Ready for Oceania Junior Championships and beyond
August 6, 2019
Staged in Nuku’alofa, Tonga from the 4th-6th August, the third Elevate Performance Training Camp was a hit amongst players and coaches alike. Oceania’s junior athletes gathered to learn more about table tennis and develop their game, while also enjoying new cultural experiences.
The Elevate training camp combines training, education and competition with high-level training partners and coaches. Held right before the ITTF Oceania Junior Championships, this camp served as preparation for the young players with two days of training lead by head coach Patrick Wuertz as well as a team bonding and cultural exchange day.
“I think it was great to have training camp before the Oceania Junior Championships, It not only provides additional value to a relatively expensive trip but also an opportunity for players and coaches to get used to the conditions” Patrick Wuertz
The Elevate training camp aims to provide a bridge for players competing at the peak of their National System to progress to ‘International Elite Level’. In addition, Elevate focusses on developing coaches by providing international exposure to further the education of high-performance table tennis.
“The intention of the Elevate camps has always been about providing a pathway to high performance, not the destination. This camp is a key step of the overall program as it provides training services to developing national associations with intention of assisting in the development of pacific youth and ultimately leading to their participation at major elevate training camps”
Tongan coach Simote Manumanu Pepa, saw first hand the benefits of access to a high-performance sporting environment.
“This is our first opportunity to be in a camp at such a high level like this where we get to join and train with players from other countries. We are very grateful to have Patrick who was a lot of skills and knowledge to share with both our coaches and players. This experience is very valuable to us and especially our junior players as it allows them to build their skills for the future.”
For Tongan cadet, Theo Fifita, the camp provided with him all the right preparation for his first appearance at the Oceania Junior Championships.
“This is a new experience for me as this is the first time I have had the chance to train on sports flooring. The standard of training and venue is more than I am used to usually here in Tonga. This camp is a good chance for me to get feedback from coaches and I have learnt how to improve my balance and footwork so I can play stronger balls during matches.” Theo Fifita
The players also got time to get to know each other and enjoy some time outside of the training hall. Team bonding and cultural exchange have 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.
“This was a good chance for me to make some new friends. I like training hard with them but I also like having fun outside the hall with them. I really enjoyed the team activities we did in Pangaimotu with the other players.” Mele Fungavai, Tongan Athlete
The Elevate training camp kicks off the start of the ITTF Oceania Junior Championships, where Oceania’s best junior athletes will be contesting for a number of titles as well as the chance to be on the 2019 Oceania Cadet Team.
Stay tuned as these athletes put their skills to practice in the next 4 days of competition. Check out the draws here.