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In News on February 16, 2010 at 8:30 am

Impressions of my first European Veterans Table Tennis Championships. 26 June – 1 July, 2017
When I applied for a Dutch passport I did it for two reasons.
Firstly my son asked my wife Joan and I to regain our Dutch citizenship so that his daughters could receive a work visa in Holland.
Secondly, as a bonus it would give me the right to play in the European Veterans Table Tennis Championships, which is only open to European passport holders.

Five years ago we both received Dutch passports and regained Dutch citizenship in addition to the Australian ones we already owned. Just in time too, for a year later this opportunity was closed by the Netherlands’ government. At the last Australian Veterans Championships there was talk by some that they were thinking of entering the European. I pricked up my ears and decided to give it a shot.

I am glad I did, for it turned out to be a wonderful tournament in the beautiful city of Helsingborg, Sweden. Together with five other “Aussies”, the six of us travelled to the other end of the world to play the game we so much enjoy. Tony Herbert, who has a British passport asked me to play in the Doubles with him in the O80s. It will be his last year in this age category, as he turns 85 next year.

Then we had Thomas Samuelsson who is a Swede, Carol Cowie, Betty Bird and Clive Sim, all representing England. But we were really viewed as Aussies by our opponents. Time and again I was greeted with the statement, “I thought this was a European tournament!” I deliberately wore my bright yellow Aussie tracksuit to solicit these comments.

Over 2100 players entered the bi-annual tournament and Betty, Tony and Thomas had played in this tournament, which commenced in 1995, before. For me of course it was my first. However I have played in every Worlds since 1994, twelve of them on the trot, and this has taken me all over the globe.

Many of the players in this tourney were familiar to me, but some only appear to enter the European. South America, Australia, Japan, China and New Zealand are much too far away for them. Most Germans could travel to Helsingborg by car, which by Australian standards is not far at all; there were nearly 800 of them. They don’t even need to take a Ferry since the Oresund bridge/tunnel was constructed in the late nineties.

In 1996 Joan and I travelled across the Oresund Sound by train-on-the-ferry when I played in Lillehammer, Norway. In 2012 we drove our hire car over and through the new crossing to play in Stockholm. When we flew into Copenhagen on arriving in Europe we saw the long bridge from the air by flying over it. Then this time we rode across the Sound comfortably sitting in the train that departed from the Danish capital.

There were about 100 players in my age group and competing in it there were several world champions like Klaus Kruger (Ger) who won the O80 Singles gold in Alicante (2016), both Konrad Steinkamper (Ger) and Josef Seidl (Cze) are gold medallists. Twice European Singles champion Kai Merimaa (Fin) was the #1 seed, Tony Borg (Swe) won multiple medals in the Worlds and European championships, and Horst Hedrich (Ger) and Josef Mayer (Hun).

Having finished in the last sixteen in Alicante (2016) and in the last eight in Auckland (2014) the selectors gave me the #1 position in my four-player group, near the bottom of the draw. There were 25 groups of four players each and eight seeded players in the Main Draw. My position, after I won my group, was a further three rounds away from meeting the #2 seed Klaus Kruger in the round of 16, the incumbent world champion.

My first round (64) after the group matches was against a German with whom I had few problems. The next player though (32), also a German was much more difficult and I found myself 0/2 down before changing tactics and getting up to win 3/2. While I had my hands full, so did the #2 seed on the table next to me, who went down in five close games to the Finn Soderstrom. Kruger had had a bye and was clearly surprised by this giant-killing-Finn, who had also accounted for another top player in Josef Seidl (Cze) the round before.

This opened the door for me in round 16 not having to meet these two former champions, provided I could get on top of the rampaging Soderstrom. With my daughter Debbie in my corner, who urged me to keep my cool, I managed to beat the tall rangy lefthanded Finn 7,9,10. He could reach most everything and had a wicked backhand. I played him to his forehand and hit to his strong side.

The final eight players in the O80 Singles at this stage were from top to bottom in the draw: Kai Merimaa (Fin); Michael Meredith (Eng); Horst Hedrich (Ger); Peter Stolzenburg (Ger); Josef Mayer (Hun); Per Stenson (Swe); Ramesh Bhalla (Eng); Cornelis (Case) de Bondt(Ned).
Now I had made the quarter finals and my next opponent was an unseeded player who had never before played in the Worlds nor the European championships. His name is Ramesh Bhalla, representing England. The man is small in stature and stays right on the table taking the ball straight off the bounce. He flat hits most every shot and I could not hold him no matter what I tried, losing 9,8,6. He uses short pimples on both sides with sponge on a very fast bat.

At this time I made the prediction that he would win the gold medal. Sure enough he next went on to easily beat the #3 seeded player Josef Mayer (Hun) and then took good care of Kai Merimaa (Fin) the #1 seed, allowing him only 2 points in the final game. Bhalla is of East African descent and came to England with his family when eight years old. He is a very modest champion and I had a long chat to him about his table tennis career.
Compared to the Worlds at Alicante this tournament was run in a much a much more casual manner. No armed guards at the entrances and no gun-toting guards were patrolling the venue in pairs. There were no restrictions on where to enter the venue, or leave it. Where in Spain the officials were sticklers for the rules, and overly so, Sweden is the exact opposite. Their ethos appears to be tolerance.

In Spain a competitor was disqualified because he’d left his player’s number at the hotel. In Sweden the umpires allow multiple coaches in Singles matches. And during my match against the German Neupotsch, in the round of 32, his mate was loudly calling instructions to him when play was in progress. I had to draw the umpire’s attention to the fact that it is highly illegal and most distracting to me.

My overriding observation of the European tournament is that it is somewhat stronger than the Worlds. I base this on the fact that so many current world champions were beaten, as were many of the players who were seeded #1. The competition in Europe is fierce and is staged right in the heart of “The Veterans’ TT Mecca”, and Helsingborg is easily accessible to most.

Coming to mind are the defeats of Niels Ramberg (Den) the current 070 world champion and Klaus Kruger (Ger) the O80 world champion. Herbert Neubayer, a former world champion, only made the round of 32 in the O70s. Dieter Lippelt (Ger) many times a world gold medallist in Singles and Doubles could also only manage the round of 32 in the O70s. Ding Yi lost the O50s final to the Chech Cecava and there are other examples that show the depth in the European championships is so much greater.

Unfortunately the other “Australians” did not advance any further than the first round after the group matches. Tony Herbert was eliminated in the Consolation semi final. Betty Bird, in a depleted Women’s O80 draw of only ten players, was the most successful with a bronze in the Singles and a gold in the Doubles (with Jean White) also representing England.

Will I go and compete again? I’d like to think so and it will very much depend on how the body stands up I guess. Joan, Debbie and I spent a most unforgettable month in Northern Europe. It also was so nostalgic for us to show our daughter the places we were born, lived and rode our bicycles to school when young, before immigrating to our new country whilst in our early teens.

All results can be viewed on: evc2017.com/tournament/results

18/11/2016

The criteria for the selection of the Ken Cole Trophy.
It is necessary that everyone is made aware about the manner this trophy is awarded. To this end I shall publish the following message which Cynthia Langley kindly sent me a few days ago:

National Veterans Player of the Year (Ken Cole Memorial Trophy).
The Ken Cole Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the player in the view of the National Veterans Committee deserved the award based on the following criteria and with reference to the Player of the Year Award criteria.
• Results at Australian National Veterans Championships,
• Results from both team and individual performances will be included
• Individual performances could include matches from any age.
• Performances in International events such as the World Veterans Championships and NZ Test Matches are to be considered in calculations but not at the expense of Australian National Veterans Championships results (as not all players are able to attend international results due to finances and availability)
• These international results should be used as a ‘tie-breaker’ if there are 2 or more players who had close results from the Australian National Veterans Championships.

Then Cynthia Langley, who succeeded Ken Cole as the Chair of the Australian Veterans Committee, comprising of Cynthia (SA), John Sherriff (Qld), Jennifer Aduckiewicz (NSW) and Leonie Whiteford (NSW), notified me of the following additional criterion:
“The new National Veterans Selectors had been advised of the criteria for the selection of this Award, which had been decided by a panel of P. Marriott (TTA), G. Ireland, B. James and we were supplied with the list of players, which had been worked from the computer program, set up by Brian James.
Your name was at the top of the list.”

The above explanation clearly shows that not only the results obtained at the one-week-nationals in October are taken into consideration. It shows that all results during the year are taken into account and how last year’s and the 2016 recipients were arrived at.

