The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) through its Athletes and Communities Engagement (ACE) Programme joined the Fiji Table Tennis Association (FTTA) to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on Saturday 10 April at the Sukuna Park in Suva.
The ACE Programme was invited by the Fiji Table Tennis to be part of the event with the global theme being ‘Gender Equality and The empowerment of women in media, advertising and communications’.
In a bid to promote #GenderEquality and #FEMpowerment, the 2021 #WorldTableTennisDay revolved around three main pillars:
ACE Coordinator Jeegar Bhavsar said they were happy to be given the opportunity to advocate on certain components of the ACE Programme by the Fiji Table Tennis Association.
"We used the opportunity to talk about the Olympic Values and how they contributed towards #GenderEquality and #FEMpowerment, in addition to advocating for Go Green and Stay Healthy which are components of our programme," he said.
"The Olympic Values include Respect, Excellence and Friendship while "Go Green" focuses on environmental issues and "Stay Healthy" is where our Champions talk on Non Communicable Diseases and the effect it has on people and communities."
The Champions presented to young children and youths from 5 to 19 years of age from the greater Suva community and also children and teachers from the deaf, visually impaired and athletes with disabilities.
Paralympian and the Pacific region’s top table tennis female athlete Mere Roden was the chief guest for the day and focused her inspiring speech on female empowerment adding to the theme for the day. Mere, who represented Fiji at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, shared her Table Tennis journey, her love of the sport and the positive impact it has had on her life, not only as an athlete but also for her physical and spiritual well being.
Anthony Ho, former President of the FTTA and current President of the Oceania Table Tennis Federation and member of the International Table Tennis Board, also addressed the young participants. He spoke on the FTTA’s involvement in the sport for development area through the Australian Government’s Team Up Program as well as the opportunities that Table Tennis offered young players.
Team Fiji Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Patrick Bower, Sports Development Manager Lyndall Fisher and CEO Lorraine Mar joined the ACE Champions at the opening of the event.