After a pair of fourth place finishes in table tennis, Team Manitoba head coach Arvin Tronco says the tournament was a major success for his team.
“I’m very proud of my athletes,” Tronco said. “Everyone had some ups and downs in their matchups. They lost some tough matches but came back strong.”
“These kids work hard,” he continued. “They practice four times a week…I know they put a lot of effort in to win.”
Doubles partners Jeremy Tran and Carol-Jean Wong narrowly missed out on a bronze medal, losing to Alberta on Thursday morning. Tran also played in a men’s team event bronze medal match earlier in the week.
“Disappointing I lost both of them but overall it was still a pretty good tournament,” Tran said.
With the tournament now complete, Tran says he enjoyed his experience in Red Deer.
“It was fun,” he said. “Met a lot of new people, you get to know people from different places in Canada, trade pins, obviously that’s a lot of fun. Now we get to relax and go watch other sports.”
Tran, 17, has now played in two Canada Games. He says he wants to stay involved with the sport in some capacity moving forward.
“I’m definitely going to stick around, maybe not competitively, but definitely just as a hobby, go out and have some fun, maybe coach a bit.”
Tronco added that the sport is growing in Manitoba, with 60-100 players competing on the Manitoba circuit every year.
Like Tran, Tronco enjoyed the Canada Games experience. It was his first time as a head coach at the event.
“Lots of planning and organizing, it’s overwhelming and it’s stressful but at the same time it’s enjoyable,” he said. “I enjoy coaching kids, I enjoyed watching them. I felt good every time they won a match. The most important thing for me is to see them at their best, that’s a good reward on my part.”
Now that the competition has wrapped up, Tronco is looking forward to getting back to Manitoba.
“Yeah, I miss my daughter,” he laughed.