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Monthly Archives:January 2017

BRINGING TABLE TENNIS TO THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

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Article by Sport for Life

It’s been six years since Thorsten Gohl introduced table tennis to the Northwest Territories, overcoming a number of geographical and societal challenges that have historically made it difficult to create and sustain sport organizations. In a short time he’s seen the number of participants sky-rocket as students throw themselves into the pastime once known as ping pong.

“It’s not easy to bring programs into these communities, as it takes a lot of financial resources just to get here. And we’re facing challenges that are different than Yukon or Nunavut. You have to fly in,” Gohl said, following a successful presentation at the Sport for Life Canadian Summit.

“Table tennis should be the sport of the North because you can do it wherever, it’s a fun activity, and you can play it old, young, big or small. You don’t need much equipment, basically just a ping pong ball, and then you can even make your own table.”

Gohl is based in Fort Providence, next to the Mackenzie River, a community of approximately 700 people. Since arriving in NWT following a lifetime of travel, he worked to get a Table Tennis team recognized by the Canada Games and became a member of Table Tennis of Canada, securing funding that made it possible to play with over 2,000 children in the North through community outreach.

“Right now I’m the only fully certified coach, and we have about 20 trained coaches for our clubs in Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson. We’re working on a club in Yellownknife too.”

But it’s not enough to start a club. He also wants to see his table tennis athletes engaged in meaningful competition. There’s now a territory-wide competition every year, on top of the Arctic Winter Games being held every second year. The reason he believes it’s been able to take off while other sporting endeavours have fizzled out is because there aren’t as many hurdles to get involved.

“It’s a real work-out, depending on your level. If you play against me, or someone who is as good as I am, then you really need to move.”

And many of his athletes participate in other sports, such as hockey or basketball, so he’s pleased these up-and-comers will now have a multisport background.

“The idea with multisport is we’re making better people, people who are healthy and active and having fun. The idea is I’m not taking your athletes, I’m trying to support your athletes and make them better, more well-rounded people.”

Sport for Life CEO Richard Way believes the work Gohl is doing in NWT is an exemplary example of how to think outside the box when developing physical literacy in remote communities. Featuring his work at the 2020 Sport for Life Canadian Summit in Gatineau and the 2019 International Physical Literacy Conference in Umea, Sweden were opportunities to share that work with delegates from all around the world.

“Thorsten had the vision necessary to make this endeavour work, and now other sport organizations working in challenging locations can use his example as a blueprint for success. It’s not just about playing table tennis. This is about contributing to a community’s overall health, bringing people together and giving them something to accomplish,” he said.

“This program demonstrates what’s possible in NWT if you have a dream, now we can’t wait to see how things continue to develop as he reaches more communities and involves more players.”

COVID -19

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Here is some great information from the Government of the Northwest Territories in regards to the Corona virus.

Healthy Respiratory Practices

2020 HSS Coronavirus Monitoring Handout

2020 Arctic Winter Games are cancelled

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Joint statement from the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games Host Society, Arctic Winter Games International Committee, Government of Yukon, City of Whitehorse, and Chief Medical Officer of Health

Today the Arctic Winter Games Host Society, with the support of the Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse, announced that the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games have been cancelled following a recommendation from Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Cancelling the 2020 Arctic Winter Games was determined to be the most responsible precautionary measure to address concerns around the spread of COVID-19 and is supported by the Arctic Winter Games International Committee.

Yukon’s medical system has been and remains well prepared to manage suspected cases of COVID-19 that may arise in Yukon. While there are no cases of COVID-19 in Yukon and the risks low, other regions are experiencing unexpected community spread of the virus. With up to 2000 visitors anticipated to arrive in Whitehorse for the Arctic Winter Games, necessary steps must be taken to ensure the health and safety of Yukoners and visitors to the territory.

The organizers and co-hosts are disappointed to have to make this unfortunate decision and express deep gratitude to all those involved in preparing for the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games.

Quotes

“The decision to cancel the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games was not made easily but while we are disappointed, we are acting responsibly by following the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. We will be meeting with the Host Society’s Board of Management, our funding partners and stakeholders over the coming days to build a plan for decommissioning the Games.”

– 2020 AWG Host Society President George Arcand

“The Arctic Winter Games has been an important part of developing athletes and communities across the north for 50 years,” said Flynn. “We are all looking forward to the next 50 and thank our partners for putting our Arctic Winter Games Family’s safety first.”.

