Situated in the south of New Caledonia’s main island, the capital city of Noumea was the home for an Oceania Hopes Week from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th February.
Players from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand and Tahiti attended, as well as from the hosts, New Caledonia; the expert on duty was Germany’s highly respected Eva Jeler.
Eva Jeler faces the television cameras, media interest was high Photo By: Courtesy of Patrick Gillmann
Proceedings were held in the Jean Noyant hall with five hours of practice being organised each day.
A detailed programme was designed with everyone responding positively despite the fact that temperatures reach 40 degrees centigrade!
“The advice given to the players and coaches was much appreciated”, said Patrick Gillman, the President of the Ligue Caledonienne de Tennis de Table and Executive Vice President of the International Table Tennis Federation.
“A total of 12 coaches took part”, added Patrick Gillmann. “Now we expect them to implement the knowledge accumulated when they return home.”
Certainly Patrick Gillmann was delighted with proceedings as was the Head Coach.
“Eva enjoyed her visit to New Caledonia a great deal”, added Patrick Gillmann. “She expressed the view that the technical level was very good; that the children had been ready to work hard and had made huge progress.”
Two Major Venues
Notably in New Caledonia there are two major table tennis venues; one in Noumea and one in Koumac; there are at the very heart of the sport.
“Also Eva Jeler expressed the view that the coaches had good technical knowledge and hopes that the children in the Under 12 age group will continue to improve”, continued Patrick Gillmann. “Furthermore, she was pleased with the playing conditions, she praised the practice partners and was delighted with the warm welcome she had received in more ways than one!”
Credit to Cathy Gauthier
Great credit for the success of the course was thanks to the efforts of Cathy Gauthier, the leading female player in New Caledonia and now the National Technical Director.
She was very much the reason for the high technical levels that were witnessed. It was a fact noted by Eva Jeler.
Five days of coaching over the now well established Challenge tournament concluded matters.
The respective Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles winners were Finn Luu and Chermaine Quah both from Australia.
Impressively throughout the whole six days, television, radio and the written press covered the event as did the social media.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Gillmann
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor