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Teaching with Table Tennis
TIMMINS -- Some students in a Timmins elementary school are being served up a different type of lesson.
Mike Harmanmaa teaches the fifth and sixth grades at Pinecrest Public School in Timmins. He is using the school's new ping-pong table as a new education tool.
“It focusses a lot on eye hand coordination, teamwork and sportsmanship" Harmanmaa tells CTV News. "It’s just something different to get the kids engaged, kids that might not gravitate to your soccer and your basketball and those types of leagues that we regularly run. Something new is always exciting and good to peak some interest.”
School Principal Al Maclean says it is important to provide students a variety of different options.
“The more opportunities we can provide then theoretically most of our students should have something that they engage in and if you’re engaged and you want to come to school then a healthy mind, a healthy body, we’re going to see very productive students.”
Ping-pong tables are not standard in a majority of schools. Costing approximately $1000, many schools are unable to fit them into their budgets. So that's why Harmanmaa decided to ask for help.
“I wrote a letter to our local Schumacher Lions Club and they were happy enough to answer the call and donate the money to cover the cost of the table.”
With ping-pong being a globally recognized sport, being played at the Olympics dating back to 1988, the Schumacher Lions Club was happy to help bring the sport to the school.
“We thought it’d be a great idea to help the kids; keep them busy here as opposed to being on the streets," says Terry Stevens, the Schumacher Lions Club President.
According to many of the students, the new addition has been a hit.
“I was really excited because I love playing ping pong and it’s really fun playing," says sixth grade student Mesha Patel.
Others have already started learning the lesson that practice makes perfect.
“It’s fun cause when you practice you miss but when you get better you start to learn how," says sixth grade student Chase Tessier.
Once they recieve additional paddles, the school is hoping to expand the use of the ping-pong table by hopefully creating a league.