26 October, 2016
Here follow the musings of an average Joe on an improbable tale.
The 33rd Australian national veterans’ championships are behind us again. Joan is very disappointed that I let slip the 80s singles title. Having a senior moment, taking this match for granted, Ken Sands easily clobbered me in three straight games. Earlier in the week I had beaten him in straight games during the team events. I then repeated the dose in the O75 singles. Apart from that one stumble, I had played out of my brain to remain undefeated in the O75 team matches. My results were even better than my team mate Buddy Reid, who after all is the current O75 world champion. And as we were a two-man team, we had to play all the matches. This is the second year running, for also at Caloundra Buddy and I remained undefeated in the O75 team event.
All up I won 6 medals, one in every event I had entered. A total of 2 gold (team & O80 doubles), 1 silver (R/U in O80 singles) and 3 bronze (O75 singles, O75 doubles & O75 mixed). My Order of Merit ranking is #2 behind Buddy Reid. This will give me an automatic Test match berth in the O75-age-table next Easter at Christchurch, NZL. Buddy played so well winning the O75 team event with me, then beating Igor Klaf in the O75 singles and winning both the O70 & O75 doubles with Igor. He also won bronze with Margaret Mulcahy in the 75 mixed doubles. He had scratched from the 70 singles to save energy.
The playing venue was at the newly constructed Netball Centre at Olympic Park, Home Bush Sydney. As usual the wind-up presentation function was held on Saturday evening. The venue for this function was a fair way from where we were staying at Olympic Park, so Joan was not keen to go. Instead Jim Furness, my doubles partner, took us to dinner at a rather posh eatery not far away within walking distance. We had a beaut time mulling over the matches we had played and viewed. Jim was ever so chuffed to win 2 gold and a bronze medallion. He led the O80 team to victory in fine fashion from the third seeded position, against all the odds. The other gold was for the O80 doubles with me, and the bronze in the O75 also partnering me in the doubles.
The next morning while we were having an early breakfast downstairs of our IBIS Hotel, which looks out to the Edward Flack Ave, and who but Pinky (Paul Pinkewich) looked in through the windows. When he saw us he made a bee-line to the door. He was staying in the QUEST Hotel next door. It was obvious that he was looking for us, entered through the front entrance and quickly walked over. He pulled up a chair and after saying the obligatory ‘good mornings’ asked, “Where were you all last night?” Joan answered, “We had a lovely dinner, just the three of us, down the road a bit, in peace and quietness without all the dancing, guitars and drums.”
I could not have said it any better than that, for we had agreed that was what we wanted to do, a quiet evening with no noise and to have an early night before setting out the next morning at 8:00 am, for Jim to drive home to Melbourne and Joan and I to drive to Moama to see the Nesbitts (Geoff was my doubles partner for ten years until he was struck down with bone cancer). Paul then said, “But Case, you won an Award, a very prestigious Award at that, and you should have been there to receive it!” I straight away thought it must have been the Men’s O75 Table Tennis World.com.au award. Pinky sponsors this award every year for the best player in each age group, one each for both Men and Women. To date I already have four such trophies. “No,” in answer to my assumption, “It is the Ken Cole Award for the Australian Veteran Player (Men or Woman) of the Year Award.”
He could have knocked me over with a feather. It is only the second time that this trophy was presented. Last year Lan Zhai won the inaugural one, a huge cup nearly two feet high; and a worthy recipient she was, glamorously carrying the trophy dressed in a beautiful long red dress and posing for the victory photograph, together with the donor Ken Cole. She had won both the O40 and O50 singles titles at Caloundra, as well as many other medals. I felt most embarrassed for not being in her league, and at my age compared to Zhai being akin to a candle flaming brightly just before it is snuffed out. I wanted to know if Pinky had a hand in it. You see, I had purchased a $2,150 ball machine from Paul a few days earlier, much against Joan’s wishes.
“I had nothing to do with it Case. It would have been the Australian Veterans Committee that chose you,” he retorted, “so you must have played well enough to deserve it.” We all looked at one another and, although Joan was struck dumb, Jim ventured to say that between all these members of the committee they surely must have arrived at the correct choice of player. I am thinking, out of 440 players they picked me? It was not my prowess at the sport this year at this tournament, for several players had achieved much more than I had done. Take Mick Wright for instance with 5 gold, a silver and a bronze medal. Buddy had won four gold I know of, as well as a couple of bronze. They had both won singles titles, whereas I had badly blown mine.
Halfway on the way to Albury I met Peter Tegelaers at MacDonalds. We said hello of course and shook hands. He just looked at me and said nothing as if waiting for me to say something. “Were you at the ‘do’ last night?” I asked. When he answered in the affirmative I went on to ask, “Did I perhaps get a mention in despatches? Pinky told me I had won an award.” He just silently looked at me for a few moments and then said, “You were awarded a very big trophy and you weren’t there to receive it!” So it must be true I thought, and Paul didn’t pull my leg. On getting back to Joan I told her about my encounter with Tegelaers. Joan still would not believe any of it.
Margaret Nesbitt rang some time later and wanted us to drive all the way to Moama to stay the night with them. However she has not been at all well and Joan had prepped me to say that I was tired and we would only make it as far as Yarrawonga to overnight in a motel. Joan did not want to make any extra work for Margaret and we promised that we’d be there by 9:30 the next morning. I did mention to her that out of the blue, I had received the “Ken Cole Trophy”. She had the phone on speaker and Geoff was listening in. Of course the next morning congratulations were in order and I could see they rejoiced with me as if Geoff had won it. Joan, however, still did not believe it was true.
I accessed the southerntabletennis.org.au/vets2016/results.htm website of the James’s on Joan’s iPad, and there it stated, in bold letters, that Case de Bondt was the recipient of the ‘Ken Cole Award for the Australian Veteran Player of the Year’. But Joan still remained unconvinced; I thought then that it must be true if two days later it was included on the heading of the website, together with the Order of Merit and the Pinky awards, for all to see. But this is not the end of the tale. We left the Nesbitts after 6:00 pm on Monday evening and arrived at our unit in Oakleigh at 9:15. We both slept like logs. On getting back to Inverloch and unloading ‘the kitchen sink’ as well as my robot, I received a call on my mobile.
“Mick Wright speaking; do you want to hear the bad news or the good news first?” Knowing Mick I could expect anything. “Let’s have it,” I answered, silently hoping Judith was alright. “Well, there has been a mistake with that Ken Cole trophy. Cynthia read out the wrong name and the recipient should have been Buddy Reid instead of you. Because I have known you the longest I received the trophy to give to you on your birthday (14 Nov). Cynthia rang me just now, as I have the trophy, and would I please tell you about the mistake that was inadvertently made. I will hand you the trophy and you can then present it to Buddy at your party.”
I felt strangely relieved. All along I had thought they had pinned the names of the players to a board on the wall and just threw a dart at it. I did not deserve this honour and told Mick so. “Buddy is by far the better player, he is a very good friend and he’s a very nice guy to boot. He is after all the current world champion and thoroughly deserves to win it. I am happy for him.” Mick said that he knew I would say that and hung up.
Joan, all of a sudden, became very upset when I told her. “Why didn’t Cynthia call you herself and let Mick do the dirty work?!!! They made the mistake and why wait so long before you were notified? And all along the other players are being left in the dark and believe you have won it, right until this very moment.” She then commenced to mollycoddle me, feeling sorry for me, something I do not mind at all. Yet I was happy and relieved for the trophy to have gone to Buddy instead of unworthy me. But it would not surprise at all if Mick has tried to pull this prank on me. If so, he’ll keep…
A more in depth report on the tournament will, hopefully, follow shortly.

The 2016 Australian Open Veterans Table Tennis Championships
A preview of the championships (15-22 October)

A total of 440 players have entered the 2016 (33rd) national veterans’ championships at Home Bush, Sydney. Last year at Caloundra, Qld we had 480 entries. Perhaps the attraction of a holiday on the Gold Coast has something to do with 40 fewer entries than last year’s record entry. There are a dozen less Kiwis compared to those that came across the Ditch last year, but it is still a sizable contingent.
NSW, being the home state, provides a record of 129 entries, followed by Victoria with 105. Next comes Qld with 59, SA with 47, NZL with 34, ACT with 17, WA with 16, China with 10, NT with 8, Vietnam with 6 TAS with 5, and then we have single entries from Austria, Japan, USA and Wales. Apart from the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships (we had more than 4600 in Alicante, Spain this year), this is the largest table tennis tournament annually conducted in Australia
Remarkable are the number of entries from China and Vietnam. To my recollection this also is a record, indicating the popularity of the Australian Veteran Championships to our Asian table tennis friends. Since the regular Japanese ladies ceased coming two years ago, we still have one player representing Japan. But it would not surprise me if the Asian numbers to our nationals will increase over time. No doubt the standard of play will thus be increased.
But whether numbers alone will decide the gold medal tally remains to be seen. Victorian teams have had a mortgage on the amount of medals won in previous years. At Caloundra of the 12 team gold medals up for grabs Victoria won 5 Gold, SA won 3 and NSW and NZL won 2 each. In particular the teams in the older age groups viz. 70, 75, 80 Men and the 50 and 60 Women will again take some beating this year. It is disappointing to see so few players from Tassie and the Northern Territory. Even the ACT and WA have few representatives. Will NSW with its huge contingent be more successful?
It will be interesting to see the prowess of these new Asian players. They could well take out some gold medals away from the locals. It must be born in mind that we have several world class Australian players competing at Home Bush. Buddy Reid is the 2016 singles O75 world champion, Betty Bird is the 2016 singles O80 world champion. Craig Campbell was the 2016 silver medallist in the O60s and Mick Wright won the 2016 bronze in the O70 singles, all won at Alicante, Spain last May. We also have several players at Home Bush who made the last 16 in the recent 2016 world championships; no mean feat for a country where table tennis is considered to be a Cinderella sport.

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2016 WORLD VETERANS CHAMPIONSHIPS – ALICANTE SPAIN
Of all the world veterans table tennis championships the 2016 Alicante, Spain championships proved to be the most impressive and most memorable to me.
For one, it was the best run tournament since I first participated in the 1994 Melbourne vets. Secondly it was by far the largest with no less than 4608 players and thousands of accompanying persons. Thirdly it was a great privilege to coach my good friend Buddy Reid to a singles world championship gold medal. The tournament ran from Monday 23 May through 30 May for the full seven days of the week and for the first time ever the singles finals were played out on the Sunday.

Having played in all the worlds since Melbourne, at the outset I wondered how the Spaniards could possibly cope with this record number of players and thousands of spectators. I feared that a tournament that large could easily have become a shambles. I need not to have been apprehensive at all. Although the country may have been on the brink of bankruptcy and needed to be bailed out financially by the European Union, the organisation of the Spaniards was superb.

The venue in the resort city of Alicante is located some 500 km south of Barcelona, also on the Mediterranean. It is a place I had never heard of before and lent itself admirably to an event as large as it was. No less than 165 tables were installed for competition. In addition there was a practice hall with another 50 or so tables, which were fully occupied for most of the week. The halls were air-conditioned and the seating more than adequate, unlike so many other worlds I have played in. With that many people moving within the compound in all directions, the place resembled a giant ant’s nest.

So how did the tournament management cope, one may very well ask? A lot of thought and preparation must have gone into the planning. The accreditation went flawlessly and quicker than ever. All one had to do was to show the name and number of one’s printed, downloaded Entry Form. No mucking about with passports or other identification. On presenting this documentation, the player or accompanying person was issued with a very nice backpack, a number to be pinned on the player’s back when playing a match, a fixture book with all the names of the participants, time tables and all the pertinent relevant information required to participate.

