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Mere Rodan: I Feel Included

Seven years after being confined to a wheelchair, Mere Rodan would be representing Fiji in table tennis. She will take part in the in the 2015 Oceania Para Regional Championships
10 Mar 2015 08:55
Mere Rodan: I Feel Included

Seven years after being confined to a wheelchair, Mere Rodan would be representing Fiji in table tennis.

She will take part in the in the 2015 Oceania Para Regional Championships in Bendigo, Australia next month.

Rodan is thankful that table tennis has given her a new lease of life. She encourages others to try the sport, no matter what their ability is or what restrictions they think they have.

“There are no barriers or limitations in table tennis,”she said.

“No one is left out with table tennis because we have special classifications, so there’s a way that everyone can play with someone of a similar ability.”

After being convinced by a friend in September to give table tennis a try for the first time, Rodan developed a passion and love for the sport that has endured.

Playing several nights a week for fun at the FSC National Table Tennis Centre in Suva, her talent for the sport saw her compete and win the Mixed Wheelchair Event at Fiji Table Tennis Open in January.

Rodan says she has noticed the benefits of table tennis in the short time she has been playing. She believes by keeping her active, the sport has helped in her physical and mental wellbeing.

“Since I started table tennis ,there have been a lot of really good changes. Although I am using my upper body for table tennis, now I have better circulation and feeling in my legs, I feel stronger and I have more control over my body- it is a sign of recovery,” she said.

“I feel so included and so free just to be able to take part in this sport and the best thing is people have noticed the change in me. People tell me ‘you really look different, you look well today’ and for those who know I play table tennis it’s one thing.

For those who don’t know, it means I’m really improving,” she said.

Rodan is committed to helping others to have fun, get active and meet new people through table tennis, by helping organise the Smash Down Barriers Fun Day, an initiative of the Fiji Table Tennis Association and Australian Aid to be held on May 6.

“The focus of the event will be to encourage everyone, including those with a disability to have a great day by trying a sport perhaps they have never tried before and making new friends along the way,” she said

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