West Cork Table Tennis Assoc.
Exchange 2000 to Goudelin, Brittany, France

Fourteen travelled from West Cork to Goudelin, Brittany. After some lengthy delays and a 17hr boat ride all 14 arrived safely. Players stayed with various families and enjoyed the unique opportunity to experience a different culture. On the first morning the party were the guests of Mayor at the Goudelin Town Hall and a presentation was given to the party by Civic representatives. An article also appeared in the National French Newspaper, Ouest France. The hospitality of the town was overwhelming and many, many friends were made.

After the reception we were treated to a traditional Breton meal at a local restaurant, songs were sung and many of the kids played pool with the French children. After the meal we walked down to the excellent sports hall with 10 tables laid out and room for more. The standard was good and many of our younger players enjoyed themselves very much. We had to work hard for any victories but it was more about two cultures coming together with a common interest.

There was not much time to sit and do nothing, the Goudelin Club kept us very busy and gave us the opportunity to see some of the sites. Travelling by convoy we went to see the Ile De Brehat over on the coast. This is an area of incredible natural beauty and you can see the series of small islands stretching out to sea.

One of the many highlights for me was the visit to the Museum of Telecommunications near Pleumer-Bodou. When we first arrived we thought we had come to see the largest table tennis ball in the world, certainly bigger than the 40mm! In fact it was the housing for the first radar that collected the very first transatlantic television signal the Radome. The museum was alive with inter-active material and the presentation inside the dome was spectacular. From the development of the first radio signal to satellite and fibre optics. As many will know the first transatlantic radio signals were sent from West Cork. I was able to send an email from France back to West Cork in the twinkling of an eye!