Strict crowd control ensured that every entry to the hall and every exit was policed so that no one was allowed to enter the venue via an exit or leave through the entrance doors. These were manned all throughout the day and only on displaying our identification tags were we allowed inside. There were plenty of change and wash rooms. Cafeterias were provided both inside and outside the huge complex. Promotion stalls were there in abundance and well patronised.
Security was tight and pistol packing guards patrolled the buildings in pairs. Every table was under the control of a table manager and as soon as a match was completed a “No Practice” sign was hung over the net. This rule too was rigidly enforced. After the group matches were completed, every championship match was allotted an accredited umpire who looked up the rubbers in his handbook and who set out to examine the bats with a measuring device.
I suppose some of these rather pedantic rules were necessary to prevent chaos with so many players in the tournament. Yet, as so often happens with people in authority, some of these umpires loved throwing their weight around full of the powers imposed on them, and not always in a fair and sensible manner. Hans Westling, the chairman of the world vets, told me that one player had left his back number at the hotel. When ready to play his match the umpire insisted he put his number on. He had his name on the back of his shirt and showed this umpire his ID tag. Not good enough, and the umpire then promptly disqualified him.
During the Sunday final singles matches, some players were docked points if seen speaking or signaling with their coach during a game. Points were docked on services deemed to be illegal, some were warned, others were penalised immediately. I have no beef with the strict enforcement of the rules; however to me a caution first seems in order. As Hans said, “We should make some allowances and use common sense. We should not lose sight of the fact that we are all veterans and may be handicapped in some way.”
Then I need to make another criticism. The sound system at the medal presentations, which were done in sections, we’re so ear-bursting loud that I had to take my hearing aids out and went to leave the hall. This overly enthusiastic presentation was way over the top and how anyone could understand a word said really amazes me. Didn’t anyone in authority notice? Then the back numbers provided were only paper and quickly became soggy causing them to disintegrate. Why not provide each player with two of these or had them made of a more durable material?
However these are only minor issues. I stand by my opening statement that the event was very well run and a huge success; the very best ever. The Website http://www.wvc2016.com has meticulously provided all the matches and scores in every age group. It is user friendly and was a big boon to everyone searching for their allotted times and table numbers. IPads and iPhones were all that was needed. In addition championships match- and consolation draw sheets were posted along the extensive walls within the stadium and were constantly updated.
Successful it was also from the Australian point of view. Out of 4608 players only 78 were Aussies. Yet they punched well above their weight with the 2 singles gold medals of Betty Bird an Buddy Reid (I am counting Betty Bird as one of us, as she has lived longer here than in England). The two doubles pairings of Mick Wright/Horst Frohlich and Buddy Reid/Igor Klaf won silver in their respective age groups. Craig Campbell won a meritorious singles silver in a very tough age group of the 60s and Mick Wright a singles bronze in the 70s.
A further two players made the QF in Chamara Fernando and Lan Zhai. Pam Tait and Case de Bondt made the final 16 in the championship draws. The two players who came r/u in the Consolation singles are Carol Cowie and Jim Furness. Without a doubt this was our country’s best effort since the championships were instigated by Hans Westling and his fellow Swedish helpers in the eighties.
The next worlds in 2018 are scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

The 2016 NZ Veterans’ Championships, held at Palmerston North over Easter, is behind us again.

This was my 18th consecutive participation to the annual Open Vets Easter Tournament in NZ and the Worlds at Auckland in 2014, since 1999. Of the 16 Test matches held to date (none in 2000 and 2014) Australia was victorious 15 times; NZ won once.

The “Bruce Penberthy Trans-Tasman Cup” is always fiercely fought over and 2016 was no exception. Australia won a tight encounter 30/25, not least of all due to the remarkable effort of our “Rubber Man” Craig Campbell from WA.

Craig, who is turning 61 this year, remained undefeated in the 40 and 50 age groups, no mean feat. Together with his good mate Russell Stein, also from WA, they were the last to finish their Test match on the 40s table, conclusively winning 4/1 and sealing the Kiwis fate. Craig finished the week with 5 Gold and 2 Silver medals.

I wonder what NZ was thinking when they fielded a much stronger team on the Men’s 75s table than on the 70s table; as it turned out these two tables cancelled each other out with a tied score of 5/5.

Australia can be justly proud of the result as three players, originally selected, had to withdraw due to injuries before the commencement of the event. As it was, we already had a “scratch” team with many being unavailable to play because of the upcoming Worlds in Alicante, Spain two months hence. We could not muster a 40s Women’s team.

All of us in Victoria are dismayed that this regular annual NZ Vets Championships was not included in the 2016 Victorian Veterans’ Tournament Calendar. Instead a veterans’ tournament was scheduled at Dandenong for Easter Monday.

This oversight, which has never happened before, caused some friction and the Dandenong tournament was cancelled at the last moment before Easter “due to the possible boycott by some” (literally thus stated on the official TTV website). I sincerely hope this unfortunate saga will never occur again.

On behalf of Australia, in the Bruce Penberthy Trophy acceptance speech, I mentioned two stalwarts of our game who are no longer able to participate due to ill health. First of all we miss Ken Cole, for many many years our devoted chairman. Also we sadly miss seeing the cheerful countenance and presence of my long time doubles partner Geoffrey Volney Nesbitt.

My personal contribution this Easter was dismal. I’d picked up some bug, ran a temperature and played like a dog. I lost 7 kg in the week, yet somehow managed four Silver medals. Next year’s championships are scheduled to be played in Christchurch.

2015 – Australian Veterans Open Table Tennis Championship – Caloundra Queensland- October 17th to October 24th

An all-time record of contestants participated. No less than 479 players pitted their prowess at table tennis against each other and the 134 teams entered broke all existing records. The venue was located in North St Caloundra and housed no less than 39 Japanese San-EI tables. To cater for these numbers a large enough venue needs to be found in other states to cater for as many as 500 contestants. Otherwise entries will need to be curtailed one way or the other.

Next year the annual Championship will be held at Homebush, Sydney at the newly constructed Netball Central Stadium located at 2 Olympic Boulevard, Olympic Park. Although not specifically created for table tennis, it has sufficient room for up to 40 tables, as it is designed for six Netball Courts not counting the state of the art “show court”, with seating for 800 spectators. The tournament will be held there on October 14th to October 22nd, 2016.

This year’s venue at Caloundra was air conditioned and in various positions of the hall the new 40+ plastic ball would wobble some in the draught so created. But, especially during daytime hours, the light was excellent. At night it dimmed somewhat as in all multi-sports stadiums where lighting is so designed as not to blind, say badminton, players who spend time looking up. The 39 playing courts were enormous and few players could complain about being restricted in their movements.

Victorian players once again dominated the Team Events.  Of the twelve gold team medals up for grabs,  5 were won for Victoria, 3 for South Australia, 2 for  New Zealand and 2 for New South Wales. Victoria should continue to dominate the 70s, 75s and 80s Men’s events in the years to come. Likewise the Victorian Women’s 50s and 60s look to have a mortgage on these age-groups in the near future.

New Zealand was very well represented with 43 players, more than any other previous year. They had a gun-player in Yi-Sen Lin who took out the O30 Men’s singles title, defeating Colin Bowler (WA) in five exciting games.  Newcomer Bowler is a wonderful defender and had Lin down two games to one before the aggressive Chinese managed to get on top. It is always a joy to watch a good attacker playing a good defender.

Colin, in spite of this defeat by playing in a lower age-group, earned the #1 Order of merit position in the O40s and won the gold medal in the singles defeating surprise packet Stuart Armstrong (NZL) in the final. The un-seeded Stuart played out of his mind and earlier had knocked out second-seeded Chamara Fernando (Vic) in five thrilling games. Other Kiwis performing well were Joanne Shaw becoming #1 in the Order of Merit in the 40s Women and winning gold, and Tanya Sulimova earning the #2 position on the 60s Women and winning gold in the 65 Women.

Craig Campbell (WA) repeated last year’s gold medal win in the 50s by winning his new age group, the 60s Men. Craig, dubbed the “rubber man” by the Scandinavians a few years ago, lived up to his nick-name; however he found Wayne Heginbotham (NSW) too strong in the 50s who went on to win the singles gold.

Lan Zhai of Victoria was too accomplished, again winning the 50s Women’s singles. Pam Tait (Vic) was the 70s Women’s champion. But she did not fire up in the 75s however, and lost to the wily octogenarian world champion Betty Bird (SA). My good teammate Buddy Reid (Vic) had Igor Klaf (Vic) at his mercy when leading 9-4 in the fourth to take out the 75s. He suddenly got the shakes and did not get another point in that game; the match then stood poised at 2/2. Klaf in sensing Buddy’s predicament commenced to race to a 6-2 lead in the deciding fifth.

Somehow Buddy received his second wind and, attacking furiously from both wings, caught the Russian at 6-6. It was now Igor’s turn to try to close out the match and with it the vied for gold medal. But Buddy never looked back and went on to win 11-8. His was a very popular victory indeed.        The 80s went to the stalwart ever green player Tom Boyd from NSW, who beat all comers and collected his 11th Australian singles gold medal since he started playing Vets in the mid-eighties.

Sadly our long-serving Chairman of Vets in Ken Cole, resigned his position after these championships owing to ill-health. We all wish that Ken may enjoy many more years as a player in his beloved sport. There is nothing surer than that we shall all miss his astute leadership on the veterans’ scene. May his replacement be only half as good as Ken has been and we’ll all be very happy.

The organisers and the Tournament Controllers Brian & Bev James are to be commended on a splendid job planning for and running this huge event. We are so fortunate to have them keeping a finger on the pulse and there never are any hold-ups or hiccups in the tournament schedule whilst the James’s are in charge. May they be able to go on doing this essential task for many more years to come.

The tournament was a smashing success and we all went home again with fond memories to tide us over for another year. See you in Sydney!

All results can be perused on the following Website:

http://www.southerntabletennis/vets2015/results/htm

The editor

It is with great sadness that I advise of the passing of Dorothy or Doris or Dot, at 6:50 am this morning (25th January 2014).

She lived alone in her own home from 1985 until 30th November 2013 when she was admitted to St George Hospital.  She was transferred to the Sir Thomas Mitchell Residential Care Facility at Illawong on 9th December where she remained.  She has steadily declined and was placed on palliative care on Thursday last.

