Table tennis champion is encouraging Kiribati youth to give sports a go

Table tennis champion is encouraging Kiribati youth to give sports a go

Meet Selima, a youth program manager from ChildFund Kiribati and an accomplished table tennis player who has competed in international tournaments including the Commonwealth Games.

Selima started playing table tennis when she was just 6 years-old and says the life-skills she has learned through taking part in the sport, including teamwork, patience, discipline, and hard work, helps in her work with youth now.

"Taking part in sport is great fun but it can also stressful, tiresome and frustrating at times. There are many challenges that you face during the hard times including conflicts with teammates and learning how to overcome these challenges helps me in my job now too."

Salina has competed in table tennis at international events including the Oceania Games in Fiji in 2005, the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, and the South Pacific Games in Samoa in 2007. 

She is encouraging young people in Kiribati to give sports a go as they can learn much more than physical skills.

"It helps to build social relationships with people from dynamic and diverse backgrounds in our community and with building up self- esteem," she says.

"Most importantly supporting our youths’ talents can bring fun, health, and peace to our communities."

Read stories about ChildFund's work with youth in Kiribati
ChildFund's work with youth in Kiribati

ChildFund youth programme in Kiribati includes teaching basic literacy, and practical skills like making fishing nets, weaving and sewing.

This programme is possible through funding from Kiwi supporters and the New Zealand Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade.

ChildFund's Sport For Development
ChildFund Rugby is a programme based on the social and emotional outcomes for children where rugby is used to teach life-skills. Read more about ChildFund Rugby here.