Pick up your paddle and get ready to serve some serious moves: a ping pong challenge is coming to the NWT.
Table Tennis North is hosting what it has dubbed the Virtual Freestyle Ping Pong Challenge from April 12 to 16, and ping pong enthusiasts across the territory are encouraged to participate.
“We need to move forward, we need to try different things,” said Table Tennis North’s executive director, Thorsten Gohl.
Registration for the Virtual Freestyle Ping Pong Challenge is now open on Table Tennis North’s website, with four age categories available.
There are four challenges participants must master: the ping-pong flip, balance jump, wall hit, and hand switch. Instructional videos for each of the moves are being uploaded to the event page.
Participants must submit video clips of themselves completing all four challenges between April 12 and April 16.
These entries will be watched and scored by a judge, who will determine winners. Those looking to gain extra points can submit a bonus video of any other tricks or creative ways of bouncing the ball they know.
Gohl described the event as a “pilot.”
“If it works, maybe Table Tennis Canada will want to do a national challenge, or maybe an international challenge,” he said. “You never know. We’ll just try things out and then make them better as they go.”
Table Tennis North has been active in the NWT for the past six years, ordinarily running tournaments and events across the territory.
While Covid-19 has meant many tournaments didn’t proceed, Gohl said the organization has tried to stay as active as possible.
The NWT’s table tennis team has been practising in Fort Providence and the organization recently ran a six-week table tennis training program for young hockey goalies in Hay River to help improve their reaction times and hand-eye coordination.
“Wherever you are or whatever ability you have, you can still play,” Gohl said. “You can do it as a hobby down in the basement. You can use a book instead of a paddle. You can do it on the kitchen table, on a professional table, you can do it against the wall.
“There’s so many great things about the sport.”
He encouraged people of all ages and experience levels to sign up for the Virtual Freestyle Ping Pong Challenge.
“Try something, have fun with it,” he said. “Challenge yourself.”
This article is part of a paid partnership between Table Tennis North and Cabin Radio.