For the very first time the World Cadet Challenge takes place in Fiji, and a very special pre-competition Training Camp welcomes six Continental Teams representing Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania plus the Host Team, Fiji, and the youngest team in the Tournament, the Hopes team, composed by U-12 players from all Continents. Four cadet boy players, and four cadet girl players, from different national associations, will compete in Team, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Singles Events.
ITTF Key Stakeholders greeted the Young Players in the Vodafone Arena Venue. Photo: Mafi Tupou
Day one at this three-day training camp saw ITTF key stakeholders greet the young talents.
ITTF Deputy CEO Glenn Tepper presented ITTF´s Athlete Development Model framework and the multiple opportunities for young players to develop.
We start off with Under-12, we have a worldwide Hopes program, we have the Cadet Challenge, some of you may be fortunate to play in the Youth Olympic Games next year and we have the Junior Circuit, World Junior Championships..there is an incredible amount of opportunities for young players. ITTF can provide the opportunities but the players have to take them. The message for the young players is clear: do your best, work hard and I wish you a very successful week.
During the camp we have the philosophy of each team training with each other team at least once. That is also important because how you train with the less strong player and the best player should be the same. You should be thinking the same way, work to help the weaker player and benefit from the help of the best player.
From left to right, Dejan Papic, Eva Jeler and Glenn Tepper welcome the players. Photo by: Daniela Gomes
Some of Table Tennis most prestigious players, such as Zhang Jike and Mima Ito have taken part in the World Cadet Challenge activities in the past.
ITTF Education and Training Coordinator Dejan Papic points out the additional scholarship and training opportunities that may come following this event.
We have more and more scholarships, more and more training camps, so here you have the chance during the training and during the Challenge to earn one of the scholarships. We now have the With the Future in Mind Scholarships and the Seamaster Scholarships from next year. We believe the program is working and through it you can excel. Just today we discussed some examples such as Kanak, playing at higher level while he is still Junior and brought up through this program. At the begining of this program many good players from China, Korea and Japan participated. Ita Mimo was here, also Zhang Jike won the Tournament.. this is the place to be.
We are very happy Eva Jeler is here. We take this opportunity to thank Eva and DTTB.
Players welcomed at the 2017 World Cadet Challenge Training Camp. Photo by: Daniela Gomes
Sport and Friendship for life
Training Camp Head Coach Eva Jeler expects that this event marks a beginning of a successful career for players who will continue to train and compete for many years to come. The well- known German Coach highlights that the World Cadet Challenge is both a chance for training, education, competition and cultural exchange which brings up an atmosphere full of positive energy.
We will be training three days and we will have the World Cadet Challenge. This is a great opportunity to train well and then also to make some friends for life. Despite the different levels among the players, just try to make the best out of every situation. Sometimes you have to take and sometimes you have to give.. and try to learn.