Veterans’ tournament on the table
VICTORIA’S best senior table tennis players will descend on the Ballarat Table Tennis Association’s world-class stadium on 27 June for the Ballarat Veterans Table Tennis Open.
Stadium manager and table tennis coach Adam Pegg said despite the eldest attending competitors usually pushing 85 years old or more, the gameplay is expected to be fierce.
“It’s generally no less competitive than open tournaments,” he said. “There’s still some very tough players – it’s not rare to see former Australian representatives competing.”
“A lot of these competitors have been playing with each other, and against each other, for the last ten to twenty years at least.”
The tournament is one of the official qualifying events for the 2021 Australian Veteran’s Table Tennis Championships, set for Darwin between 9 and 16 October).
“They’ll be competing for points to get themselves into the Victorian state teams,” said Pegg.
“The top ranked players in the different age groups will then have the opportunity to go and compete at the nationals.”
A testament to the sport’s suitability for overage athletes is the fact that the Ballarat Veterans tournament usually attracts more than 100 entrants every year.
“Table tennis is an excellent sport for all ages, but especially for the older age groups,” said Pegg.
“It keeps people moving, it’s indoors, and there’s not a lot of stress on the joints. But also, more importantly, it’s the community aspect and it keeps your brain active.”
If you’re interested in taking up the sport – it’s never too late – the Ballarat Table Tennis Association offers group coaching three afternoons a week.
There’s also an over 50s social group that meets up at the stadium every Tuesday and Friday, from 1pm to 3pm.
Find the Ballarat Table Tennis Association at 503 Dowling Street, Wendouree and for more information call 5339 2680.