Her funeral will be held in the South Chapel, Woronora Crematorium at 1pm on Monday 3rd February 2014.

A wake will be held following the funeral at the Sutherland United Services Club, corner of East Parade and Oxford Street, Sutherland. This club is adjacent to the Illawarra railway line and about 200 metres from the Woronora Cemetery exit gate.  It is hoped her relatives, many table tennis, scrabble and other friends will attend.

Shortly after entering palliative care Dorothy Mary DeLow passed away peacefully on Saturday 25th January 2014 at approx 6.50 am. Dorothy was aged 103.

A few words from Ken Cole, Chairman of the Veterans  Committee:

Known by many of her friends & the Table Tennis World as Dot  she typified what the Australian spirit was about in helping out those in need by volunteering on many occasions with the Red Cross- Meals on Wheels & the Hospital Community visiting patients on many occasions who were unwell & didn’t have any living relatives to give them comfort. Even when they left hospital she transported them around to keep up with medical appointments & made sure she returned  them home safely.

Dot found her recreation in playing Table Tennis opening up new friendships & social activities. It wasn’t long before she became a NSW Representative player. In 1992  at Dublin in Ireland her career & life was about to go to a new dimension after winning the over 80 Women’s Singles at the World Veterans Championships. Shortly after this Dot became  “HOT” property with Television -Radio & other Media & Magazine outlets clamouring  her for interviews & appearances. To her credit nothing seemed to faze Dot yet she was very professional in keeping up with a busy schedule & in doing so became a household name throughout Australia & the World.

Dot also volunteered for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and was the oldest volunteer for any sport. She played a short match with Pinky on the Olympic courts during a break in play, to the delight of 5000 spectators.

Dot was & still is a great ambassador for the sport of Table Tennis & we as players & officials will always remember a bright eyed smiling lady who was a most willing competitor who showed us that age was no barrier & that anything in life is possible.

Her funeral will held at the South Chapel, Woronora Cemetery, at 1pm Monday the 3rd February 2014  and afterwards at the United Services Club, Sutherland.

To Dorothy’s son Peter & his family on behalf of the Table Players & Officials throughout Australia please accept our sincere sympathy on the passing of Dorothy who leaves us with a personal legacy in the sharing of her friendship among us.

For & on behalf of the Table Tennis Australia Veterans Committee

Chairman-Ken Cole.

Ian Marshall, the ITTF scribe, wrote a lovely article on Dorothy De Low yesterday. It is well worthwhile looking it up on

http://www.ittf.com/_front_page/ittf_full_story1.asp?ID=33140&Category=general&Competition_ID=&

VALE VERNA HO – 30 January 2013

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of our lovely friend and fellow table tennis player Verna Ho.

Verna passed away peacefully at 2.30 am this morning with her husband Clive Sim at her side.

My wife Joan and I were privileged to attend their wedding four years ago in Adelaide and are so sad that they enjoyed so little precious time together.

Verna, apart from being a very proficient table tennis player, also was a qualified table tennis umpire and helped manage some of the junior girl teams competing interstate.

She herself represented Victoria in the nationals on a regular basis over many years, participated in Canberra last October, and continued playing the game she loved until very recently in the C&DTTA.

All of us on the veteran scene wish to offer Clive and Verna’s family our deepest, heartfelt condolences.

The editor

Table Tennis Star Marty Reisman Passes Away at Age 82

Posted on December 7, 2012 by TableTennisNation

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Table Tennis Nation President Marty Reisman who passed away this morning at the age of 82.

Marty was a 23 time National and International table tennis champion whose fashion sense, swagger, and playing style made him a star on and off the table. His career spanned decades with Reisman winning  a National Championship as recently as 1997, about 40 years after his first National Championship–a record likely never to be broken.

Marty was a self taught player who honed his skills in parlors and underground; he earned a reputation as a hustler and a master of the “table game,” and was often called “The Needle.” Marty wrote his stories of traveling the world to play table tennis, in the cult classic “The Money Player”: everything from hustling gangsters in the Midwestern US and touring with the Harlem globetrotters, to being stranded in India after an International competition and being one of the first to visit, and play in, pre-war Vietnam.

Marty was a believer in long rallies in table tennis at the professional and amateur levels as the game was more fun to watch and play, and was a proponent of sandpaper and hard bat rackets for this reason.

Marty’s appeal captivated journalists, filmmakers, and photographers who have  covered every aspect of his career from  sports and cultural perspectives. A full length documentary about Marty wrapped only 2 months ago.

Marty’s hustling extended to the business world where he made use of his quick wits and understanding of people and trends to start a number of businesses, most recently Table Tennis Nation, but always wore his signature hat.

Marty was a great husband to his wife, Yoshiko, who he cared for and personally nursed back to health.

Marty was a fashion icon, a trendsetter, and an international star. He was a good friend, business partner, person, and a once in a lifetime athlete. He will be missed.

Comment by the editor:   Tony Herbert will write some of his recollections of the late Marty Reisman shortly.    9/12/2012  And here it is:

I was saddened to hear about Marty’s death.
Australia remembers Marty when Australia toured America in the late eighties and played at Marty Reisman Academy.
When entering the table tennis academy there was Marty sitting on his throne dressed in a brightly coloured pair of slacks with an equally colourful
shirt and wearing a French yellow silk beret. Issuing a challenge to any one
in the Australian contingent who would like to play him with a hard bat for
quite a substantial sum. Of course no on took up his challenge as his
reputation as a likeable hustler was well known. As Ken Cole remembers, what a character…

I watched Marty play in the 1948 English Open, in those days the event was
perceived as the World Championships.
The opening point Barna served, shock horror, Marty plays the return of
service behind his back. 7000 spectators were so shocked they did not know whether to laugh or applaud; but then the applause was deafening.

The next time I saw Marty play was in the Veterans in Manchester (1998) and his match against Henry Buist was memorable. As is sometimes the case, controversy reigned. Marty always played in slacks and the umpire mentioned that it was illegal to play in slacks. Marty refused to remove his slacks; the umpire rather unsure what to do called for the referee. The referee marched down with his deputy in strict marching fashion and if he had carried a rolled umbrella it would not have been out  of place. He approached Marty and explained the ITTF rules. What Marty said I do not know, but when undoing the top of the slacks and gesturing to remove his slacks  the referee hurriedly indicated, no it’s fine to keep your slacks on. “Carry on with the game.” And what a wonderful game it was.                                                       “Machinegun-Henry’s” bullet precision forehands had Marty matching Henry’s skill with equal aplomb.
The rallies went on in an explosive fashion throughout the match, until
Marty managed to win the final exiting point. The crowd of about three
hundred were packed around the table, each one trying to watch this
marvellous game.  The deafening applause continued on and on upon completion of the match.
When looking around I could not see anyone playing on the other 80 odd tables. It should be remembered that both players were playing with hard bats.                                                                                                                                                      I hope Marty takes his bat with him on his final journey and when being
welcomed at the pearly gates, Marty’s first words would probably be: “Anybody here who would like to play me at table tennis, and oh, what do we play for up here?”.
Farewell to a great character.

I had not seen Henry Buist for a few decades and caught up with him at his
home in Orpington and accompanied with the late Ron Etheridge, played a few games against each other. Then we all went down to the pub with my very old friend Len Cooper and a couple of other TT friends. During conversation I
remarked to Henry, “You must do well in the English National Veterans
Championships.”  To which he replied in his quiet way, “Yes, I have won about
seven over 50s and six over 60s titles.”
 Tony Herbert.

Editor’s note, I believe that sadly Henry Buist also passed away a few years ago. I played him in Manchester and did not get a look in.

 

14 May 2012 – Next year Christchurch Although not as yet posted on the New Zealand website I have it on good authority that the 2013 Easter veterans championships will be held in Christchurch.

It will be good to support Christchurch and the Canterbury Table Tennis Association in attending these championships whether we are Kiwis,  Aussies or from anywhere else in the world.

Apparently the stadium is due to have  another floor and extensive front extensions. The stadium has been passed by the earthquake authorities to be OK for the public to play our sport.

Those in Canterbury can rightly feel very proud of their very own stadium. The editor

I thought this article on the www.wvc2012.com website is worthwhile posting here.

The editor

09/02/2012

It is a full house for the World Veteran Championships to be staged at the Ericsson Globe from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th June 2012.

The limit of 3,200 entries has been received; such is the demand that there is now a waiting list on the “first come, first served basis” should there be any cancellations.

Entering on time has been essential and one player, who has entered on time and will be in Stockholm is Russia’s Alexander Kaptarenko.

He is 100 years old today!

Life a 20th World History
Alexander Kaptarenko was born on Saturday 27th January 1912 in St Petersburg, five years before the Russian Revolution; the changes he has seen in the country of his birth are quite staggering.

He has lived through a time of Tsarist autocracy, the rise of the Bolsheviks and Communism to the Glasnost, Perestroika and the break-up of the Soviet Union.

The life of Alexander Kaptarenko is a story of modern history.

Work
In 1930 he left high school and worked as a lathe operator, process estimator, technologist and in 1936 started working in the aircraft factory as a design engineer.

After the start of the Second World War he moved with the factory to Novosibirsk and worked at the Tchkalov aircraft factory until 1951, becoming a chief project designer at the project institute “Sibgiprogormash” until his retirement.
Developed Table Tennis in Novosibirsk
In 1953 Kaptarenko Аexander, accompanied by a group of enthusiasts began to develop table tennis in the city of Novosibirsk and, in 1956, assumed a major role in organising the first ever table tennis tournament in the city.

Later he became the Secretary of the Novosibirsk Regional Table Tennis Federation and was a Chairman of Federation for approximately ten years; later being in charge of the Referees Committee.

Referee
Several years later in 1973, he was appointed an “All-Soviet Union Referee” and officiated in tournaments at all levels from city, regional and national to international level.

In fact he officiated at tournaments in over 70 cities in what was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Good Health
Table tennis helps Alexander Kaptarenko maintain good health; he belongs to a group named “Decade of Senior Citizens” and sets an example for all.

He has clarity of mind and leads an active life style; regular practice enables him to keep in good shape and belies his years.

