Fiji a hive of table tennis activity
September 10, 2019
Table tennis took over Fiji last week, Fiji Table Tennis Association (FTTA) hosted a number of activities as the sport continues to grow in the Pacific. FTTA and Fiji Development Officer Harvi Yee spearheaded the program which involved the launch of the Bounce it Back Program, an ITTF Basic Referee course, the ITTF Oceania Tour, and multiple Smash Down Barriers sessions.
Bounce it Back
Bounce it Back was successfully launched in Fiji at the Yat Sen Hall on Friday 6th September with the attendance of the Counsellor of the Australian High Commission, Renee Deschamps, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Heritage & Arts Alison Burchell, as well as guests from other key organisations such as FNSC and FPC. The program commenced earlier in the week with a two-day workshop for FTTA development officers and local teachers. These sessions were run by Australian Para-athlete and Smash Down Barriers Ambassador Trevor Hirth. Three schools and two community groups will take part in the initial 8-week program with more schools ready to join the program in 2020. Fiji is the second country in Oceania to implement this program after a successful pilot in Tonga in April.
More information can be found here.
ITTF Referee Course
In the lead up of the 2019 ITTF Oceania Tour event hosted in Fiji, an ITTF Basic Referee Course was held on the 5th-6th September, administered by Stephen Gillespie, an internationally accredited referee. Four newly-qualified referees passed the assessment and are now accredited to assist at future events. These newly certified referees then had the opportunity to gain immediate practical experience at the ITTF-Oceania Tour which kicked off immediately following the course. Developing officials in Fiji has been an on-going effort by ITTF-Oceania to grow the capacity of the FTTA with the aim of hosting international events on a regular basis.
As ITTF-Oceania continues to add events to its calendar, the need for local referees grows. These new officials signal the healthy growth of table tennis in Oceania as its capacity to host events continues to develop.
ITTF Oceania Tour | Fiji
The second stop of the 2019 ITTF Oceania Tour was held at Yat Sen Hall, Suva from the 7th-8th September, the event saw competitors from across continent fighting for both titles and points on the ITTF Oceania Tour Standings. It was a clean sweep for Fiji’s young stars Vicky Wu and Grace Yee who dominated the event playing on their home turf, coming away with 3 gold medals each.
More results can be found here.
Smash Down Barriers
Fiji Table Tennis Association has been part of the Smash Down Barriers program since its inception in 2014. FTTA continuously partners with national disability organisations and schools to deliver daily, inclusive table tennis activities. Last week multiple Smash Down Barriers lessons were run by local development officers assisted by Australian Para-athlete and Smash Down Barriers Ambassador Trevor Hirth.
With the help of the Australian Government and the Australian Aid program, the Smash Down Barriers program has impacted the lives of hundreds of Fijians living with disability and their families. FTTA remains committed and vigilant in providing opportunities for people with disabilities including employment, education and community activities.
More information on the Smash Down Barriers program can be found here.
Smash Down Barriers session with Ambassador Trevor Hirth in Fiji 🏓🇫🇯#SmashDownBarriers #AustralianAid #TT4ALL