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Sporting Schools program comes out Tops

Table tennis activities

Image: Tops’ Sporting Schools coach Dave Delpratt teaches ball skills to children at Moffatdale State School during the Tops program.

Sporting opportunities and access to coaching and facilities are often a struggle in rural communities – with Moffatdale no exception.

The Sporting Schools program has enabled students from this small rural community, approximately 250 kilometres north of Brisbane, to experience a wide range of sports from qualified coaches.

Thanks to the program, Moffatdale State School has been able to offer a range of sports – from table tennis, rugby league, tennis and soccer – to its 48 students.

The school’s business manager Caron Granger says the program has been a “real good news story for the region”.

“It has been a great success,” Granger says.

In Term 1 this year, the school participated in the Tops Table Tennis Program, engaging the services of international referee and umpire Dave Delpratt.

Delpratt, who made the three-hour trip from the Bundaberg & District Table Tennis Association to deliver the program in March, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to bring table tennis to the school.

“The visit to Moffatdale State School was highly successful – lots of enthusiasm from the children and the teachers, definitely some talent in all the age groups right down to the Year 1 and Preps,” he says.

The children were rapt with the coaching and the table tennis program, Granger says.

“Dave was fabulous with the children,” she says. “He is definitely a great ambassador for the sport.”

Whilst sporting equipment and coaching has been difficult challenge for the school, she says the program’s funding enabled Moffatdale to purchase a new table tennis table, racquets, balls and retractable nets.

With the Queensland Table Tennis Schools Championship tournament held in Bundaberg in mid-May, the Sporting Schools Tops Program has given students a taste for the sport and opened their eyes to future playing opportunities.

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a TOPS Table Tennis Program at your school? Check out all the details on the Table Tennis Australia page

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