Player
Meanwhile, as a veteran player he competed in the first Commonwealth of Independent States Championships in 1992 in Kiev at a time when the Soviet Union was breaking up.

He gained a silver medal and then later at the Russian Championships he won a bronze medal.

More recently, he competed in the Russian Veteran Championships in the Czech Republic city of Liberec.

Ready for Stockholm
Now the 2012 World Veteran Championships is in his sights and he is serious; he is practising three times a week.

Stockholm awaits.

January 2012

 

Veterans International T.T. Calendar

 

*)  = new or altered since previous issue!

 

The monthly updated veterans calendar is available on web sites www.ittf.com

(section SCI/WVC) and www.if-ifo.se/calendar

 

2012

Jan 7-8       Hereford, England                         Roy Norton

                   Vetts Western Masters                 roywnorton@aol.com

 

Feb 4          Holice in Bohemia, Czech Rep.     Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament          zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

                  

Feb 17-19   Aarhus, Denmark                          Jens-Erik Linde

                   Aarhus Veteran Open                    linde@sport.dk

                                                                           www.sisu-mbk.dk

 

Mar 4         Tisnov, Czech Republic                 Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament          zdenek.lhotka@ztlas.cz

                  

Mar 10-11 Blackpool, England                        Roy Norton

                   Vetts Northern Masters                roywnorton@aol.com

 

Mar 30-     Helsinki, Finland                            Jouko Manni

Apr 1          15th North European Veterans      jouko.manni@turuntilikeskus.fi

                   Championships (closed)

 

Apr 6-9       Palmerston North, New Zealand   ttnz@tabletennis.org.nz

                   New Zealand Veterans Open        www.tabletennis.org.nz

                   Championhips

 

Apr 8          Havirov, Czech Republic               Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament          zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

Apr 14-15   Crawley, England                           Roy Noton

                   Vetts Southern Masters                roywnorton@aol.com

 

May 4-6     Moscow, Russia                             Michael Torgov

*)                Veterans tournament                     torgov_m@mail.ru

                   ”Twenty years later”                     +74956601633

 

May 4-6     Bosa (Sardinia), Italy                     Efisio Pisano

                   Int. veterans tournament               efisiopisano@yahoo.it

 

May 12      Lomnice/Popelka, Czech Rep.      Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament          zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

Jun 9          Hostinne in Podkrk., Czech Rep.  Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans tournament           zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

June 9-10   Trier, Germany                              TTCGelbRotTrier@aol.com

                   58th Int. veterans championships www.GelbRotTrier.de

 

June 9-16   Chaves, Portugal                            Ton van Ginkel

*)                5th Open Portugal Veterans           ton@uttc.nl

                                                                           www.tafeltennisportugal.nl

 

Jun 25-30   Stockholm, Sweden                        wvc2012@gmail.com

                   16th World Veterans                      www.wvc2012.com

                   Championships

 

Jun 30-       Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA     www.usatt.org

Jul 4 *)       US Open with veterans events

 

Jul 25-29    Albena, Bulgaria                            Stefan Georgiev

*)                14th Int. T. T. Festival                   damakupa91@gmail.com

                                                                           http://www.tabletennisalbena.com           

 

Aug 10-12  Varna, Bulgaria                              Krasimir Petrov

*)                13th Varna Veteran Open             strongil2005@yahoo.com

                                                                           Dimitar Karaivanov           

                                                                           dkara07dk@gmail.com

                                                                                   

Aug 10-12  Neustadt a.d. Weinstrasse            Juergen Bock

                   55th International Veterans           juergenbock10@alice.de

                   Tournament                                            

 

Aug 25-28  Fortaleza, Brazil                             edir@cbtm.org.br

                   1st Veterans Brazil Open               edimilsompinheiro@gmail.com

 

Aug 30-      Tallinn, Estonia                              Rein Lindmae

Sep 2          Viru Veterans Cup                         rein@pingpong.ee

 

Aug 31-      Burgas, Bulgaria                            Nikolay Angelov    

*)                1st Burgas Veteran Open               angelov@orcotravel.bg

                                                                           Dimitar Karaivanov

                                                                           Dkara07dk@gmail.com

                  

Sep 1-2       Sunderland, England                      Roy Norton

                   Vetts North-Eastern Masters       roywnorton@aol.com

 

Sep 7-9       Miedzyzdroje, Poland                    www.pzts.pl, www.agamar.pl/ts

*)                Int. Polish Open Veterans             agamar@agamar.pl

 

Oct 13-14   Wolverhampton, England              Roy Norton

                   Vetts Midland Masters                 roywnorton@aol.com

 

Nov 2-4      Gothenburg, Sweden                      Hans Westling

*)                Ifo Veteran Open                           westling.hans@telia.com

                                                                           www.if-ifo.se/ivo

 

Dec 1-2      Norwich, England                           Roy Norton

                   Vetts Eastern Masters                  roywnorton@aol.com

 

 

2013        Bremen, Germany

May 27-     10th European Veterans Championships

June 1

 

2014        Auckland, New Zealand

May 12-     17th World Veterans Championships

17

 

2015        Tampere, Finland

                   11th European Veterans Championships

 

2016        Alicante/Elche, Spain

                   18th World Veterans Championships

 

 

In order to keep the calendar updated, please pass information about additional

veterans events to:

 

Hans Westling, Skanegatan 17B, 411 40 Gothenburg, Sweden     

Email: westling.hans@telia.com


ITTF PRESS RELEASE


Kjell Johansson 1946-2011

Kjell Johansson watches an aspiring young 13 years, Jörgen Persson


It is with great sadness that the death is announced of Kjell Johansson

He passed away on Monday 24th October 2011 in Eksjö, Sweden after a period of illness; he was 65 years old.

The word legend, the description of being one of the greats is often misused; in the case of Kjell Gunnar Johansson it is correct.

Nicknamed the “Hammer” owing the way he held the racket to unleash one of the most powerful forehands in the history of table tennis, he was one of the all-time greats of table tennis.

Opened the Door

Not only did he achieve by winning numerous titles, he opened the door for a prodigious generation of Swedes.

He opened the door for three players who would become World champions.

The likes of Stellan Bengtsson, Jan-Ove Waldner and Jörgen Persson would all accept, they owe a debt of gratitude to Kjell Johansson.

Changed Balance of Power

Alongside Hans Alser, who was sadly killed in an air crash in January 1977 in Kälvesta near Stockholm, Kjell Johansson changed the balance of power in European table tennis; they ended the reign of Hungary’s Zoltan Berczik as the continent’s premier player.

The late Zoltan Berczik had won the Men’s Singles titles at the first two European Championships; he won in 1958 in Budapest and in 1960 in Zagreb.

Tradition Started

However, in 1962 in Berlin, Hans Alser ended the Hungarian’s reign and then in 1964 Kjell Johansson captured the title in Malmö and retained the crown two years later in London.

A tradition of Swedish excellence had started; later Hans Alser, Stellan Bengtsson, Ulf Bengtsson, Mikael Appelgren, Jörgen Persson, Jan-Ove Waldner and Peter Karlsson would don the crown.

A Decade Apart

At the European Championships, he was to win the Men’s Doubles title, a decade apart; in 1966 with Hans Alser in London and ten years later in 1976 in Prague, with Stellan Bengtsson.

Furthermore, between 1964 and 1974, Sweden won the Men’s Team title at the European Championships on every occasion, six in total; always Kjell Johansson was in the line-up.

World Championships

An outstanding career at the European Championships, which few can match and also at the World Championships, he possessed a remarkable record.

In 1967 in Stockholm he won the Men’s Doubles title with Hans Alser and, in 1969 in Munich, the pair retained the crown.

Sarajevo 1973

However, it was in Sarajevo in 1973 that Kjell Johansson enjoyed his best ever World Championships.

Stellan Bengtsson, Anders Johansson, Bo Persson and Ingemar Wikström lined up alongside Kjell Johansson. Sweden clinched the Men’s Team title.

It was the first time that Sweden had won the title; it set the tone for future generations.

Furthermore, in Sarajevo, Kjell Johansson won the Men´s Doubles title with Stellan Bengtsson and was the runner up in the Men’s Singles event, beaten by China’s Xi Enting.

Cool but Mentally Strong

Always Kjell Johansson gave total commitment, mentally strong, outwardly calm, cool and collected.

However, there was much more to Kjell Johansson than just being an outstanding table tennis; he was a man of the highest integrity, a quality that has continued in Swedish table tennis.

It is a quality we see exemplified today in Jörgen Persson; they both uphold the values of honesty and fair play.

UNICEF Fair Play Award

At the Stockholm Championships in 1967; Kjell Johansson trailed Stanislav Gomozkov 19-20 in the vital deciding third game; the umpire turned the score to 20-all, the Russian in those days representing the Soviet Union, did not complain.

However, Kjell Johansson informed the official that the ball had touched the edge of the table; the result of his outstanding sportsmanship was that later in the year, he received the UNICEF Fair Play Trophy in Paris.

Indelible Mark

A truly great champion and a man who has left an indelible mark on the sport; whether it was in the 1960s and 1970s when you buy a table tennis racket with a his name, or the incredible point against Li Zhenshi at the 1977 World Championships in Birmingham that was shown time and again on BBC television.

A Legacy

Kjell Johansson touched us all, a true legend of sport; the table tennis world offers its condolences to the family of a man who established a legacy and has left a legacy.

In Sweden the name Johansson is popular, there must be hundreds if not thousands of people with that surname but there was only one Kjell Johansson, one of the greatest, he is sadly missed.

VALE – MERLE SNEDDEN

On13 September 2011 our good friend Merle Snedden from New Zealand passed away.

After months of suffering she finally fought her last battle.

My memories of Merle are very fond. She was a right lady and had a regal bearing.

In fact we often referred to Merle as “The Queen”, as she even physically resembled Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

But her lovely nature hid her tenacious fighting qualities exhibited on the 45 square feet of table tennis table.

Only last October did I have the privilege to play her in an exiting Mixed during the Melbourne Australian championships, where she partnered Gordon Lee. My Partner, Toshi Amano from Japan and I were leading 9-3 in the fifth. We lost.

It is hard to imagine we won’t see her anymore, but she will live in our memories for ever.

R.I.P Merle.

