Manitoba’s Executive Director Ron Edwards shares with us the Summer programming that the Provincial Association did during COVID 2020. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic meant that most of our training facilities closed in early to mid-March. With both the gyms and kids’ school classes all closed, some parents working, some parents not working, the M.T.T.A. thought it would be helpful to try and set-up some online practice sessions for those players who have a table at home and either a robot and/ or siblings to play against. Head Coach Tronco invited athletes from our Squads, Hopefuls and Junior Development groups to have private online video practices with himself and senior international athlete Matthew Lehmann supervising and offering coaching tips. The online Home Training started on April 13th and ended on June 11th when the M.T.T.A.’s “Return to Play” plan was government approved.

In all, fifteen different athletes participated. Via Zoom and Facetime, each athlete was given the chance to train twice per week for one hour each session. Matthew and Arvin watched the athletes and helped them improve their footwork, technique, and overall game. Matthew ran some extra footwork sessions that did not require a table for some of the athletes as well and also made a couple technique videos to assist the athletes.

Ron Edwards: “The 2019/ 2020 season had been designed as a standard “single peak season” (i.e General  Preparation Phase followed by Specific Preparation Phase followed by Competition Phase that was to have culminated with the 2020 Canadian Senior and Junior Championship).  So we had just finished the second phase and the athletes were looking forward to the Quebec’s Federation annual Sports Experts/ Donic “Big-Bang” event in April which was to be followed by Saskatchewan’s annual Sitco International Team Tournament leading to the Nationals…the “The Covid” hit.  We sat on our hands and watched for a couple of weeks and then Head Coach Tronco and National Team athlete Matthew Lehman said hey, how about a virtual on-line program to keep it going …so kids that had a table at home and either a robot or siblings trained at home with oversight for about 7-8 weeks from end of April to early June.”

It is great to see that even during the pandemic and under strict guidelines, our Provinces & Territories continued practice together. Well done Manitoba!!!