The Bhutan Table Tennis Federation, in collaboration with the International Table Tennis Federation is conducting a transformative training camp for athletes with disabilities. The camp, led by Australian Paralympics table tennis player, Trevor James Hirth, is aiming to empower participants and equip them with the skills to overcome physical limitations and excel in the sport.
Fifteen table tennis enthusiasts, including five with physical disabilities, are taking part in the week-long training camp.
Among the aspiring athletes is Rinzin Norbu, a 22-year-old college student who has been playing table tennis since the sixth grade.
Despite facing several challenges due to limited mobility and complications with his spine, Rinzin has always been passionate about the game of table tennis, even winning a medal in a school competition.
“For us, the ones with disabilities, we face a little more challenge while doing physical activities. So, the coach is teaching us how to overcome the limitations we face with our body and introducing new skills. The training camp is very useful; I think our country needs more training like this one from more experienced international players,” Rinzin Norbu, table tennis enthusiast.
Overseeing the training camp is Trevor James Hirth, who represented Australia at the Paralympics.
In spite of being born with a neuro-muscular disability since birth, he has competed in stages like the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Trevor wishes to teach and inspire, while sharing his knowledge about the game with the participants in the training camp.
“It is really great to see the para athletes training here. We are learning some very new things. I am hoping to pass on some of my experience and give them some tips, especially about pushing their own physical capabilities. I am also teaching them to use adaptive ways to use some of the assistive equipment and I am just working on opening up their mind just a bit more.”
With the training camp almost at its end, Trevor James Hirth revealed that the International Table Tennis Federation’s involvement in Bhutan’s table tennis community will continue beyond the camp.
“On our final day here, we will put together a small development plan that I will be following up on from time to time across the year. There will be more incentives next year from our ITTF participation programme. This goes on a rotational basis through Asia and other parts of the world. So, we will be following up, making sure that development in junior and para table tennis in the country continues.”
The training camp will conclude tomorrow.