant, being the role models that we can be, it will make a difference in their lives.  “I must say, I’m a dreamer and crazy sometimes,” Gohl says. “I said when I came here, in a year’s time, I want to do 20 communities.” He made his move to Fort Providence in September 2015, and while 20 may have been a lofty goal, he’s already hit 13.

We will definitely hit 20 communities by the end of our 2 year anniversary as a Territorial Sport Organization, but more important, we want to go back to those communities as much as we can, support them how ever possible, and see the sport grow in participation, with increased health and focus with time for all ages. 

“Table Tennis is becoming more than just something to do” is how the article ends and that is very true. We have seen an immense growth of participation and interest in the Sport of Table Tennis in the North and we are looking forward to more excitement in the future.

BUY the magazine or read our article right HERE.

ITTF featured post on NWT World Table Tennis Day

TT NORTH 21 comments

An iconic venue, a splendid initiative was taken in Northern Territories, Canada to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on Thursday 6th April.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


Organized by Thorsten Gohl, the man charged with promoting table tennis in the region, situated next to the Mackenzie River in Fort Simpson, the largest tepee in the world was the home for proceedings.

An iconic venue, a splendid initiative was taken in Northern Territories,c Canada to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on Thursday 6th April.

Organized by Thorsten Gohl, the man charged with promoting table tennis in the region, situated next to the Mackenzie River in Fort Simpson, the largest tepee in the world was the home for proceedings.

Check out the FULL ARTICLE.

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

TT NORTH 113 comments

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!!!


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

TT NORTH 131 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.

Ava Erasmus paddles to gold at tourney – Dehcho Drum

TT NORTH 612 comments
Another beautiful article in the Dehcho Drum by April Hudson about the participants from Fort Simpson in the 2016 NWT School Table Tennis Championships. As a bonus, we got the front page!!! A huge thank you to everyone involved, without the effort of many, this would not be possible. 
Aside from playing, students were also responsible for scorekeeping during the tournament, which Gendron said helped to immerse them more in the game. “They were smiling and having fun. They’re all good sports, so they went and tried their best,” she said.
“The highlight for me was seeing the (students) trying a new sport and meeting other kids, and building positive relationships.” Gendron also had high praise for Thorsten Gohl, the executive director of Table Tennis North, who she credited for the students’ experience. “It’s thanks to his hard work, and (he) makes it fun,” she said.
The championship was co-hosted by Table Tennis North and Weledeh Catholic School.

Are you interested in Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories?