My life as table tennis coach and administrator
Part 1: From 1971 to 2005

Terry "digging up" Norwegian champions.  Words: "....and many, many more." Kenneth Strøm, Tommy Schierning, Pål Guttormsen ,Tone  Folkeson,  Anne  Schierning, Jørgen Aas,  Svein Folkeson, Jan Bergersen.
Terry "digging up" Norwegian champions
(From the Norwegian table tennis magazine)

- I sometimes watched my father having fun with ping pong on the lunch table at his work place, and last year in high school I started a table tennis after-school group. I did not know that table tennis was a sport with clubs and competitions. But then my school was invited to Oslo School Championships - and the competition was arranged by a club that was practising at the neighbouring school!
Too old to become a good player
In 1971, after finishing the compulsory service in the military, with a bit of ping-ponging in the free time, I remembered the table tennis club and went to see what was going on. The players were incredibly good and I learned fast that I was too old to become a player of their level.
     Well, after a while they asked me if I could keep an eye of a couple of young boys fooling around on a table outside the hall and I said yes since I always came early anyway.
     I felt sorry for the kids; so I signed up for a table tennis coaching course. Not long after I had completed my Level 1 the coach at the club quit,
and the board asked me if I could take over. Quite
Norway's first team medal .  Terry to thr right.
Norway's first team medal
- coach Terry to the right.
Fokus: Norwegian team champions for juniors; Rune Bredesen, Dag Vavik, Morten Nordby and Svein Folkeson
Team champions for boys
a challenge for a newbie; they, Fokus Table Tennis Club, had just (1972) become Norwegian champions in teams for men!
Everything happened fast
The coach that quit (Erik Johannessen) was also a member of the board at the Norwegian Table Tennis Association and he managed to make me take over his job there as well.
     Guess what happened at one of the meetings: They did not have any coach for the Norwegian Men's team to the Nordic Championships and since I was the head coach of Fokus and the best Norwegian player (Pål Guttormsen) they asked me to take the job! Unpaid as everything was in table tennis those days. I said yes - and off to Finland we went. It went better than anybody had expected: We got Norway's first medal ever!
Do physical training
I took four kids at the club to a summer table tennis camp in Sweden and was convinced by head coach Thomas Stenberg that you had to train serious every day and do physical training after each session if you wanted to reach world standard. And that you needed to start really young.
     Well, I had a few kids practising already and was lucky enough to
get a few more. We practised three days a week in the small and dark
Fokus: Norwegain team champions for jgirls: Tone Folkeson, Heidi Myhr.
Team champions for girls 1974
Terry and Tone Folkeson.
Tone Folkeson and coach Terry
room at Karlsrud Primary School but I managed to get permission to practise an extra day in my old school, Lambertseter High School, where we also could practise sometimes in the weekends.
    
The kids did not do too bad: Fokus soon became Norwegian Champions for both junior boys teams and also cadet girls teams!
Not push a ball for a whole year
One of the girls in the cadet team was Tone Folkeson. Tone had played a bit with her brother at home when she came to Fokus 11 years old. She was keen and trained a lot but she was standing dead still on the floor when she was pushing the ball with backspin in tournaments (and the girls did a lot of pushing!). When she was counter-hitting she was moving, and she and I eventually made an agreement that she should not push a ball for a whole year! So she opened up on every backspin serve and only used a
normal counter-hit stroke with backhand as her own serve. It worked surprisingly well: 14 years old she became Norwegian champion in senior single!
     Tone wanted to become even better and the next step was to really improve her strength - she did at first not manage even one push-up! To improve her mental strength we also made an agreement that she should start running before school - in addition to the strenght and condition training we had after each squad session. I took Tone to visit the Swedish Table Tennis Academy and helped her as best as I could as a coach and friend (as I also tried to help everybody else).
    Tone managed to get a girl from another club (Kristin Hagen) to be almost as keen as herself, so they were for may years selected to the Norwegian teams. They won Norway's first junior team medals in the Nordic Championships, with me as their coach - and later also the first medal as seniors. Tone also won junior girls single a large Swedish tournament, beating the Swedish champion Anneli Hernvall in the finals. And became a professional player in Germany; before she was killed in a car accident while playing for Norway in Spain.

Changed Norwegian table tennis
I was not married in those hectic table tennis years in Norway nor did I have any girlfriend. I was working as a copy writer/director in advertising and spent all my free time helping to develop Fokus and the players. The young players were practising hard at least two and an half hour (squad training every time: 15 minutes warming up, 2 hours systematic training at the table, 15 minutes physical training) three times a week and were playing tournaments in the weekends. Because we managed to recruit a number of as many young kids as possible I also tried to make the veterans keep the partying at a minimum level when playing in tournaments out of Oslo. Yes, Fokus made a rule that I should scratch out from the draw any player who was visually
affected by drinking the night before! I believe that this in fact changed Norwegian table tennis - the wild parties disappeared, the players got serious!
I did not have time to play much myself but I had to jump in as a reserve in the Fokus-team in both the National league and the Eastern Norway league.
    I took on the job as President of Fokus two times even if I wanted to concentrate on coaching. Because I knew that if we were to develop our club in a proper way I had to make sure that positive and constructive things happened - and this required more voluntarily work than most people would not have time for - or interest to do.
    We did a lot to save and make money so that the club could help the young players with their expenses when it came to travelling to tournaments and training camps (too read what Fokus thought about my work - click here).
    We decided that the uniform of Fokus should be all black, and then we bought cheap white t-shirts and coloured them black! I designed the emblems, we got them printed on black material, cut them out and sowed them on. I made agreement with my job that we could help packing advertising material for money - so now and then we were all sitting in my parent's flat packing and chatting!
24 hours a day
I was quick getting so involved in table tennis that it was my life 24 hours a day (yes, I was thinking/planning table tennis at my job and dreamt table tennis night time!). I coached the club at least three times a week and I coached my players at tournaments and leagues about every weekend (I even managed to get a league for cadet teams started in eastern-Norway in addition to the ones for the seniors). I was
a member of the board of Oslo Table Tennis Association and coached Oslo's best juniors/seniors at training sessions once a week. I visited all the clubs in the southeastern area of Norway to help them develop their coaching plans and administration.
    In addition to being a member of the board of the Norwegian Table Tennis Association I also was the chairperson of the Education Committee and a member of the Youth Committee. I wrote compendiums/books that I used when I educated coaches in Oslo and else. Many of the coaches that I educated are working as coaches in the associations/clubs today. One of them is Jan Bergesen who also is the national coach of the very successful Norwegian AWD (disabeled players) team. What Jan Bergersen thought about my work - click here).
    I was usually the man behind the organising of coaching clinics in the shorter holidays and one of the leaders/planners of summer holiday camps lasting up to four weeks.
     And I did not loose the contact with Sweden. As often as we could we travelled to Swedish tournaments, and we also had holiday camps in Sweden together with Swedish clubs. The club we had most contact with was Falköping, and we had a summer camp where
Peter Karlsson
Peter Karlsson
Christer coaching Norway
Christer coaching Norway
we practised with their players - among them was European junior champion Nicklas Persson and the later European (singles) and World (in doubles and team) champion Peter Karlsson (to read what Falköping thought about my work - click here).
    Yes, to improve my skills as a coach I also travelled to Sweden to take coach education there - I got my Level 3 at a national training camp and had a chance to test my skills coaching all the Swedish world champions!
     I also was selected to be the Norwegian coach to the first European Coaches' Conference in Germany - and got many ideas and impulses there. And I was also the Norwegian coach to Scandinavian training camps - as well as the coach to several European junior championships and other international tournaments.
Top Swedish coaches
I was fortunate enough to work together with many top Swedish coaches during our camps in Sweden and else. Yes, the Norwegian associaton managed to get two of Sweden's most merited coaches to Norway: Allan
Dahlgren and Christer Johansson. Allan had coached Stellan Bengtsson, Swedens first world champion, while Christer had been the national coach of Sweden when they won a number of world championships in teams, singles and doubles.
