July 13, 2017
Northwest Territories Thorsten Gohl winner of the 2016 Betty Tweedy Award
Table Tennis Canada – TTCAN is delighted to congratulate Thorsten Gohl as the winner of the Betty Tweedy Award for 2016. This award is given to an administrator who has made an outstanding contribution to a provincial/territorial or national table tennis program.
The nomination was impressive:
Thorsten has been crucial in starting the Territorial Sport Organization and getting Table Tennis North to being accepted as a member of Table Tennis Canada. Thanks to him, Table Tennis North brought in 35 professional Table Tennis tables into the Northwest Territories. Working with our Sponsors like Butterfly and Rowe’s Construction to bring the best equipment possible into the North. All of this supports local clubs with knowledge, equipment and Table Tennis clinics for health, for fun and for futures.
“Thor is a consistent person and has always been there for me, from training to needing help. He is a great coach with lots of passion for what he does.”
— Mikaela Vandell (Team NWT Athlete, Coach, Board of Director Table Tennis North)
“He was a coach that was never disappointed, only happy with your improvements and progress. He was always happy. So, when I played my games, it made it easier on me even though he challenged me to be my best.” — Jacqueline Larocque (Team NWT Athlete)
Thorsten is always promoting Table Tennis online with daily reports on what happens with the Sport in the Northwest Territories. Telling the stories of our communities, children and adults and their journey with Table Tennis. Thanks to that, we have increased our followers by over 400% and we are engaging more and more people around the Northwest Territories. Table Tennis has been featured over 20 times in local, national and international media outlets (newspaper, radio, television).
“Thorsten has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the youth across multiple communities in the NWT through his tireless dedication to promoting the sport of Table Tennis. His enthusiasm for the sport and his fierce promotion of the sport through social media had set the bar high for other TSOs in the territories to follow suit. He has spent countless hours working with youth instilling in them the passion of being engaged in sport. He came to the north as a volunteer at Deh Gah School in Fort Providence and has found a place where he has made a difference.”
— Lois Philipp, Principal Deh Gah School in Fort Providence
Always trying to think outside the box, working on the newest event, clinic or a way to capture the fun that our Athletes have with the sport. Also, working with other Territorial Sport Organizations like Tennis NWT to promote health with fun and possibilities, in the Northwest Territories.
He’s brought in Table Tennis programs like Aerobic Table Tennis, especially popular with the kids and youth, and Table Tennis Therapy which research shows is especially beneficial in providing mental and physical exercise. In the future, we will have events on Great Slave Lake and with others in the North. Right now, we are working on creating school program curriculums for 19 schools in the Northwest Territories and adding it to their physical education classes. It will be a great addition for the sport, the schools and overall health
in the Territories.
“In my 25 years of coaching kids, it is very rare to find someone of Thorsten’s skill level who can relate and work so well with young people. His passion for Table Tennis is equally match by his passion for working with the kids. NWT is truly lucky to have someone like Thorsten living and spreading his Knowledge and love of Table Tennis in the North.”
— Mike Johnston, Teacher Kalemi Dene School
As a Board of Director, we are very fortunate to have Thorsten helping us with promoting Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories. He not only helped to put Table Tennis on the map, but also added it to one of the top sports in the North.
So far, thanks to Thorsten, Table Tennis North has played Table Tennis with over 2,000 kids and reached 13 communities. The focus is reaching the schools and adding it into their calendar, but he also worked with the Elders in those communities. Giving them a chance to participate and engaging in programs like “Elders in Motion.”
He lived in Yellowknife for a month to provide all schools with Table Tennis clinics during their physical education classes. He started school Table Tennis clubs in Hay River, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith and Fort Providence. At the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, Team NWT won the Silver Medal in Juvenile Girls Double for the first time in more than 30 years.
One of the biggest achievements is helping to find role models in the communities and encouraging them to take their place. Mikaela Vandell, a two-time Arctic Winter Games Athlete has become a Coach in her community now with his guidance, as well as a Board of Director of Table Tennis North. Because of all this, the participation for the Territorial Championships has increased by more than double. More requests from parents are coming out to enroll their kids in Table Tennis. Asking for more tournaments, more events to participate in. It is exciting and important.
“It is a great honour receiving this award. Being recognized by a National Sports Organization will help us to do even better in the future. There is so many amazing people in the North and I am very grateful to being part of it. Thank you, mahsi!”
— Thorsten Gohl
Nominated by Marny Twigge, Vice President Table Tennis North
Well done Thorsten!