Tonga Table Tennis Gets Down to Business
September 25, 2020
Table Tennis has received a great momentum boost in Tonga, as the nation marked the launch of their much anticipated Business House competition on September 11th. The business contest has long been a part of the federation’s strategic plan, and has now come to reality – much to the delight and enjoyment of its participants.
The first round of matches also coincided with the commencement of the Fiefia Tonga Sports, the annual sports program for Government Ministries and Corporate Business in a quest to open opportunities for Tongans in the workforce to be more active and healthy. What better way to do so than with table tennis competition.
The new Business House event has seen multiple venues being put to use, as well as TTTF development coaches offering coaching sessions prior to the start of the inaugural season. It has truly been a coming-together of resources and planning to launch a successful event.
One Government Ministry, Ministry of Finance and National Planning is taking part in the competition together with Tonga Power Ltd, BSP Bank, Tupou Tertiaty Institutute,Naunau ‘Alamaite Tonga Association the Self-Advocacy group for persons with disabilities. The competition is also pushing inclusion as a priority, with teams of mixed gender and physical ability – some of Tonga’s very own national para athletes front and center as the competition got off to a strong start, and is already moving towards the third round.
“NATA (self-advocacy group for persons with disabilities) is playing a vital role in educating others on inclusion. The respect for the skill of athletes with disabilities is growing already as a result, and I think by the end of this competition there could be significant positive changes in perception,” says Tonga Table Tennis Federation CEO Netina Latu. “This Business House is a key driver for inclusion in Tonga and table tennis is the only sport where players with disabilities can compete on an equal platform with their peers.”
The contest has also brought the national junior and senior players into the mix, to help with officiating the matches. It has truly been a combined effort from across the board, Tonga Table Tennis Federation should be commended for their impressive work to get this up and running.
We look forward to seeing the progress of the teams as they compete towards the main draw, and inevitably the big final, which is set to take place on 13th November. A big step forward for Tongan table tennis, and a sign that they very much mean business! Best of luck to all the players!
The competition is supported by Matalupe Company Ltd, Tui International Ltd, JJ Rose Store & Gallery and the Chinese Embassy.
Matches are played at Tupou Tertiary Institute at Fasi and at the Tonga Power Ltd garage at Matatoa each Friday from 4:30pm – about 7pm.