     I functioned as the national coach a short time before we managed to secure Allan. He stayed about a year but Christer that took over after him worked as the national coach of Norway for almost 10 years. He looked after the seniors while I was responsible the juniors (together with Otto Hatlebakk and Terje Hopsdal) and "fed" him with the most talented and dedicated ones. I felt that I learned quite a bit from Christer. His methods were somewhat different, and he also wrote a table tennis book showing that season planning is important also in our sport. Not all the players liked Christer's "thought-demanding" exercises, but they improved!
    Also the young ones I called in to regular training camps in southeastern Norway improved a lot. Yes, it was a proud moment when Norway's cadet team of Guttorm Christensen and Kenneth Strøm reached a position of number 10 in the European junior championships.The two boys were a couple of years younger, and a couple of heads shorter, than their opponents and Norway started so low ranked in the groups that they could not manage to climb higher! The best Norwegian team result ever?
A big hindrance
The first years when I was thrown into the coaching of Fokus was very interesting and rewarding but the venue at the school was a big hindrance for development. I wrote a letter to the newspapers telling that top table tennis players in Norway had to practise in a small auditorium with concrete floor, bad lights and no wardrobe/shower. Not enough space behind the tables, not the required hight to the ceiling - and with only four tables it was impossible to take in the kids that wanted to play table tennis. Surprisingly enough the largest Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten contacted me and wrote a full two pages article in their weekend magazine - with pictures in colour!
    A few days later a person called me on the phone: "Hi Terje, I have the hall for you!" It was Arne Haukvik; a well known politician and the man behind the famous Bislet Games in athletics.
Kerstin and Kjell
Kerstin and Kjell
Terry og Arne Nordby
Terry og Arne Nordby
The Fokus-hall - Olav in blue. Hans Thalin at the post!
Fokushallen today
A big, dark hole
Well, he drove me from school to school to look at unused rooms but it was first when we came to the Høyenhall Primary School that I saw something that might be big enough - an empty space under the floor of the school hall. A big, dark hole with no floor - just dirt.
     Well, I said ok and the venue was ours to use. So we started digging. It was Kerstin and Kjell Schierning that had founded Fokus BTK in 1960 and they got everybody going by taking the fist shovel-full together. The dirt was gravel and hard soil - I could hardly get out of bed after a few nights; my hands and wrists were so sore. No - this did not work. I wrote a flyer telling about our problem - and that we desperately needed help - and got the art director at the company where I worked to make an illustration that showed that you could get four table tennis tables on one tennis court.
     We took the flyers to a large meeting between politicians and public/sports people and started handing them out outside the gate when the meeting was finished. It did not take long before the leader for the politicians came running and asked us to please stop - he guaranteed that something should be done. And yes, it did not take long before something happened: might be because one of our players working for the next largest newspapers in Norway wrote an article telling about the promise?!
     Community workers turned up. They blasted a large hole through the concrete wall and drove inn with a small bull dowser.
    Yesss!!
     But we discovered that the workers had no idea what we wanted. So we formed a three person hall committee (Arne Nordby, Jan Folkeson and I) and had a meeting with the architects and the workers. "Dig all the way out to the walls and down as deep as you can - we need maximum space and maximum hight!", was our message.
The grand opening
The grand opening of Fokushallen was in 1979. Kerstin and Kjell cut the ribbon, officials and club members gave speeches, and world champions Stella Bengtsson and Kjell "The Hammer" Johannson (Christer's brother) performed their entertaining table tennis show.
    So we had a Norway's first table tennis hall and some good players. Plus a handful of keen juniors. But I had read that you needed about 500 kids to find one true talent - so there was a lot of work to do!
Anne Schierning, Unni Bredesen, Terry, Tone Folkeson. Norwegian champions.Terry and Tone Folkeson.
Norwegian champions 1981
Torill Nilsen, Tone Folkeson, Heidi Myhr, Dag Vavik, Jan Ole Kullerrud, Arne Nordby
Trophies for the juniors
Fokus band, me on the right.
Fokus band
Trip to the mountains
Trip to the mountains
Fokus-players on tv
Fokus-players on tv
   We had to do some serious planning. Well, we applied and got funding to a sports club development course - and since I had taken administration/leader courses in sports I was allowed to conduct the course and adjust it to our own situation.
 
