While international sporting competition has taken a major downturn across the globe, table tennis has still provided a consistent platform across Oceania for strengthening communities and focusing on development growth in the sport. There have been several highlights from across the region, as the sport continues to bring positive energy and inclusive vibes to all those who engage in it.
Tonga rolls out long-awaited Business House Competition
Tonga Table Tennis Federation delivered on a long-time goal of launching a Business House contest, successfully pooling resources and venues alike to deliver an incredibly successful event.
Not only has the contest promoted physical activity and community networking, but has also provided a major platform for para athletes to engage in competition with their able-bodied companions. The contest has successfully showcased skills and garnered much respect for athletes with disabilities and has been hailed a great step forward towards promoting equality and inclusion in the community.
Aside from this, the event has provided an excellent social atmosphere and opportunities for networking in a social-competitive environment.
Cook Islands hosts incredible 2020 Multi-Sport Games
The Cook Islands took inter-island travel restrictions and capitalised off them in a remarkable way. Despite major multi-sport events being almost non-existent thus far in 2020, the Cook Islands took it upon themselves to show the world their determination to put on a special show.
Hosted from October 3 to 17 on the island of Rarotonga, the Cook Island Games was a spectacle which included 24 different sports and brought the islands together, competing proudly with their own island flags and anthems.
The event saw eight table tennis events hosted, with Men’s and Women’s categories, and also an Under 16 youth event. The champions crowned were young and talented players who have represented the Cook Islands internationally – Marenga Tua won the Women’s Singles and Doubles, while Mel Ivaiti won the Men’s Singles and Doubles and also took bronze in the Mixed Doubles.
Overall, a great success for many involved sports, but for the Oceania table tennis community, certainly a thrill to see and follow.
Fiji in the Spotlight for Community Involvement
Fiji Table Tennis Association, in partnership with the Smash Down Barriers Program, has launched a number of community initiatives involving table tennis.
The end of September saw a fantastic celebration of deaf awareness in the community, and table tennis was invited to participate in the event by the Fiji Deaf Association.
Para athletes and development officers have also continued programs in the community and schools with outreach and wellbeing programs and celebrations, like the United Nations-recognised International Day for Rural Women, and island celebrations for youth.
The Fiji Table Tennis Association was also able to celebrate the island’s awarding of the Fiji Independence Celebration Medal to Anthony Ho, for his dedication and contributions to the sport of table tennis and to the community for over 40 years.