March 5, 2019

(Photo: Jessica MacAskill)

The Kingdom of Tonga once again welcomed the opportunity to educate and upskill coaches. With support from Olympic Solidarity from the 19-27th of February they held an ITTF PTT level 1 coach education course followed by a 3 day training camp. The course was held at Queen Salote Memorial Hall and was attended by 20 participants.

The participants come from various clubs in Tonga, with this being the first course in over 4 years where participants from the smaller outer islands also attended; two coaches from Eua and two from Ha’apai. The future hope is that with skilled coaches Table Tennis can grow as a sport with people playing in the other islands also.

“The course is very timely as TTTF seek to increase the participation and expand its growth, and to do so we need more coaches to help teach our youth Table Tennis. It is also good for us to have coaches who can assist in the other islands, Eua and Ha’apai”. (Netina Latu, TTTF CEO)

The course had a high success rate with every coach learning multiple new skills and enjoying their week. Following the education component there was a 3 day training camp where all of the coaches got the opportunity to put their new knowledge and skills into action. The training camp provided coaches an opportunity to work with a variety of players; school children, teenagers, adults and people with a disability.

“It was a good experience for me to work with players of different levels, and practise what I have been taught as a coach. I now look forward to going home, starting a club and encouraging more youth to play Table Tennis” (Soaki Liuaki- Ha’apai)

The president of Tonga Table Tennis, Mr Hasiloni Fungavai said “I’m pleased with the course and am excited to have many new coaches that can assist in further developing Table Tennis in Tonga. Hopefully these coaches can continue to learn new things later this year by watching some of the best young players when we [Tonga] host the Oceania Junior Championships”.