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Table tennis program a hit at St Patrick's


Students of St Patrick’s Primary School, Mansfield Park, were given a masterclass in table tennis today, thanks to Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools initiative to get kids moving.

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As part of the program, Paralympic silver medallist Sam von Einem and Australian representative Hayley Sands paid a special visit to year 3 and 4 students, passing on some of their skills and talking to them about their journeys in sport.

Sporting Schools is a $240 million Australian Government initiative designed to help schools increase children’s participation in sport and to connect them with community sporting opportunities.

This year alone, the program has assisted Table Tennis Australia in bringing the sport to 11,387 school students across the country, and is hoping to exceed that number next year.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many kids enjoy the benefits of sport, and get right into table tennis,” said Table Tennis Australia’s Participation coordinator Egon Loh.

“You can see it firsthand right here at St Patrick’s – the kids have smiled ear to ear for the entire session.”

St Patrick’s School teacher Nicole Johnson said the Sporting Schools program was a great way to bring table tennis into the classroom, and they purposefully chose the sport so that all students could participate.

“St Patrick’s have been really fortunate to be involved with the program this term. The program has been able to give our students the opportunity to try a new sport that all students can access, no matter the age, gender or ability level,” she said.

“Access for all students is highly important at our school as St Patrick’s is a diverse multicultural school with its own additional needs unit on site, so it was fantastic that Sam and Hayley could come along and demonstrate to our students that table tennis is a sport for all.”

Paralympian Sam von Einem said it was fantastic to meet the students at St Patrick’s and share the sport he is so passionate about.

“It was great to be involved in the activities with the participants, and it was nice to share my experiences with them as well.”

Schools and children wanting to get involved in table tennis can do so via Table Tennis Australia’s Spinneroos program.

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