    So the committee members and I had a free weekend at a hotel up in the mountains outside Oslo. No, I did not have to "scratch out" some of the participants the next morning but we had a lot of useful social fun - and we did a lot of hard and good work.
     We made objectives and goals: We
wanted to be a club that first of all should look after the players that took table tennis serious as a sport and we should become the biggest and best club in Norway. We planned how we should reach our goals and a timeframe for when we should get there.
Rached our goals
We reached our goals. From being one of the smallest clubs we became the largest in Norway. We started to dominate more and more; in all age groups for both boys and girls, men and women.
    We practised a lot. I used the input from the Swedish coaches when it came to training methods - and invented a few of my own (like hitting cups and two-player multiball). I managed to get the internationally acclaimed sports psychologist Willi Railo to teach us how to do mental training and relaxation (it cost a lot but it was worth it!). We did physical training after each session; like circuit strengthening and long distance running (often around a sea so no short cuts were possible!) followed by stretching.     
    
I considered the social bonding to be very important so I tried to have many girls in the squads. We always travelled together to tournaments and we had social activities as often as we could. We went out eating (Chinese food) together, we went swimming, we travelled to my parents' cabin in the mountains. Yes, we even staged our own musicals (!) and had our own band at our yearly meetings! We even were singing live on national tv dressed as pacific islanders (video here)!
    We travelled as often as we could to Sweden to play in tough competitions and it was a proud moment when we won the trophy in a large Swedish tournament for being the best club!
    I ended up winning more than 65 gold medals in Norwegian championships as the coach for Fokus (and I was given a honorary lifetime membership - here)!
International tournaments
I also wanted the clubs and players I had learned to know during camps and tournaments in Sweden and other countries to come to Norway to play in our tournament. So we invited them to a tournament we called Fokus International, what became a yearly event. We rented a sport hall (for free) at Linderud school, where we could get in 20 tables. Of course we had to apply for money so we could buy more tables, and we also had to borrow from other clubs in Oslo. I am not sure how many of the heavy Stiga Expert halves I have carried, but I became quite good at it!
    We managed to get clubs coming from Sweden and also a few players from Denmark and even Germany. I made the illustration and design for the front page of the program, and helped out doing the seeding and the draw. And I even ran around to the shops and businesses and asked if we could get items we could use as trophies, even if I am a very bad salesperson!
Running smoothly
To get our tournaments to run smoothly we uses Jan Folkeson (Svein and Tone's dad) as the referee. In addition to making sure that the players followed the regulations (Jan was a tall, large and very convincing man), he also walked continuously around the tables to make sure the matches was stared on time (one minute warming up - no more!). He also spotted when the matches were finished and immediately brought the ball and the score sheet back to the control table, after he had written the results in the draw hanged up a place where player and friends/family could see them.
    We also announced all the matches from quarterfinals and up to the finals, and also the results; again so that players and friends/family could follow what was happening. When we arranged the Norwegian championships for seniors then we invited the king to come and watch the finales and also residents at old people homes and also students at nearby school. This way we got quite a few spectators. The king could not come but he replied!
Newspapers
I tried to get as much as possible in the newspapers; which was not easy, because the attitude towards table tennis was not exactly positive. Therefore I always went down to their offices after tournaments and used their typewriters to write the results. This way I managed write a few stories in two of the largest newspapers in Norway and a bit more in the local newspaper. And the results always went in on the sports' result page.
Pål Guttormsen
Pål Guttormsen
The only coach
I was the only coach in Fokus, and even if it was unpaid I always travelled to the tournaments with the players (somebody was usually driving and we most often stayed privately with players from the other clubs, or in the competition venue or school hall). It was hard work; we usually had a good number of players, so I had to run from table to table from start to end. Sometimes I was coaching at four tables at the same time in the quarterfinals!
     The easiest player to coach at the table was Pål Guttormsen with his international experience (number 2 in cadet single in the European junior championships playing for England, before the family moved back to Norway) - all I had to do was to ask how he wanted to play in the next set (Pål did not loose a match in Norway with me coaching at the table)! One of the more difficult was one of the good juniors who always tended to get a headache when he was about to play important matches. I usually gave him a vitamin pill and said it was medicine against headache - it worked!
Too busy
Of course I was too busy. So one day late in 1981 I jumped on a plane to remote Truk in Micronesia to get a break.
Terry on the deserted island
Terry on island
   "Excuse me but can you tell me how to get to the city?" was my question when I left the airport and was standing on a dirt road with a few thatched huts under the coconut-trees on both sides. No hotels. No cars. A few half naked natives strolling along.
    "You are in the middle of the city!" was the answer.
    Oh yes, I got a break from table tennis and deadlines in advertising! Slept next to a giant turtle the captain had caught from the missionary schooner I sailed with to a few of the outer islands. Was adopted by a family on a tiny coral-island where the kids ran screaming away when they saw the white man. Sat eating raw fish and baked breadfruit on the floor with my fingers. Tried to live like a Robinson Crusoe on a deserted island (but had to give in after three days when I got too hungry).

