Tahiti Table Tennis Success
February 10, 2022
In 1993, one of the largest islands in French Polynesia – Tahiti became a member of the ITTF. Since that time the Tahiti Table Tennis Federation (TTTF) was working hard towards table tennis development. They started to develop table tennis clubs all over the island of Tahiti by putting table tennis tables in schools and opening as many new clubs as possible.
During this time Tahiti TTF had its ups and downs. We spoke to Alize Belrose, Executive Director of Tahiti TTF who said, “When I returned to Tahiti from my studies in Toulouse in December 2016, there were only 3 clubs left and less than 40 members”.
Alize and TTF decided to improve the situation of the federation and tried to understand why locals stopped being interested in table tennis.
He raised a few questions and tried to answer them:
- Why was there a negative change when they won all the gold medals at the Pacific Games in 2015?
- How can we increase the interest in table tennis and improve the existing situation?
Once he found the answers to those questions, Alize took some action, tried to attract more young kids and adults to be interested in table tennis. He started by setting up table tennis tables everywhere and creating a community where people would be happy to play and feel at home. In the meantime, they also developed table tennis in the islands through inter-island competitions and recreated the French Polynesia championship.
For the past few years, the Tahiti TTF successfully promoted and grew table tennis. Alize said that without the help of the Tahiti people and the benevolence of everyone towards the other members of the federation they wouldn’t be where they are right now.
Despite the ongoing virus, for the next 3-5 months Tahiti TTF has a lot of events planned. Almost every weekend they are holding an event, where Défense Contre l’Alcoolisme DCA (defense against alcoholism) Raiatea table tennis club organises a competition to allow the club’s youngsters to put into practice the skills gained during the training week. They believe that the more activities there are, the more people will be interested in table tennis.
Tahiti TTF is excited about 2022 since they have so many activities and competitions coming up such as:
- The Corporation Cup will start in March and will be ongoing for 7 Fridays. Every Friday, before the event, all the participants will be able to play the various games at “Ping Party” and meet other corporates.
- A Table tennis camp for the players who play for fitness. Also, young prospective players can join the camp and deepen their skills.
- The TOP 12, Tahiti Championships, and Criterium.
Also, there are other events in each archipelago. From now on one of the most important competitions will be held in Tahaa: The MEMORIAL OF ROBERT MOUPHAS. This competition is to honour one of the most respected table tennis coaches in Polynesia, who passed away back in 2021. From 2022, Tahiti TTF will try its best to bring as many players as possible to Tahaaa every year and also to encourage the other islands to come over and compete at the Tamarii Uporu club. The memorial competition will take place between the 15th to the 18th of April, 2022. The expectations for this competition are enormous – to be over 80 players, which is a lot for Taha’a island.
Tahiti TTF is one of the role models for all of us. Currently, they have 15 clubs across Tahiti island. When asked what their goals are in 2022. Executive Director, Alize Belrose shares the projects and programs they have planned for 2022:
- Ping Garden project: detection project to start with very young players so we can have a better performance program.
- Performance program: travel at least 3 times internationally and prepare the athletes for the Pacific Games in 2023 ( Oceania and France Championship )
- Outdoor program: develop table tennis outdoors with various competitions and events.
- Create new clubs: help the clubs to get funding for new inventory and help with the structure.
- Island program: assist all clubs in each archipelago with selections to participate at the French Polynesia Championship
- Corporation program: to involve more companies that want to play table tennis and prepare for the competition.
- Coaching program: with the help of the French Table Tennis Federation, find a way to give a professional diploma to the coaches (108 hours of theory and 90 hours of coaching).
ITTF-Oceania would like to say thank you to the Tahiti TTF for making an enormous difference in table tennis on Tahiti island. We are excited about the upcoming events and look forward to seeing the continued growth of table tennis.