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Hawaii Targets Medal For Government Backing

  Tuvalu is hoping their participation in the Oceania Para Championships will encourage the Tuvalu government to get people involved in table tennis. Para athlete Ioane Hawaii said table tennis
13 Apr 2017 11:00
Hawaii Targets Medal For Government Backing
From left standing:Tulimanu Jackmula,Taniela Soa From left sitting:Esekia Vaega ,Ioane Hawaii during training session on April 12, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

Tuvalu is hoping their participation in the Oceania Para Championships will encourage the Tuvalu government to get people involved in table tennis.

Para athlete Ioane Hawaii said table tennis being a minor sport in their country was something the five Tuvaluan representatives at the championship were hoping to change.

“To be participating in an event like this is huge, this is considered a really big event because para athletes from all over the region are here in one place,” Hawaii said.

“Back home, no one really knows about table tennis and no one knows that it is a sport that is not only easy to play but it can take you places outside your country.

“We want to change the perception of how people view table tennis back home, we want to do well in this championship so we can open the eyes of those at home.

“Winning a medal or two will hopefully get our government to notice us and our sport and get more people involved.

“There are too many people with disabilities doing nothing and think they cannot do anything and taking part in a sport like this changes things.

“So we are really hoping for a good outing and a good performance from everyone.”

Hawaii, who has been playing table tennis for a year now, has played in the Fiji Open and also in the New Zealand and has always finished in the top five.

This year, he wants to do the best he can and finish at the top of the table and win a medal for his country.

“I have had my fair share of international competitions enough to know what is to be expected; and that is nothing but the best,” he said.

“I have finished third in the Fiji Open and fourth in the New Zealand Open and now being here at this big event, I want to finish first this time.

“I know it will not be easy but I am prepared to give it my best shot at trying to win a medal not only for my country but for myself.”

The Oceania Para Championship starts today at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

 

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