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Three Day Training Camp Sets ITTF-Oceania Hopes Week and Challenge in Action

by on Apr.03, 2013, under News

Organised by Health, Wellness and Table Tennis, a company based in the Australian city of Melbourne; the inaugural ITTF-Oceania Hopes Week and Challenge commenced on Tuesday 2nd April 2013 with a three day Training Camp.

Home for the event is the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

At the helm is Simon Gerada with Melissa Tapper and Ivan Sulfrano in support.

All have considerable international experience.

Olympian and Paralympian
Notably Simon Gerada represented Australia in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, whilst Melissa Tapper competed in the World Junior Championships in Kobe in 2004 and recently was in action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Melissa Tapper in action at the London Paralympic Games.

Ivan Sulfrano is currently a member of the Australian Junior Boys’ Team.

Chance for International Play
“The event is designed to give young athletes within the region an opportunity to compete at an international level at a very young age”, explained Matthew Brown, the Oceania Development Officer. “The athletes targeted are between 11 and 12 years of age.”

A positive Oceania Development Officer and equally Melissa Tapper was positive.

Great Experience
“It was great to see the many young faces here today”, she said. “I’m sure this will be an experience which this group will remember for a life time.”

Equally, Ivan Sulfrano was upbeat.

“The stadium looked great this morning when I walked in, so many youngsters and so much talent”, he said. “We’ll show them how to work!”

Successful First Day
Hard work is the key to success and very necessary.

“The morning started with an introduction made by myself where I thanked everyone for coming”, explained Simon Gerada. “Following a warm up led by Ivan, which I explained we had learned the warm up from the Korean National team, a warm up designed specifically for table tennis concentrating the muscles used in table tennis, the morning session involved multi-ball for two and a half hours where we focused on placement, movement and accountability.”

Paired with Senior Players
A well organised session the international players were paired with senior players to gain the best possible value from the session.

“The session concluded with a warm down and an explanation of recovery and preparation for the afternoon session”, continued Simon Gerada. “In the afternoon we began with a warm up which was again run by Ivan, where we explained that the warm up was used in China; a warm up we had learned as a team several years ago and was a more dynamic increasing heart rate.”

Footwork the Focus
Each player was paired with a player of a similar level, a total of 28 players being involved in two distinct groups.

“Footwork with service drills to follow was the basic plan with a general focus on match play; keeping the ball on the table was the key focus”, added Simon Gerada. “Overall the day went really well; we will provide the international and interstate guests with a MyKey card to explore the city of Melbourne on Wednesday”

However, for the players it will be another full day’s training with a distinctive goal..

Ideal Preparation
“The training camp will provide the young athletes with the ideal preparation for the ITTF-Oceania Hopes Challenge to be staged over two days on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April 2013”, explained Michael Brown. “The competition sees 16 boys and nine girls competing; thanks to the assistance of the ITTF Development Programme, the highest placed finishers in the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles events will receive financial assistance to attend the ITTF Hopes Week to be staged at the Werner Schlager Academy in Austria, Vienna later this year.”

A definitive goal, an exciting challenge lies ahead.

Supporting Organisations
In addition to the International Table Tennis Federation the week is endorsed by the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, Table Tennis Australia and Table Tennis Victoria.

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