Left the meeting
I met Mikael Appelgren of the Swedish national squad at the airport in Bangkok on my way back to Norway. He had, without permission, left the training before the European championships because he was too tired of the hard practising. Well, it does not work for everybody to stop training like that but it obviously did for him: He became European Champion in men's singles!
    Back in Norway again it was back to work in advertising and back to coach Fokus. The men's team was struggling to keep the position in the team league so I managed to convince Dag Vavik that he should find his racket again. In Swedish tournaments Dag usually had reached the quarter finals in the cadet events where he lost to Erik Lindh or other national players (Lind is when this is written the national coach of Sweden). In 1978 Dag had hardly lost a match in Norway, and he won three Norwegian Championships in the junior events the next year, and won all his matches when Fokus became Norwegian champions for mens team in 1979. I felt so sorry for Dag when he quit; burned out because it was hardly anybody besides me did season planning and understood that Dag needed rest after a season of very hard practising.
Dag Vavik was first a chopper.
Dag - first a deff
    Well, Dag came back, and refreshed I started to work as hard as I could to get best possible result for Fokus. And we did very well. So everybody was happy. But I wanted us to take it a step further - we should aim to become better internationally! My motivation would disappear without new and more ambitious goals. And I knew very that to stand still in sport is the same as taking steps backwards - the others will pass you!
     So at a board meeting I reminded the members that we had reached the end of the timeframe for our development plan - that it was about time to make a new.
     "But Terry, you should be very happy now. We are the best club in Norway, and you have 65 Norwegian championships as the coach. No more planning, just run our club on day by day basis!", were the replies.
     My concerns were not heard. It was decided that we should not make a new development plan but run the club on day by day basis. I stood up and left the meeting.
Wanted to quit table tennis
I wanted to quit table tennis but the father of two girls (Siv og Vibeke Thoresen) that used to practice with Fokus managed to convince me that I should help him to revive the club where the girls belonged (Sørli/Lynild). So I tucked in my disappointment. I helped him and I also kept on doing my work for Oslo; I coached the clubs' best juniors and seniors once a week, and I also visited all the clubs to help them to develop their own coaching and administration, and to convince them to educate their own coaches and administrators (to read what Oslo thought - click here). I also educated new coaches using the coaching manual I had written ("Treners Veileder - A guide for the coach"). And I initiated a team league for the youngest players in the south-eastern part of Norway - with teams for boys and girls down to the age of 9 years. I also kept on working with Christer Johansson and the national juniors.
    But if started to miss the warm climate of the Pacific and the friendly smiles of the islanders, and when I saw my father reading a yachting magazine I got the idea: Buy a yacht and sail back!
Terry on deck
Terry on deck
You are totally nuts
So I worked hard and saved every cent. Juli 1983 I could cast off from Oslo in my yacht Coco Loco.
     "You are totally nuts, in that small yacht you will sink before you reach Denmark!", was what everybody told me. Well, the meaning of "Coco Loco" is "Crazy Coconut" but I had learned by studying sailing for more than a year that a small yacht often was more safe than a large and that it was quite ok to sail alone.
    My yacht was run into alongside a wharf in Solomon Islands - after four incredible years. I had sailed between remote islands in the Pacific and learned a lot about the Pacific culture. Yes, I was even adopted on a couple of them!
    I did some table tennis coaching on my way. I stayed for several months in the capital Honiara when they tried in vain to repair Coco Loco, and the national table tennis association asked me if I could help them. I coached the best players in weekly sessions, organized a league and got youngsters to try our sport. Yes, I was surprised when I some years later met the Oceania coach in tennis in Fiji and he told me I had taught him how to play table tennis in Solomon Islands!

