22 Jul 2017

Situated in the South Pacific, Wallis and Futuna, some 225 miles west of Samoa and 300 miles north-east of Fiji, was the home in June for an ITTF Development Project Week.

Proceedings were led by New Caledonia’s Cathy Gauthier, a coach who is no stranger to the remote islands; she had visited in November 2011 and more recently less than one year ago in October 2016.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Impressively, no less than 160 players attended the training camps and coaches’ courses; the focus being very much directed towards primary schools. Most certainly it was an intense schedule for Cathy Gauthier.

Notably the area has 18 primary schools in the territory, a combined total of over 5,200 students; 12 primary schools are on Wallis and six are on Futuna.

“The little Oceanian country, located an hour away from Fiji, counts 12 000 inhabitants, all of them being, of course, rugby and volleyball fans. Now, since last year, they’ve really discovered table tennis; since then we just can’t stop them. We even hear within primary schools hallways that they prefer the small ball.” Cathy Gauthier

An introduction to table tennis; accepted formally as a member of the International Table Tennis Federation in 2011, it is hoped that in the not too distant future, players from the Ligue de Tennis de Table de Wallis and Futuna will compete increasingly in international tournaments in Oceania.

High Performance and Development Coaching Cathy Gauthier