14 April 2011 

International Veterans Societies.

In 1994 Australia held the World Veterans in Melbourne and some time before that the World Veterans were held in Stockholm.

Sweden’s capital city Stockholm is to hold the Vets once again in the year 2012.

Stockholm is an expensive city, and although there are a number of Self Catering Apartments, the Swedish organisers have yet to advertise their World Vets packages, Entry Fees etc.

Those who have travelled to previous WV in Rio and Hohhot are aware that a number of us have joined Roy Norton’s English Vets group. Roy has made enquiries and has flown to Stockholm to inspect and has tentatively booked a large number of rooms. Paul Pinkewich has already taken a number of rooms.

The tariff, not finalised as yet, is 59 pounds per person in a shared room and includes breakfast. (Note; the tariff could vary because of currency exchange rates.) One advantage of taking up the option with Roy is you are able to make your own travel arrangements.

There is a team competition being held in Istanbul and the inaugural competition was held in Cottbus Germany in 2007, where two Aussie men’s teams and an Aussie women’s team took part. The ladies played beyond their dreams, beating highly fancied German and British teams. The following event in 2009 was held at Sofia, Bulgaria where AVS only was represented by a single male team.

An article in the Veterans English Table Tennis Society by Brian Halliday has some relevance to us who were lucky enough to witness Liang Geliang, a TT player of extraordinary ability, in the World Veterans held in Melbourne. He easily won the over 40s event. Liang played with smooth rubber on one side of the bat and on the other side pimples. Liang’s success on the world stage in his heyday was in the early 70s.

Liang in 1994 was invited to play against a number of Australia’s best and he chopped the Australian players off , and then proceeded to hit them off as well, much to the amazement of spectators and opponents alike.

Liang, since Melbourne, has played in a number of World Vets Events.

Since Melbourne he has indicated to a  number of players, me in particular, that he wished for  the event to be held in Australia again.

Table Tennis Australia has expressed the desire to hold the event at the Gold Coast in the year 2014, twenty years after the Melbourne event.

A decision is to be made in Rotterdam while the World Individual Championships are being played between May 8th and 15th this year.

Information can be found on:

(World Vets, 25-30 June 2014. Stockholm)    http://wvc2012.com

(Team competition Societies 19-21 August 2011, Istanbul)

http://tt-veterans-international.com

 Tony Herbert.

 

Melbourne, Friday 18 March 2011.

The passing of Bruno Zimmaro.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved friend Bruno Zimmaro today.

Bruno, who came out to Australia from Italy with his grandfather at age 15, embodied the true gentleman. He was cheerful, helpful and truly philanthropic in nature.

I first met Bruno in 1994 when Mick Wright and I arrived on the Victorian veterans’ table tennis scene. As a player Bruno was no slouch and already then dabbled with long frictionless pimples on his backhand and made us earn every point.

He was a self-made man, who had astonishing business nous and had the ability to make a shilling out of every six-pence. He turned this prowess into selfless service to the table tennis community of the very first order.

He led several excursions overseas prior to my involvement in 1994. I was told that whilst in America some planes were booked out and not all of the party could board, he would find a way around this problem. When there were no vacancies for all of the party on the train in Canada, he booked a private bus instead.

Personally I benefited from this generosity when going to the world championships in 1998, Manchester and in 2000 to Vancouver. He organised buses and accommodation for us all, more often than not at his own expense. The scenic bus trip from Manchester to Chester on the lay day is still fresh in my mind.

When he found out that there was no crockery or cutlery for any of us in the student accommodation at the UBC (University of British Columbia) where most of us stayed, he made sure all was provided. This took some doing I assure you! He would never divulge how he managed this and once again naturally did it at his own expense.

He made a most remarkable offer to the Victorian Table Tennis Association in 1995. He undertook to purchase a building similar to the old Albert Park Table Tennis Centre, set it up for our game and then lease it to us until such time we could afford to purchase it. This offer was not accepted

Table Tennis is so much the poorer now that he is no longer with us.

In 2002 Bruno, Arthur Harrison and Richard Lake together, planned to travel to Europe to play in the world’s (Lucerne). Prior to Lucerne my wife Joan and I were to meet them at Amsterdam Airport ‘to do Holland’.

It was not to be. Only Arthur and Richard came. In March of that year, exactly nine years ago, Bruno was afflicted by a severe stroke which completely paralysed his left side. Ever since then he needed total care and a full time nurse.  He passed the time either in bed or strapped in a wheel chair, something incomprehensible for any of us to fathom.

Fortunately he could still speak and recognise his family and friends. He still had the use of his right hand, but he tired quickly and had a much reduced sight. We kept in touch with him regularly and showed we would never forget him, even though he was laid low. But nine years of being completely helpless took its toll and his suffering is now over.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife Georgette and his family.

Vale Bruno, we’ll all miss you…

 

This the email I received from Essien Lee the Acting Manager From TT Canterbury If you think it should be put on our web page its OK by me .
My original I sent just after the terrible tragedy occurred. I also sent an email to Ron Garrett.
Keep well,
Tony  
 
 
From: Table Tennis Canterbury [mailto:tabletenniscanterbury@xtra.co.nz]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 March 2011 11:01 AM
To: ‘Anthony Herbert’
Subject: RE: Condolences from Queensland

Hi Tony

Thank you for your email and sympathetic words at this difficult time for us all here. We are very grateful for all the offers of support and warm messages we have been receiving from everyone. We know that you also have had your share of difficulties coping with what nature unleashes at us all from time to time.

Our stadium has been fortunate enough this time to be located on the other side of the city, away from the epicentre of this quake, and has suffered no notable damage, but we will wait to see the actual result once the council has come to inspect it.

We have not yet been able to open and therefore have no idea whether/how any of our members were affected by the quake, but we sincerely hope that everyone of our members have come through safely.

We thank you for your concern and welcome you to visit us again when we have recovered from this tragedy.

Sincere Regards

Essien Lin

Acting Stadium Manager

Table tennis Canterbury


From: Anthony Herbert [mailto:anthherb@bigpond.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 22 February 2011 9:08 p.m.
To: tabletenniscanterbury@xtra.co.nz
Subject: Condolences from Queensland

 Geoffrey Volney Nesbitt    27/11/10 (amendment to phone #  on 7/12/10 see below, as Geoff has shifted rooms)

One of the most respected veteran table tennis players in Australia, Geoff Nesbitt from Moama, was struck down during the nationals in October with a severe back complaint.

Initially it was deemed to be a muscular problem; however it turned out to be much more serious than that. He has contracted plasmacytoma of the T7 vertebrae and is currently undergoing radiotherapy until Christmas this year.

He can be reached directly by phone on 03 9483 3760 except weekends. This is the number to his room at the Freemasons Hospital in Melbourne.

We wish Geoff a full recovery and hope to see him back at play next year or the year after.

Lindsay Gordon Lee         4/12/10

There is much better news from my very good friend Gordon from Fremantle, WA.

He sent me the wonderful tidings that he has recently been inducted into the City of Fremantle Hall of Fame for services rendered to Tennis & Table Tennis.

Other notable previous inductees include J.J Miller, Jockey and winner of Caulfield and Melbourne cups. John Longley, Yachtsman and crewman on winner of America’s cup. Jack Clarke, Footballer 4 times selected in All Australian team. Tom Hoad, Water Polo player and coach of Australian team. Luc Longley, Basketballer Olympian and American league player and Australian opening batsmen Graeme Wood & Geoff Marsh.

Gordon thoroughly deserves to be included in this illustrious company and is continuing to be a credit to Australian Veterans Table Tennis.  

More news on our favourite veteran table tennis player. I received the following message.

“Doris has been asked to play a game on Tuesday 7th December 2010 at the ABC.  I gather they are filming for this show which is on the following night.”

Peter De Low

One  of Australia’s favourite comedians, Peter Helliar, will host ABC1’s new sports quiz show The Trophy Room, which premieres Wednesday, December 8th at 8.30pm on ABC1. The half-hour, weekly quiz show for both casual and committed sports fans of all ages will feature an array of celebrity sports heroes, comedians and performers.
ABC1 Controller, Brendan Dahill, said Peter’s inherent love of sport and his sense of humour made him the ideal host for this family-friendly panel show. “The Trophy Room will be good clean fun the whole family can enjoy while giving viewers a chance to hone their sports trivia knowledge and celebrate
a summer packed full of great sports – not the least of which is the Ashes. Peter’s a sports-tragic and great fun to be around. I‘m sure our audience will show him a lot of love and welcome him into their homes each week.”
Helliar is best known for his regular spot on Rove, his footy-loving alter-ego Strauchanie, and his numerous stints on commercial radio. “When I heard that Kerry O’Brien was leaving the 7.30 Report I was straight on the phone to the ABC,” Peter said. “They were pretty quick to close the door on my 7.30 Report dream but suggested I have a crack at hosting something called The Trophy Room. I said ‘yes’ and the rest, as they say is the future.”
Each week in The Trophy Room two star-studded teams of three will combine sports chat and trivia with parlour games and physical sporting challenges in a fiercely contested and fun-filled half-hour.
A special edition of The Trophy Room to celebrate Australia Day will be screened on Wednesday, January 26th.

PS: The appointment with Dorothy has been postponed till early next year

(Editor)

William the Conqueror

William Lloyd Bates, just call me ‘Bill’, recently residing at2 Weldon Crt Hillcrest Qld 4118, but formerly having lived in Seville Victoria for the better part of his life. He mainly played his beloved sport of Table Tennis at Kilsyth for the C & DTTA.

Born on 18 August 1930, he developed a passion for “ping pong” at an early age. A very proficient exponent with the ‘hard bat’, Bill was ranked third in Australia in his heyday and his best achievement was reaching the semi final of the Australian Men’s Singles.

Turning 80 years of age in 2010, Bill decided to have another fling at trying his (left) hand at a World title. This momentous decision not only brought fame and glory to our Bill, but to our sport in Australia.

A very good defender with a sneaky, efficient backhand hit he achieved the impossible dream of his life in becoming a World Champion at Hohhot Inner Mongolia, China on 12 June 2010.