Terry and Emma, Motuloa
Terry and Emma, Motuloa
Return ticket to the Pacific
I did not do any serious table tennis coaching when I got back to Norway in 1987. Of course I met my table tennis friends but Høyenhall School had burned and the table tennis hall could not be used. Well, I did not plan to stay long anyway; I had a return ticket to the Pacific in my pocket!
    After visiting friend and family and publish a book on my adventures in Coco Loco I returned to Solomon Island and then via Nauru to Kiribati. I stayed about two months and then I travelled by plane to Tuvalu to visit a friend. He was now on the outer island of Nukulaelae as a radio-operator.
    I met him; but also Emma Toematagi. "Are you coming? I am getting married!" was the telegram to my parents!
    We settled down on the uninhabited islet of Motuloa, three kilometres across the lagoon. Built main house, cookhouse, outhouse and guesthouse. Had pigs, ducks, and chicken - and a cat and a dog. And after two years our daughter Sonia was born.
    She was born in the hospital in the capital Suva in Fiji, and while attending a wedding there somebody said that Fiji needed a coach to prepare the national table tennis teams for the South Pacific Games and asked if I could help out. I did and the men's team managed to win their first silver medal!
    I got sick on the ship on the way back to Tuvalu with our new born baby and had to take the first ship back to Fiji, and then the plane to Auckland in New Zealand to see a neurologist and other doctors. And it so happened that they should have weekend training for national players and they asked if I could conduct it. I did, and among the players was Chinese lady who practised as intense as Pål Guttormsen. So it is no surprise to me that Chunli Li still (2015) is New Zealand's best female player
!
Beat Brisbane 6-0!
Beat Brisbane 6-0!
State Director of Coaching
I enjoyed the island life but unfortunately the weather changed. We had three cyclones in a country too close to the equator to have cyclones. The waves washed into our house. Tuvalu has a mean hight above the water of less than two meters, so we looked at our little daughter. We left for Fiji.
    And there I accepted an offer to be a part time coach in Australia. Well, when we landed in Brisbane I was told that I had to take the job as the State Director of Coaching for Queensland instead. Full time job but to half time pay - and I should do a pilot project for Logan Table Tennis.
   I got a table tennis academy going for the senior players, recruited kids from the schools, had shopping mall demonstrations and took part in festivals. I approached the Sports Development officer in Logan and he got us on the local radio every week (to see what he thought - click here). I made a table tennis media kit for the TV, radio and newspapers with information about the sport plus names and phone numbers to persons and
Media and school kit.
Media Kit
clubs they could contact. It was a hard cover file folder that they could stack between their other folders - and with "table tennis" in large letters so that they could be reminded about our sport every day! Here they also could put in the news releases I was planning to send them on regular basis (which I already had started to do). I made a simular kit for the teachers in the primary and secondary schools and was surprised when the principal education officer in Queensland told me that he had used my kit to show the schools and other sports how it could be done! And I arranged the first cadet tournament in Australia. Yes, I was fairly busy!
 
   It was a state league for teams in Queensland that time and our club should meet Brisbane in the first round. Brisbane had all the top ranked players in Queensland but we practised hard and prepared well for the event. And won 6-0!
    It must have been the biggest upset ever but nobody but me and the players seemed to be happy. And short time later I was told that they did not have use for me anymore. What the heck was going on here???
    Well, believe that hardly anybody has seen my Logan Pilot Project report, that was meant to be a blue print for table tennis in Queensland. (to read the report click here).
I was much later told by one of the players that my job as State Director was promised to another person but that he was busy with the cricket season down south and that the just put me temporary in the position to get the money from the government.  
    So we had to break the lease on the house we rented, sold our TV and car - and left for Fiji.

