Coming Together – Hockey & Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories
Amazing things happen when organizations come together for a common goal. From February 23rd until April 4th, 2021 that will happen in Hay River where a pilot project will be launched to increase eye hand coordination and reaction time for Hockey Goalies through Table Tennis. This is a great partnership between Table Tennis North, Hockey NWT, Hockey North, Table Tennis Canada, Hay River Minor Hockey and the Sport Information Resource Centre, to showcase how important and beneficial coming together is.
Executive Director for Table Tennis North, Thorsten Gohl is excited about this project. “It is so great to see it all unfold. We have so many amazing people in the North that help and support us to make this happen. The goal for Table Tennis is to enhance the skills of any athletes, support them, give them the tools, experiences and crazy ‘out of the box’ fun ideas in becoming amazing human beings and role models for our communities. Honestly, it can be that simple.”
The project will start on February 23rd with an evaluation of eight U11 – U18 hockey goalies. Tests will be done on and off ice to identify their reaction time, their eye hand coordination and their overall fitness. All athletes will receive a hockey jersey, as well as professional Table Tennis equipment to support them in performing their best. The Table Tennis sessions will start on February 25th with a small assessment and the basic knowledge of the sport. Including how to hold the racket, the basic rules of the game, how to move and what are the expectations of this program.
“This initiative by Table Tennis North is a great example of cooperation between sports. Table Tennis Canada thanks Thorsten Gohl for creating and implementing this creative project.” – Adham Sharara, President Table Tennis Canada
Table Tennis Canada and Table Tennis North will offer a specialist training program for hockey goalies. The plan will include footwork drills within small spaces, reaction time training, challenges that will include hockey goalie gear and a lot of fun activities. Some of the best coaches in Canada will give their input for a “dynamic ever changing” plan for the best outcome of this project.
“We love when things like this happen for our players and we look forward to building relationships and working more closely with other territorial sport organizations to help maximize the benefits and work towards common goals for all athletes in the NWT.” Pennie Pokiak, President Minor Hockey Hay River
The Don Stewart Recreation Centre will be the host of this project, offering us the ice for the evaluation and the Table Tennis area for the sport specific clinics. Stephanie Millete, Director of Recreation & Community Services for the Town of Hay River welcomes the opportunity to be part of this. He says “We are excited to have projects like this come to our beautiful venue. We are sure it will be successful an I am looking forward to seeing it unfold.”
“This is a great initiative to help develop transferable skills between Table Tennis and hockey goaltenders. Thank you to Hay River Minor Hockey for making their athletes available for this project. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Table Tennis North to enhance the development of multi-sport athletes across the North.” – Kyle, Executive Director Hockey NWT, Hockey North
We will be working with professional videographers to capture the “behind the scenes” activities, and also to use high speed cameras to collect data for the research component of this project. The research team at SIRC (Sport Information Resource Centre) will evaluate the program and mobilize the findings for the sport community. The goal is to provide a top-notch training program that goes beyond the game to build resilience and character.
“SIRC is thrilled to be contributing to this partnership. We know that evidence is critical for program planning and improvement, and we are excited to support this program through credible research and evaluation.” Debra Gassewitz, President Sport Information Resource Centre.
A huge thanks to the COVID-19 relief funding from the Government of Canada, and for the financial contribution from the Mackenzie Recreation Association for this project. Without amazing partners like these, this would not be possible.