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TSO | TABLE TENNIS NORTH
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Merry Christmas

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From everyone at Table Tennis North, from our bubble to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! Stay safe and take care.

Thorsten Gohl appointed to the ITTF Media Committee

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At the World Table Tennis Championships and the AGM for the International Table Tennis Federation, Thorsten Gohl was appointed to the Media Committee. The Committee Chair will be reaching out to all the members of the committee in the near future to set a pathway for the future on what will be the role for the committee. Thorsten has been elected to this position for the next 4 years. 

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. 

2017 in review

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It has been another amazing year for Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories. Here are some of the highlights of 2017:

  • 60 professional Table Tennis tables are now in our communities and see a lot of action.
  • 15 communities have been engaged with Table Tennis.
  • Our “Elders in Motion” program has been a huge success and we were allowed to speak at the NWTRPA conference this year on bringing Elders, Kids and the communities together.
  • Readers’ Digest featured a full story on Table Tennis North, reaching across the country and beyond.
  • 135 kids showed up to the 2017 Territorial School Championships.
  • Aurora Ford has become a major sponsor for Table Tennis North.
  • Table Tennis North has been back to the Canadian Table Tennis Championships since over 30 years and reached the Round of 32 in the Men’s Single event.
  • Thorsten was named Volunteer and Coach of the Year by the Territorial Sport Organization. He also received the Betty Tweedy Award by Table Tennis Canada and the Contributor to Sport award by Sport North.
  • Aurora Fraser and Tamara Jovic have been named the Team of the Year by Sport North.

Just some of our many highlights of this year. Every time going into a gym, cafeteria, class room or really anywhere where we find a Table Tennis Table, is a highlight. We are grateful for everyone that has been involved this year and we are excited looking forward to 2018 and the excitement that the Arctic Winter Games will bring.

“And the winner is …” – 2016 Table Tennis North Award winner is known!

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The Board has decided to award Thorsten Gohl with the Volunteer and Coach of the Year Award for 2016.

“Thorsten has set the tone for Table Tennis North with his constant promotion of the sport through social media, newspaper and magazine features and special event coordination. He travels all around the north to provide training for athletes and coaches alike. He also happens to be the person organizing and running tournaments. He does it all!” said Jeremy Kielstra, President of Table Tennis North.

2016 Coach of the Year: Thorsten Gohl
2016 Volunteer of the Year: Thorsten Gohl

“It is very exciting to be in the Northwest Territories and promoting a great sport like Table Tennis. The Board has given me a lot of freedom and I am very excited that we have accomplished so much in just a short period of time” says the new Coach and Volunteer Administrator of the Year, Thor!

Congratulations and THANK YOU Thorsten!

Territories coming closer together

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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. 

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.”

New Years Greetings

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As the new year approaches, it is appropriate for us to take a look back at the year that has just wrapped up. Table Tennis North has been busy growing and promoting our sport throughout the Territory this year. We began the year with trials for the Arctic Winter Games team in Fort Providence. Between the trials and the AWGs in March, several warm-up tournaments and clinics were held in Hay River, Yellowknife and Fort Providence. The team that was chosen had a great time in Nuuk, Greenland in March and one of our girls doubles teams brought home a silver medal!

After returning from the games, we invited Steve Rowe to come to the NWT to introduce Aerobic Table Tennis to our youth and coaches. We coupled his training with another tournament in April.

In November and December we were able to run clinics in several schools in Yellowknife, Lutsel’ke and Gam’eti. We also hosted a Middle and High School tournament and an Open tournament in Yellowknife in November.

Our initiative to get a mini-table into every community in the North is on-going but going well. In the upcoming year we plan to continue to visit communities in the NWT to administer clinics and have mini-tournaments. We are also looking ahead to the 2018 AWGs which are being hosted in Hay River and Fort Smith.

I’d like to thank outgoing Board member Mike Johnston and outgoing President of the Board, Jim Snider for their dedication and direction over the past year. Jim, in particular, has been instrumental in building the sport over the past few years. Thank you also to Thorsten Gohl. He is the brains and the brawn behind Table Tennis North. If not for his hard work organizing, securing funding, training athletes and coaching, none of the work I mentioned above could have been done.

Jeremy Kielstra, President
Table Tennis North

Sport North visiting Table Tennis at Sir John High School

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It was a very exciting time for Table Tennis North when Doug Rentmeister, Executive Director of Sport North, came for a visit to Sir John High School. He observed the clinic that coach Thor was hosting with the Sir John Sport Academy.

Table Tennis is the 30th Territorial Sport Organization and newest member under the Sport North Umbrella. Now 16 months old, Table Tennis North has reached 11 communities, plus played and workshoped with over 2,500 children in the Northwest Territories. This month of November has included  5 schools in  Yellowknife. 

“Sport North is the foundation of our success. They welcomed us into their family just over a year ago, giving us the possibility as a Territorial Sport Organization to expand and grow. It is very important to come together and make the North stronger, we work and succeed together with one common goal.”

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