    One of my table tennis friends of Chinese decent wanted me to help him to get a run-down hotel he had bought going; he knew I also had my background in marketing. I said ok and got my own little office in the hotel but after discovering that the ashtrays were nailed to the table so that nobody should throw them at each other - and seeing all the fire extinguishers in a heap behind the hotel I decided to pull out.
Remembered how well they had done
Newspapers in Fiji
Newspapers in Fiji
We travelled to Norway but returned to Fiji after about a year, in 1994. And the table tennis association now remembered how well they had done in the last South Pacific Games and offered me to be the National Coach of Fiji. I said yes, but I did not want to commit too much - no travelling; only working in the capital Suva. I did not want any salary, just permission from the immigration to do my writing.
    I got back again the players that had not touched their rackets since the games in 1991. Held squad training a couple of times in a week, started a league for teams and arranged tournaments.
     I also wanted to raise the profile as table tennis as a sport, so after each league and tournament I typed and photocopied the results and brought them by taxi to the newspapers, tv and radio the same day.
     Nothing happened for some weeks but then the second largest newspaper in Fiji wrote a full page article about me. This changed things. The journalists and radio-reporters started to turn up at our events and we even had several tv-reports!
     Well, the person who used to be the best player if Fiji, a doctor from India, was beaten in a live tv-broadcast from a tournament by one of the younger players in my coaching squad. He did not like that. He quickly made himself President of the Fiji Table Tennis Association (without an annual general meeting!) and a one-man selection committee. And while I was away a few days to pick up our belongings in Tuvalu - we believed that we now should settle for good in Fiji - he cancelled all my coaching plans and changed the practising venue from the university to a night club (where he had invested money). And offered me some of the money I had managed to get to coaching from the Olympic Committee and said I would have to travel all over Fiji - and also stop my writing. He knew very well that the salary he offered me was far from enough to live from. So bye-bye to Fiji!
Life in a colder climate
After a short visit to Tuvalu we travelled to Norway; we bought at flat in the suburb of Lambertseter in Oslo and prepared for a life in a colder climate.
Sonia plays tennis in Fiji
Sonia at tennis
    Sonia wanted to dance and play soccer and tennis. So I helped out a soccer coach for her team and tried to help her with some multi-ball training in tennis.
     I watched some table tennis and hang out with my table tennis friends but no coaching or involvement as administrator at all.
    Our son Olav was born in 1998 and he could hardly walk before he also wanted to play soccer. And later also tennis.
    We missed Fiji. We missed the life on our island in Tuvalu. And after a visit to Tuvalu so that Emma could visit her father and our kids could see where we used to live we felt that the Norwegian climate was not for us. We decided to leave - again.
Too dangerous
Tuvalu would be too dangerous because of the climate change with cyclones and rising sea level, so it had to be Fiji.
The Strand, Townsville
The Strand, Townsville
    We rented a house in the capital Suva and our kids started in school.     But things had changed; the crime rate in Fiji had soared while we were away. Sonia told us that people tried to steal her school bag almost every day, and I had a person's hand in my pocket at the market.
     We gave up and moved to Australia - in September 2005. To Townsville in Queensland. Tropical climate and a small city close to the sea.
    I had made up my mind to never get involved in table tennis again.
    
    But I should have learned: You shall never say never.

Academy 2008
Newsletter 2009
Coaching Comittee - 2009
Coaching plan, period 1 - 2009
Coaching plan, period 2 - 2009
Coaching plan, period 3 - 2009
Turbo Table
Coaching Clinic - 2009 -
All Ages Tournament - 2009
Recuitment - 2009 .
"Time for a change"

Coaches Workshop - 2010
.

"My life as table tennis coach and administrator":
First page
Part 2: From 2005 to present

Certificate from the Swedish club Falköping.
Certificate and cv from the Norwegian Table Tennis Association.
Certificate from Oslo Table Tennis Association.
Certificate
from Fokus Table Tennis Association.
Certificate from Aussie Sports.
Certificate Strenght and Conditioning for Sport course
Supporting letter
- from Paul Jones
Supporting letter
- from Australian Table Tennis Association