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Table Tennis program starts with flying colours.

Posted: 28-Oct-2014 by All Abilities

The 6-week pilot Table Tennis program 

On Wednesday 22nd of October, the inaugural six week Table Tennis Program for All Abilities commenced, proudly organised by Maccabi Victoria All Abilities, Maccabi Table Tennis Club and Jewish Care.

Twelve enthusiastic and excited members of Maccabi Victoria All Abilities are registered for this training, which will be running fortnightly at the Jewish Care Mander Villas facility, on Glen Eira road. 

This pilot program has already proven to be extremely successful. We have had a great response to this program, with more interest than we can cater for. Due to resource constraints, we are only able to enrol 12 particpants and have developed a waiting list. This shows us that table tennis is a popular sport and All Abilities members want greater access to play. Therefore there is a clear need for this type of program and we wish to meet that need. If the program continues to run smoothly, there is a great possibility it will be reintroduced in 2015 and expanded as necessary. 

Zac and Natalie having a ball! Click on the image above for more photos from this event.

Partnership program

We are delighted to be working collaboratively with both the Maccabi Table Tennis Club and Jewish Care.

The Maccabi Table Tennis Club has shown tremendous support to this program, since discussions were first raised earlier this year. Their club president, Jack Cyngler, met and liaised frequently with Maccabi Victoria All Abilities Inclusion Coordinator to help support the development of the training. The club helped link us in with appointed head coach, David Cyngler who has undergone disability awareness training to support his newly established role. The club has also provided us with equipment to enable a ratio of one bat to one player.

Jewish Care Victoria has also been of great assistance in the operation of this program. The organisation has provided an ideal space for us to utilise, the 'community hub' in their Mander Villas resident facility in the heart of Caulfield. This location is easily accessible and has enabled more residents from this housing development to get involved in our programs. 

We look forward to continuing to work with these two groups to strengthen our programs and be united. 

The Boys! L-R: Barak Mizrachi (Elite Table Tennis Player), David Cyngler (Head Coach from Maccabi Table Tennis Club), Bar Levine (Maccabi All Abilities member) and Jayson Hurvitz (Jewish Care Mander Villas Community Inclusion Coordinator)

Providing paid work to people with all abilities

Another huge success of this program is that it has enabled two of our members, Zvi Schweitzer and Ben Rychter, with an avenue to receive paid work experience. The pair have had many hours of training with Paul Bronstein to become qualified table tennis instructors. They now have the opportunity to put this hard work to practice. 

By charging a small fee to participants, we will be able to employ Zvi and Ben as paid assistant coaches, who will have important roles to play during the fortnightly sessions. They will be responsible for completing the attendence list and supporting players to follow along the instructions of head coach, David.

We hope that this is the first of many opportunities we have, to enable people with disabilities to access paid and valued roles in the workforce. 

Zvi Schweitzer shares his table tennis successes and excitement in being appointed the assistant table tennis coach.

Special Guest: Barak Mizrachi

The session was opened by a very special guest, Barak Mizrachi. Barak is a table tennis paralympian champion, who has played the sport competitively nationally and internationally. He is currently ranked number 1 in Australia and has won awards recognising him as an elite athlete and rising star. He is a 3-time Maccabiah Game representative and has played all over Europe, Asia and the USA.

It was a privilege to have Barak attend the session and share his experiences in playing table tennis and his journeys all over the world. He is a true inspiration for all the participants. The group was extremely excited to preview a sample of Barak's medals and awards and even got to try these on! Another highlight of the afternoon was observing Barak's table tennis demo against coach David Cyngler. No one could keep up with the speed of the ball flying back and forth across the table.

 For more information about Barak, see his player profile. 

Barak giving a demonstration on how to play table tennis at an elite level.

Special thanks to:

  • Our program partners Maccabi Table Tennis Club and Jewish Care Vic.
  • Sharona Rutner and family for their generous and kind donation of the table tennis table.
  • Phil Wein and Dave Skurnik for donating their precious time to help us transfer and set-up equipment. 
The two strong men, Phil and Dave, help move the equipment inside the Manders Villas.
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