Anthony Ho confirmed as recipient of OSFO Merit Award
September 23, 2021
Anthony Ho has been awarded the prestigious OSFO (Organisation of Sports Federations of Oceania) Merit Award for the incredible work and contribution he has made to table tennis in the Oceania region over many years.
The OSFO Merit Award was introduced in 2017 to recognise individuals who have rendered distinguished service to their chosen sport in the Oceania Region.
Anthony’s passion for table tennis began as a player in high school. He won the National Men’s Singles title at the age of 16 as well as the Novice singles. Since then he has won 10 National Men’s singles and more than 10 doubles titles over the span of 30 years. He represented Fiji from 1977 to 2007 at multiple Pacific Games and Oceania Championships winning 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. He also presented Fiji at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.
Anthony had an even greater impact with coaching, development and administration. His work with the development of table tennis began as early as the 1980s and 90s and again since 2002. Thanks to his tireless efforts, from 2002 to 2017 Anthony brought multiple ITTF and ITTF-Oceania events to Fiji. The local spectators were able to see up close the world’s top 15 players when Anthony organised the 2017 World Cadet Challenge to be held in Suva. Three ITTF-Oceania events were also held simultaneously in 2017 and received international coverage. Anthony was awarded the Sports Administrator of the Year by the Fiji National Sports Commission and FASANOC in 2005, 2009, 2018 and the Sports Volunteer of the Year in 2009 during the Fiji Annual National Sports Awards.
In addition to administration, Anthony also played an integral part in coaching and the development of players to elite level. An ITTF and PTT Level 1 qualified coach, he supported and was inclusive of people with disabilities and was the coach of the National Para Table Tennis team. His players gained prominence over the last 15 years in the regional rankings and were seen competing at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, 2016 Rio Olympics, 2016 World Table Tennis Championships, multiple South Pacific and Oceania Championships. At the 2017 Pacific Mini Games Anthony successfully coached and managed the team to winning 4 gold (all para events), 2 silver and 3 bronze medals which were the best performance by a Fiji Table Tennis team.
At the grassroots level, Anthony conducted table tennis sessions at schools and established table tennis workshops for coaches, players and umpires and organised national tournaments since 2002.
Anthony sadly passed away at the age of 60 in July 2021. At the time of his death Anthony was the President of ITTF Oceania since mid 2017 and had been a Board of Director of the ITTF since 2004. Anthony also served as the President of Fiji Table Tennis from 2004 to 2007. ITTF-Oceania has received numerous tributes from across Oceania and around the world, from friends, players and officials recognising his incredible achievements and he was well-respected and well-loved by the table tennis community.
His daughter Lina Ho will receive the OSFO Merit award on his behalf.