Then, in the rarefied air at 1100 metres above sea level, under trying conditions, he managed to beat the very best players in the World, including the all powerful Chinese on their home soil in gruelling competition.

Never comfortable at the eleven up format, Bill took some time to find his feet.  Buddy Reid, Ken Sands and I spent three days practising with Bill before the tournament proper commenced. He just managed to survive the qualifying rounds on the Monday and came second in the three-way count back to qualify for the main draw.

But then, in the knock-out draw on Thursday, he clawed his way through to a place in the semi finals which were scheduled for Finals’ Day, Saturday.

Buddy Reid and Paul Pinkewich sat in Bill’s corner for the final match and expertly supported our champion. It was all that Bill needed; to know he wasn’t on his own out there in that big stadium, thouands of miles from home!

Terry Donlon, the English champion Bill had vanquished in the quarters, also very sportingly gave him some advice for the semi and final matches, as he had played these veterans in previous years.

So apart from all the Aussies, more than 70 of us, barracking for Bill we had the English support as well. The noise in the stadium was deafening when one final after the other came to its climax. The chant of Aussie Aussie, oi, oi, oi, rang out when Bill finally triumphed.

On reflection it must be said that we never imagined that Bill would ever play eleven up. Since 1996 Bill hadn’t play veterans any more and when the new format was introduced, as well as the bigger ball, Bill vowed to never play in veterans’ competition again.

Moving to Queensland a year or so ago helped him to change his mind when he met Tony Herbert and so we have William back into the fold again.

We, Victorians, would like to claim Bill as one of our own, but no doubt Queensland will claim him now. In addition Western Australia believes Bill belongs to them too, for he lived and played in Perth for a number of years.

To solve this conundrum it would be appropriate to have William Lloyd Bates, as the very first veteran player, inducted into the Australian Veterans Hall of Fame, for he has done us all proud.

I am inviting interested parties to so move at the next AGM of AusVet during the coming Australian Open Veterans Championships and thus acknowledge this fantastic achievement.

The Editor

3/7/2010

VALE

It is with great sadness we have learned of the death of table tennis stalwart Doreen Bridson after a short illness. Our deepest condolences are extended to Gerry and family.

4/7/2010

Maureen Sherman rang me to inform us of the passing of Graeme Ireland’s wife Kaye. Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to Graeme and family.

We received the following message from Peter De Low today.

Hello Casey,   6 May 2010

Well,  yesterday saw the outcome of all the hard work  to have my mother recognised for her services to table tennis.

On Thursday, 6th May 2010, she received the Order of Australia Medal at Government House, Sydney from Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales. The citation read “for service to table tennis”.

We must await the official photographs but attached is one showing Doris in the grounds of Government House wearing her Medal.  I’m standing behind her with my two daughters, her grand-daughters, Wendy left and Cathy centre.

Thank you for all your efforts.  It was a wonderful day.

Peter

 

Important Notice to prospective entrants of VicVets Inaugural tournament at Dandenong on 16 May 2010.

Good news. The Greater Dandenong Table Tennis Association, the venue where we are holding this tournament, has unexpectedly been re-admitted into the fold of TTV.

This means of course that we will be playing at an affiliated association and the tournament is full speed ahead!

Rumour that the tournament is OFF is untrue, as is the rumour that by participating in this tournament your State Team selection chances will be jeopardised. They will not.

However it would appear it this stage that NO points will be awarded towards State Team selection, unless TTV abandons its hard ball attitude towards VicVets.

TTV would do well to reconsider its belligerent stance and award these points as they ought to, as the seedings will be done by some of the most experienced ‘ex-selectors’ in our veteran sport e.g. Roy Cintolo, Prisca Rosario and Case de Bondt.

Arnold Puts was to  have participated as a selector too, but unfortunately for us has gone to Barcelona, Spain, to officiate in umpiring over there.

We congratulate Arnold on this international umpire’s appointment and are pleased to say he will be back in time to play in our tournament on 16 May at Dandenong.

All will be done fairly and above reproach, the prize money will be good and it is guaranteed that the participants will not be warming seats waiting for things to happen, as was the case at the last two important tournaments, the Victorian Veterans Closed and the Victorian Veterans Open run by TTV.

Late Entries will be accepted by Phone to both 03 5336 3789 or 03 5674 1736 or 0407 596 698; Fax 03 5674 1201 or the following E-mail addresses  abeaton@supernerd.com.au ; caseybul1@bigpond.com until Sunday 9 May. Come along and enjoy this new innovative event.

Thursday 29 April 2010

The following letter was sent to TTV, offering an olive branch to overcome the present impasse. Sadly, at the combined meeting of the Board and the VicVets  Committee on 22 April 2010, this offer was not accepted.

VicVets intends to conduct our inaugural tournament at Dandenong regardless to give the Victorian tournament veterans the opportunity to compete at Dandenong, as had tentatively been put on the tournament calendar for 2010 as one of eight tournaments towards State selection.

The Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association Incorporated

PO Box 24 Inverloch Vic 3996

The CEO of the Board of TTV

C/- MSAC Box 5

Aughtie Drive

Albert Park Vic 3206                            Monday 12 April 2010

Dear Members of the Board of TTV,

We became aware that you may not accept the Dandenong Association’s tournament in your programme and so we made arrangements to fill the breach.

We are ready to hold a tournament in Dandenong on the 16th May and believe there will be a high participation rate.

We are offering to hold this tournament under the umbrella of TTV.

All it will need is the formality of you affiliating the Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association.

This could be easily and quickly done under the same conditions under which you have already affiliated other Associations such as Croydon and Mornington.

The committee of the Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association have everything in place to conduct a Veterans Tournament at Dandenong on 16 May, including workers and Entry Forms.

This proposal would result in a win/win outcome for you and for the veteran players who can then still gain State Team Selection Points.

Our combined meeting, scheduled for 22 April, can also be further utilised to go into the details of the above proposition.

Yours in Table Tennis,

Case de Bondt, Hon. Secretary/Public Officer VicVets

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE VICTORIAN VETERANS TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED –  16 May 2010 –  DANDENONG 

The Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association was formed after extensive consultations with the regular veteran tournament players through circulars distributed during the Victorian Vet Closed (May) and the Victorian Vet Open Championships (July) in 2009.

General disenchantment with TTV’s interference with the running of the veteran tournaments, the seeding and selection criteria imposed on the veterans and in particular the controversial points system over the past three or four years, first caused the resignation of all the selectors in 2007 and culminated in the formation of this  movement to become an independent entity.

The interim committee was chosen by written and signed nominations received in July 2009 (Vic Open) and authority was given by the vast majority of the players to go ahead and incorporate the Association and to endeavour to obtain affiliation with TTV, and further to organise veteran activities in the State of Victoria.

The day after the Vic Open in July 2009 our first application to affiliate with TTV was sent by registered letter. This was rejected. Further applications were submitted in September 2009, November 2009 and January 2010. All these sincere attempts to affiliate were again rejected.

It became patently obvious to your committee that the Board of TTV had no intention whatsoever to allow the veterans to manage their own affairs. As recently as 22 April your committee met with the Board of TTV at the MSAC office to once more urge them to accept us and to give their approval to run our Inaugural Tournament here in Dandenong so that State Team Selection Points could still be earned.

We are at a loss why the Board continues to be unwilling to accept us and regard us as an enemy for last month once again, the fifth time, we were rejected.

These five separate rejections by TTV were based on frivolous reasons and were akin to making excuses why our affiliation requests were not acceptable i.e. not on proper forms, our constitution (which is basically the same as all other affiliated associations) and not indicating due deference.

In NSW the veterans are independent and manage their own affairs. All other major sports like tennis, squash, bowls and golf have their own independent veterans associations. Why can’t we? What is TTV afraid of?

Your present interim committee has at all times held the view that we wish to operate under the umbrella of TTV. Never did we believe that breaking away from the extended table tennis family would be in the interest of our sport as we feel this is the wish of all veterans in Victoria.

While our ongoing purpose, through the strength of numbers of our members, is to serve the veteran players of Victoria, our immediate aim is to :
1.  Devise a better set of criteria than the present point system for seeding of veteran tournament and selection of Victorian veterans teams.
2.  To ensure that the Selectors decisions are not overturned by the Board of TTV.
3.  To run our tournaments more efficiently than the presently run tournaments at MSAC.

Relevant to the above is the New South Wales Veteran Association’s opening statement on their Website:

New South Wales Veterans Table Tennis Association Incorporated

This group has been operating since 1982 but in 1991 it broke away from “Table Tennis NSW Inc.” and became an “Incorporated” Association.

The aim of the Association is to conduct table tennis events and activities specifically for veteran table tennis players and to assist the New South Wales Association in the promotion control and organisation of table tennis for veteran players.

You become a Veteran player in the year you turn 40 years of age and you can play for as long as you can hold a racket. Our oldest and best known former world champion Dot Delow is now 95 and still hits a mean ball. ! She has just returned from Bremen, Germany after competing in the World Veterans Championships and winning a bronze medal in the over 85 years doubles.

Everyone who plays table tennis should be registered with TTNSW to a level that covers his or her involvement. If you only wish to play club/association events then a fee applies (50% discount to holders of Pensioner Benefit cards) or a slightly larger amount for those who are keen to play in State/Australian championships.

In addition players will most likely belong to a local shire/district/Insurance office/public service association to which they will have to pay a membership fee or belong to this association and pay the membership fee (Veterans 2006, $20 p.a. ).

Currently the Association rents the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls, Grand Parade on Sundays for the conduct of table tennis competitions. See “Competitions” below.

If you just want to play in your local association or go to a hall for some social table tennis and practice the relevant details are on the TTNSW page.

We now have another Veteran Table Tennis celebrity in Australia alongside our Dorothy De Low.

Let me introduce Geoffrey Volney Nesbitt to you from Moama, near Echuca Victoria.

Geoffrey last night was the recipient of the prestigious Echuca/Moama Sports-Star of the Year Award for 2009.

A copy of the impressive plaque listing all previous winners was presented to Geoff by the evening’s compere, AFL Player & TV Presenter Nathan Thompson.

In addition the Moama Bowling Club presenting Geoff with a cheque of $500.00 and the main prize, comprising a $2000.00 travel voucher from Travel Scene, also was presented.