– Arctic Winter Games International Committee President John Flynn

“It is out of an abundance of caution that today, as the Chief Medical Officer of Health, responsible for public health in the Yukon, I have recommended the cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games that were scheduled to be held here in Whitehorse beginning next week. I am making this recommendation out of concern for the health and safety of Yukoners, of all athletes, staff, volunteers and families, and for their home communities throughout the circumpolar North. COVID-19 is a contagious disease that spreads from person to person rapidly through respiratory secretions. In a setting like the Arctic Winter Games, even a suspected case would be devastating. It is with a heavy heart that I have had to make this recommendation. It is the responsible recommendation, and it is very unfortunate.”

– Yukon acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Catherine Elliott

“Our government supports following the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recommendation. We believe this is the most responsible course of action in light of concerns around the spread of COVID-19. This is a precautionary measure that is in the best interests of our athletes, support staff, families, and communities across the circumpolar North. We know how much effort has gone into preparing for these games. We thank all those who have helped to organize and prepare for them.”

– Premier Sandy Silver

“We support the difficult but responsible decision to cancel the Games. Our community really stepped up for this event and I want to thank the nearly 2000 volunteers for their efforts and preparation for these Games.”

– Mayor of Whitehorse Dan Curtis

Quick facts

  • The risk for COVID-19 remains low in Yukon and there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

Table Tennis North & You Can Play

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Table Tennis North is excited to announce their support to the You Can Play campaign. 

Throughout the last 5 years, Table Tennis North (the governing body for Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories) has already been a huge supporter of this campaign, with our athletes, coaches and mission staff participating in projects run by Team NT throughout the Territories.YOU CAN PLAY was shared within the 2016 and 2018 Arctic Winter Games, the 2019 Canada Winter Games and the 2019 Canada Western Summer Games.  

Team NT YOU CAN PLAY video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=126&v=siKrRL5JhA4&feature=emb_logo&fbclid=IwAR2S9Bp_Q_h7kHLmuJsGt49wXEWcrZkdiZV5UuVA8LGmuWjq5qgE3LyEFFA

Vice President Marny Twigge is thrilled about this initiative and adds “It is so important to make sure that everyone participating in Table Tennis, or in any activity, can feel safe and enjoy their experience or focus on their development in the sport. Our kids in the Territories are great and love sharing that message where ever their competitions bring them. We want to thank Spider Jones from Sport North for his continous support in the North to this amazing campaign.” 

“Through their message that everyone belongs in sport, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, Table Tennis North sends an important message that sport at any level can and should be inclusive for all. To all those competing at the Arctic Winter Games, your partners at You Can Play and Egale Canada wish you the best of luck!” – Ryan Pettengill, Executive Director of You Can Play

Spider Jones, You Can Play campaign lead for the Sport North Federation has do add “Further to the release of Sport North’s You Can Play video and subsequent messaging at GAMES, it’s great to have Table Tennis North continuing to promote the tenants of You Can Play at the upcoming 2020 Arctic Winter Games. That regardless of one’s sexual orientation or how one identifies, if you make the pass, take the shot, make the call, support your team, pursue sporting excellence … if you can play, you can play!”

Table Tennis North will be wearing the You Can Play logo proudly on their competition shirts during the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games this March. An international multi sport competition highlight sports, culture and coming together. What better way of celebrating the YOU CAN PLAY campaign?! 

It is very simple for us, “If you can play, you can play!”

2020 Arctic Winter Games

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Please find more information on this years Arctic Winter Games event hosted in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Athletes

Shannon Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence)
Crystal Zhang (Hay River)
Monika Kunderlik (Yellowknife)
Sofia Barichello (Yellowknife)
Conner McKay-Ivanko (Hay River)
David Dragon (Yellowknife)

Head Coach: Steve Rowe (steve@aerobictabletennis.com)
Assistant Coach: Beth Hudson (beth@ascnwt.ca)
Mission Staff: Thorsten Gohl (thor@tabletennisnorth.ca)

Team NT handbook
Table Tennis technical package
Table Tennis one page (venue, accommodation, officials)

Host societies website: https://awg2020.org/

Team NT departure from Yellowknife on March 15th, 2020.
Team NT departure from Whitehorse on March 21st, 2020.

The Opening Ceremony will be hosted on March 15th at 6:30pm in the Tahkini Arena. The Closing Ceremony will be hosted on March 21st at 4pm in the Canada Games Centre. 

Here is the Table Tennis sport schedule (updated Feb 1st, 2020).

Sport North & Team NT release form.

2019 NWT School Championships

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What a fantastic time we had at the 2019 NWT School Championships. Over 100 kids came to compete in the categories from Grade 6-12 and in the Doubles categories Middle School and High School.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers helping and supporting this event and the teachers, parents, family and friends, getting the kids ready for the championships.

