July 13, 2018

Still standing after three days of intense training at the Elevate Performance Camp. (Photo: ITTF-Oceania)

Staged in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from the 28-30 May, the second Elevate Performance Training Camp was a hit amongst players and coaches alike. Oceania’s elite cadets gathered to learn more about table tennis and develop their game, while also enjoying new cultural experiences.

Three days of intense training provided ITTF-Oceania High Performance Officer Patrick Wuertz all the right signs to show that the continent is headed in the right direction.

“My feeling is that the whole continent is moving. More countries are participating at competitions and at these type of training opportunities.” Patrick Wuertz, ITTF-Oceania High Performance Officer.

The camp attracted some of the region’s brightest table tennis minds, who all came together to trade knowledge and skills.

“The best part for me was the level of coaches that came to the training camp. Three out of four countries came with their National Coaches and this is how we can share knowledge and help each other.” Patrick Wuertz, ITTF-Oceania High Performance Officer

Tahitian coach Alize Belrose, saw that it has players truly benefited from access to the high performance sporting environment.

“My players really liked the stage. They have learned a lot and have gained experience playing with other players. It is this kind of travel that is necessary for them to progress.” Alize Belrose, Tahiti National Coach

Meanwhile for Aussie cadet Finn Luu, the camp provided him with that right ingredients to hit his stride going in to the upcoming events.

“Having the training camp just before the tournament in Rarotonga helped me to find rhythm and prepare in a match related environment.  I felt a lot more prepared for the tournaments after the camp.” Finn Luu, Australian Athlete

It turned out to be perfect preparation for Luu, who went on to qualify for Team Oceania that will head to the World Cadet Challenge in Japan later this year.

But it’s not just about what went down on the courts.

“It has also been great to meet all the players from different countries and get to know them” Finn Luu, Australian athlete.

Team bonding and cultural exchange has become a major element of the Elevate program. Language is no barrier to these young table tennis players celebrating their shared love of the sport.

The camp also allowed some extracurricular activities, and stand-up paddle boarding was a splash with the kids. Not only was it a fun time, it was the perfect cross training to compliment the on table workouts. Aquatic games also providing a laugh as everyone shared the experience of clumsily tumbling off the board.

Stay tuned as ITTF-Oceania continues to endeavour towards elevating its athletes!