Six members of Annapolis Valley Table Tennis Club qualify for Atlantics


Published on May 15, 2017

Annapolis Valley Table Tennis Club members Tomohisa and Takahiro Vibert, Anson Chan, Joel Churchill, Hayden Ehler and Ethan Ennis have qualified for the upcoming Atlantic championships. Director Stephane Craan said it’s been an “amazing” year for the club.

©Kirk Starratt

CANNING, NS - It will be remembered as a banner year for the Annapolis Valley Table Tennis Club.

 

Director Stephane Craan said they’ve had one member make Team Nova Scotia in the past but this year they have half a dozen.

The six members include four juniors representing four different schools. Two members will compete in the men’s division, Tomohisa and Takahiro Vibert. The brothers are international students from Japan attending Acadia University.

The six members to make Team Nova Scotia will be competing at the Atlantic Table Tennis Championships in Charlottetown, PEI, from May 19 to 21. Craan said there would be team events followed by individual competitions. If the members do well at the Atlantic regional championships, they qualify for nationals coming up in Toronto in July.

Craan said the Annapolis Valley club has never had a representative make the provincial men’s team, let alone two.

“This year has been amazing,” Craan said. “What I like is that we have players from everywhere. We just don’t have players from Northeast Kings, we have players from Wolfville, from Horton, Kings Edgehill and then we have adult members as well.”

24-year-old Tomohisa Vibert of Wolfville said this is his sixth year playing table tennis but only his first in Canada. He’s already ranked the top men’s player in Nova Scotia.

Vibert describes his emotions heading into the Atlantic championships as excitement tempered with a little nervousness. However, he said he’s looking forward to the higher level of competition and his goal is to make it to nationals.

Vibert said table tennis is fast-paced and you have to be quick to react. He said footwork is very important to the game.

The four junior members to make Team Nova Scotia include Joel Churchill from Northeast Kings Education Centre (NKEC), Anson Chan from Kings Edgehill, Hayden Ehler from Horton High and Ethan Ennis from Wolfville School.

Churchill, a Canning resident, is a Grade 8 student in his third year playing with the Annapolis Valley club. Churchill said he’s excited over the upcoming trip to Charlottetown, an experience that’s sure to be “really fun.”

Churchill said this will be his second trip to the Atlantic championships and he feels that his skill level has improved since last year. He’s been practicing more and concentrating on his serves. It’s all about preparing for a higher level of competition at the Atlantic championships and hopefully beyond.

“Everyone’s trying as hard as they can because they want to get into nationals,” Churchill said.

He enjoys travelling to tournaments and the social aspect of the sport. He gets to meet new people and compete against them. However, Churchill said it’s important to keep pressure in check and to remind yourself that it’s all about having fun.

Craan said members of the Annapolis Valley Table Tennis Club play every Sunday afternoon from October to May at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning. Practices run from 1 to 3 p.m.

Members travel to compete in tournaments, which are usually held once a month, and they host two at NKEC every year. Craan said they’re thankful to their sponsor, Eassons Transport, for helping the club purchase much-needed equipment.