Congratulations to the two winners of our special awards. Both being students at Weledeh School.

Tyrell Whane – Sportsmanship Award
Jameel Makaran — Most Improved Award

Here are the SINGLES & DOUBLES images from the event.

DOUBLES

Middle School
1. Owen Reitsma/Joseph Curran (William McDonald)
2. Raine Mingo/Alex Ramsay (St. Pat’s)

High School
1. Zachary Mathison/Christopher Mathison (St. Pat’s)
2. Tamara Mathison/Gracie Brennan (St. Pat’s)

SINGLES

Grade 12 female
1. Katie Hart (St. Pat’s)

Grade 12 male
1. Marco Estebay (St. Pat’s)

Grade 11 male
1. Christopher Mathison (St. Pat’s)
2. Landen Lavers (St. Pat’s)

Grade 10 female
1. Katie Genge (St. Pat’s)

Grade 10 male
1. Jack Nevitt (St. Pat’s)
2. Luke Dizon (St. Pat’s)

Grade 9 female
1. Gracie Brennan (St. Pat’s)
2. Monika Kunderlik (Sir John)

Grade 9 male
1. Zachary Mathison (Weledeh)
2. David Dragon (Sir John)

Grade 8 female
1. Raine Mingo (St. Pat’s)
2. Abby Nebitt (St. Pat’s)

Grade 8 male
1. Cole Woodland (William McDonald)
2. Owen Reitsma (William McDonald)

Grade 7 female
1. Megan Smallwood (William McDonald)
2. Maisey Murray (William McDonald)

Grade 7 male
1. Hayden Murray (William McDonald)
2. Ryder Wicks (William McDonald)

Grade 6 female
1. Anna Curran (William McDonald)
2. Ella Skauge (William McDonald)

Grade 6 male
1. Blake Rose (St. Joe’s)
2. Ethan Bran (William McDonald)

Table Tennis Rules & Regulations

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We all know the rules and regulations of Table Tennis. Do we? Racket Lounge created a fantastic illustration on the topic. Great timing in preparation for the NWT School Championships and the Arctic Winter Games trials that are coming up.

Here is the link to the website: https://racketlounge.com/table-tennis-rules-and-regulations/

2019 NWT School Championships

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These years dates will be January 9 & 11, 2020, hosting the event on a Thursday (doubles) and Saturday (singles).

Some information for you:

Date: January 9 & 11, 2020
Time: Thursday 4:00-6:00 (Doubles)Saturday 10:00-6:00pm (Singles)
Cost: $10/player or max $200/school
Location: Weledeh School Gymnasium

Banners/Medals: Banners for Grade 6-8, 9-12.Medals for the category winners:
– 12 categories for singles (Grade 6-12)- 2 categories for doubles (Elementary, High School)

Registration deadline: January 6th, 2020

Q&A
Double division is open for boys/boys, girls/girls or mixed. You choose.Sign up fee is for Singles and Doubles together.No limit for signing up students per school.

Rules of table tennis:  http://www.tabletennisnorth.ca/uncategorized/2019-nwt-school-championships/table-tennis-rules-4/

Upcoming events are the Arctic Winter Games Team Table Tennis trials in Fort Providence, January 23-25th, 2020. Deadline for signing up for the trials is December 16th, 2019. We are also hosting a preparation camp on January 4-5th, 2020 in Fort Providence for anyone that would like to participate.

Upcoming training camps

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The Arctic Winter Games are around the corner and with that the upcoming trials, January 23-25, 2020, hosted in Fort Providence. We are starting a series of training camps in preparation for the trials:

November 10-11, 2019 in Fort Providence (Deh Gáh School)
November 23, 2019 in Yellowknife  (St. Patrick Gym)
November 30 – December 1, 2019 in Fort Providence (Deh Gáh School)
January 4-5, 2020 in Fort Providence (Deh Gáh School)

Schedule for Fort Providence: 10am-12pm, 1-3pm, 5-7pm
Schedule for Yellowknife: 4-8pm

You can sign up by sending an e-mail to info@tabletennisnorth.ca with your name, age, e-mail and phone number. If you are staying overnight, please let us know. 

2020 Registration for the Arctic Winter Games trials

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The registration is Open for the Team NT Arctic Winter Games trials. If you like to try out for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon, make sure that you register before December 16, 2019.

https://www.sportnorth.com/arctic-winter-games/2020-arctic-winter-games

Are you interested in Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories?