Every table is a table tennis table
Photo By: Courtesy of Michael Brown
Situated in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand, Norfolk Island is one of the most recent members of the International Table Tennis Federation.
It was formally accepted in 2010.
Recently, it enjoyed the benefits of a visit by Michael Brown, the Oceania Development Officer.
Organised under the auspices of the ever growing ITTF Development Programme in conjunction with the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, the intensive six day visit commenced on Sunday 22nd July and concluded on Friday 27th July 2012.
Aim to Increase Numbers
An island of just over 1,200 inhabitants, the major aim was to increase the numbers of people playing table tennis.
“The current members of the association hold regular training sessions; however there is a lack of junior athletes, therefore the aim of the week’s visit was to run introduction sessions at the local school”, explained Michael Brown. “The only school on the island, Norfolk Island Central School, has roughly 250 students, of which 175 of those were introduced to the basics of table tennis.”
Not Affected by Weather
Furthermore, the sessions were welcomed and one benefit of table tennis was highlighted; the sport is not affected by the weather!
“All, especially on the days when it started to rain during the sport sessions, welcomed the introduction of table tennis at the school when the other students had to forego their sport outdoors”, continued Michael Brown. “Within the one classroom, there were a total of 10 tables in operation at one stage, as we all know by now; any table can be a table tennis table!”
The classroom desks prove perfect to give the students an introduction to the sport of table tennis.
“At the conclusion of the week a tournament was held outside school hours which attracted 14 new athletes to the association”, concluded Michael Brown. “With the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Pacific Games in the sight for these young athletes, the future is looking bright for Norfolk Island, as they look to compete in their first international competitions.”
A first international appearance awaits and could it be in Glasgow?
The Scottish city will host the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Pupils at the Norfolk Island Central School welcomed that opportunity to play table tennis
Photo courtesy of Michael Brown