Table tennis Butterfly North American tour flies through FortiusJanuary 16, 2017
Table tennis is often associated with recreational activity played inside college dorm rooms and workplace games rooms.
However, one step inside the Fortius Sport & Health Gymnasium this past weekend would dispel those myths for good.
Fresh off hosting the ITTF North America Cup and PANAM Junior Championships in June of 2016, Fortius was excited to welcome back Table Tennis Canada for the Butterfly Canada Cup January 14 and 15. The national qualifier saw male and female competitors spanning U-12 up to the over-60 categories.
The event is part of the Butterfly North America tour and the eventual plan, according to Table Tennis Canada’s Manager of Programs, Mireille Tallon, is to have players from Canada and the US participate in multiple events per year against each other, with all events being linked to eventual qualification for the Finals.
Table tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports, particularly in Asia and Europe, but Tallon sees potential for it to rise in popularity here in Canada as well.
“It’s a fun sport to watch. It’s so fast and the players are so skillful that it makes people realize that this is a real sport,” she says. “It’s not the idea that many people have in their heads.”
Through events like the Canada Cup and an eventual North American circuit, and with the support of a major sponsor like Butterfly, Tallon sees Canadian table tennis players being given more opportunities to train and compete at the highest level.
“Everyone knows that to become a good player in any sport, you have to compete against the best,” she says.
As for Table Tennis Canada’s growing relationship with Fortius Sport & Health, Tallon points to two main reasons for this: the facility and the people.
“Everybody says it. When you walk into the Gym there’s a “wow factor”. The lighting, the layout, it’s all an eye opener as to what a high-level facility should be.”
The “everything under one roof” concept of Fortius has been a great tool for table tennis events. In addition to being the competition venue, players and officials stay in the Lodge and receive catered meals in the Bistro. Athletes can also use the Training Centre to work out or warm up before their matches. And should injuries occur, the Institute is just a few steps away for treatment and recovery.
“You get here and you stay here for the whole event,” laughs Tallon. “It’s a nice setup for us.”
Also a key part of the relationship are the sports-loving staff at Fortius.
“We love working with you guys [Fortius],” says Tallon. “The people here have a genuine interest in the sport. We can tell that you guys [Fortius staff] really like sports and you guys get excited when we’re here and you do whatever you can to support us. It’s fun to work with people who are genuinely interested in us.”
Fortius is fortunate to host so many amazing sports under our roof and we take pride in learning from each group that we host. We look forward to supporting the growth of table tennis in Canada and being part of it with future events in our facility.
Visit the Fortius Sport & Health website to learn more about our facility and hosting your next sporting event with us.