Table tennis has flourished in Kuglukuk, where teams compete in Northern Games
Table tennis club awaits new shipment of gear to meet growing demand
Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River in Nunavut is Kugluktuk. Among the community leaders here is Attila Csaba, the physical education teacher at Kugluktuk High School and president of the Nunavut Table Tennis Association.
"I started the program 14 years ago, and approximately 30-40 kids [were] involved in this program," he says. "We had two tables. Now we have six to seven tables, because more and more kids want to play."
The increased popularity is great for the game but it means a lot of wear-and-tear on the equipment. The kids are eager for new tables but Kugluktuk is an isolated community, north of the Arctic Circle. With no supply stores nearby, they must place an order months in advance and rely on the annual visit of the Sedna Desgagnés vessel to bring the tables.
We had two tables. Now we have six to seven tables, because more and more kids want to play.- Attila Csaba, president, Nunavut Table Tennis Association
Attila's dedication to the program has been worth it. Youth from Kugluktuk's table tennis team attended the Territorial Championship in Iqaluit in October 2019, and several qualified for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games in March, 2020.
These days, Csaba and other northern coaches, including Yukon coach Kevin Murphy and Northwest Territories coach Thorsten Gohl, are combining knowledge and resources with the goal of forming a Northern championship competition involving all three territories.