Geoff has been the winner of Monthly Awards on many an occasion in previous years, but this is the first time he prevailed over 14 other contestants vying for the Sports Star of the Year Award.

Winning Gold at the World masters Games last October surely gave Geoffrey the edge over the other sports nominees.

Thus our beloved sport of Table Tennis once again is in the news and incentive to other folk “in the summer of their lives” to take up this sport for all ages.

Here follows a summary of Geoff’s achievements in 2009 bearing in mind he will be turning 76 next May:

World Masters Games (Hurstvile)

Gold O/70 Men’s Teams

Gold O/70 Men’s Doubles

Bronze O/70 Mixed Doubles

New Zealand National Veterans Championships

Gold O/65 Men’s A Grade Teams

Gold O/75 Men’s A grade Teams

Gold O/75 Men’s Doubles

Silver O/70 Men’s Doubles

Australian Master Games (Geelong)

Gold O/70 Men’s Teams

Gold O/70 Men’s Doubles

Silver O/70 Men’s Singles

Bronze O/60 Men’s Teams

Australian National Veterans Championships

Gold O/70 Men’s Doubles

Gold O/75 Men’s Doubles

Gold O/75 Men’s Singles

Silver O/75 Men’s teams

Silver O75 Mixed Doubles

Victorian Closed Veterans Championships

Gold O/75 Men’s Singles

Gold O/75 Men’s Doubles

Silver O/70 Men’s Doubles

Victorian Open Veterans Championships

Gold O/75 Men’s Doubles

Other 2009 District Championships

Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Geelong, Mornington, Sunbury

Won 12 Events, R/U in six Events

Won one Team competition

I received the following message from Peter De Low:

Thanks from Dorothy De Low

Load Images  Close

From:

Peter De Low<pdelow@bigpond.net.au>

|   Date: 15 February 2010 05:01:29 PM

To:

Peter De Low<pdelow@bigpond.net.au>

Dorothy has asked me to thank all those people who offered congratulations on her award of an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day2010.

Her written request said:

“To all my friends and family who sent me messages of congratulations on the occasion of my being awarded the OAM, I wish to thank them heartily.  I do appreciate it.  Last but not least, thanks to those who nominated me or supported my nomination in the first place.”

Sincerely

Dorothy/Doris/Dot De Low

It’s with horror that I’m watching the awful pictures emerging from the earthquake zone in Christchurch. I’ve visited your beautiful city many times and am heartbroken to see such shocking scenes.

The news coverage has been non-stop over here in Australia.  I’m extremely saddened by the rising death toll and the large number of people still trapped under fallen buildings.

Our sincerest condolences go to your members and to the people of New Zealand. There will be a long road to recovery but your neighbours over The Ditch will be supporting you all the way.

Sincerely,

Tony Herbert

Queensland Veterans Manager

 

 

Hi Case,

 

Editorial Opinion

In News on November 11, 2009 at 7:20 am

Dr Barclay (Buddy) George Reid

How he succeeded to win a singles table tennis gold against all the odds.

Dr Buddy Reid has excelled in two sports at International level. In the 1960s he was the Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket National Team and at the same time Captain of the Sri Lankan Table Tennis National Team before moving to Australia in the early 1970s. A phenomenal sportsman indeed and a true gentleman he sent the message below to share just hours after becoming a World Champion.

“The unbelievable has happened. I have won the World Championships.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all my TT friends who have helped me over the past 15 years, by practicing with me, and beating me, through which I have learned many truths about this game. My special thanks to my team mates at St. Kida Cricket TTC and to my long time sparring partner and friend Martin Solomons.

My gratitude goes out to Case de Bondt who was in my corner in every sense of the word during the semi final and final today. His observations and advice was invaluable. He has also been my big brother throughout my Veterans career and has helped me through every Australian Open and World Championship. He is my role model.

Please forward this with my thanks to all of those on your Table Tennis email list.”

Yours Sincerely,

“Buddy Reid”
This message was posted on “Clubhub” the day Buddy won the 75s world singles title on Sunday 29 May 2016 at the World Veterans Championships, Alicante, Spain. It epitomises the man’s character to so readily share this remarkable achievement with so many who he deems to have helped him achieve this lifelong dream.
I shall never forget the wonderful experience to have sat through most of Buddy’s matches at Alicante. The only ones I missed in the full 128-player 75s draw were those when I was playing myself at the same time as Buddy was. One of the matches Buddy played without my presence (in the round of 64) was against LAU Kwing Yiu (HGK), who won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro eight years ago, when he was playing in the 65 age group. Buddy won 5,-8, 4, 14 with the last game hanging by a thread. A pity I missed seeing that exciting game. Buddy did tell me about that last game when fortunes had seesawed.
LAU, the #5 seed, is a very gracious bespectacled shake-hand player who has all the shots. He appears to be very composed and have plenty of time to play his shots. He makes few unforced errors; the mark of a true champion. I believe he resides in the USA, although playing under the Hong Kong banner. The other Buddy-match I missed was in the round of 16 against Jasko which Buddy won 1,9,8; another good win. But I was there for him during the last match on Saturday, to get Buddy into the semis. It was against the dour Swede Hans Freden. It turned out to be a real cliff-hanger. Buddy seemed in control at -4, 7, 2 when he allowed the Swede to take out the fourth -11, when he started to rush and serve fast. The return by Freden of these serves were loaded and Buddy put the last couple of shots into the net.
Freden uses a very steady pimple backhand over and close to the table chop that Buddy found difficult to put away as often as he would have liked. Freden would occasionally jump around his backhand and put Buddy’s push away with a winning, conventional-rubber, forehand hit. After losing the fourth -11, Buddy did what he can do time and again when in a hole. He took charge once more and closed the match out to 7. Hans Westling was sitting next to me during this exciting match and of course was rooting for his countryman.
Hans wanted to know all about Buddy. “How did he come to be known by that name? And what did he do for a living? Was he born in Australia? Where did he learn to play like that?” I must say this for Westling, he seems to know all the players and where they have advanced to in the draw. He had already told Buddy and I when we bumped into him, that if he could beat LAU, which he deemed Buddy could do, he would then take the fifth seeded place in the draw. Hans enjoyed my stories about Buddy and how he derived his nick name.
Buddy did not have a very good draw in the tournament at all. For starters his group had Horst Iffland in it, against whom he had lost on two previous occasions, once in Cottbus in 2007 and another time at a previous world championship. At the breakfast and dinner tables we discussed this upcoming match against Iffland several times. The two have their musical interests in common and I felt that Buddy was a bit too pally with him and impressed by the guy’s prowess. There was no doubt in my mind that Buddy was overly concerned having to play him so soon, already in the group matches.
The two things I kept mentioning to Buddy was that he has improved his game a great deal, more so than any other veteran player that I know. Then Iffland would likely to be a little overconfident against him because of his winning record. I urged him to put the past out of his mind and concentrate on the upcoming match only. “Your backhand is too severe for Iffland to handle. As with all pimple backhand players he relies on sending your topspins back was heavy chop, hoping you will net the return. Don’t serve fast to his backhand, but be happy to push to it. Then you’ll get little “topspin pushes” back which you can hit hard.”
As Buddy’s group was at a later time slot than mine I asked him what he wanted me to remind him of during the matches? He said, “Tell me to stay down low and to keep my right elbow close to the body.” The first match was against the German Joachim Moller-Langmaack, who proved to be the bunny in the group. Buddy thrashed him 2, 1, 1. The next match was Iffland versus the Japanese Shiniya Yamamiya. As it was Buddy’s turn to umpire I suggested he have a rest and if the others agreed I would do the umpiring.
The Japanese, a typical penholder, was beaten by Horst 7, 8, 2. But the rallies in the first two games were long and arduous and Iffland was relieved when it was over. Then Buddy, all fired up, came out to play Iffland. It went as I had hoped with Buddy hitting his backhands and forehands ferociously to all parts of the table. Iffland had no answer and Buddy won 8, 8, 8. Horst was clearly taken aback by Buddy’s onslaught and had little to say afterwards. However when Buddy faced the Japanese he seemed to suffer a bit from a backlash having overcome and beaten Horst in straight games.
The Japanese could counter hit from all over the table and especially from his “backhand” side. He hovered near the backhand side and stayed very close to the table so he could take everything straight off the bounce. He beat Buddy to the punch and won the first to 12. I asked Buddy to keep low and his elbow to his side (as he wanted me to remind him). But to mainly suggest not mixing it with the guy and trying to out-hit him. “Serve a bit slower and push a few and then quilt him.” Buddy won the next game easily to 3.
Then, with the next game going point for point Buddy got a bit anxious, started to rush and lost the third game in a nail biting close encounter to 9. He was unable to return the very fast Japanese serves directed at his backhand in such a way as to prevent the guy hitting winners with his three-ball-attack. This time I only said that he should stop returning the ball to the penholders hitting zone; the so-called backhand. You must play your backhand down the line to keep him honest and then hit to his “weak” side. Also don’t play fast to him as he loves to counter hit.
Iffland beat the Japanese by refusing any counter hitting rallies. He gave the chap plenty of backspin balls off his backhand and added some big forehand winners to beat him. Buddy found a way to contain this Asian fellow at last and won the final two games 8 and 6 to win the group. Earlier I had said that even if the Jap beats you, you have already won the group on a count back seeing you have taken a game off him. But Buddy remonstrated with that sentiment and said, “I want to beat him!” Good old Buddy… At least he will not be playing either of them again, unless they meet in the final.
The semis were to start at 11.00 am on Sunday, the last day of the tournament. Buddy and I agreed to leave on the 9:00 bus. The bus ride is some 20-30 minutes depending on whether it calls in at the other , the “Melia”, hotel. I would then try to simulate the Chinese TAY’s pimple pen grip half volley shots with my pimple back hand straight off the bounce in the practice hall. Buddy told me he had already played this match over and over again in his mind. I reminded him that TAY had easily accounted for Igor Klaf in Auckland before beating Dieter Lippelt in the final at expedite. The guy can hit if he wants to. However he wins by his unbelievable consistency and by jerking his opponents from side to side.
On the final day the main playing hall, surrounded by grandstands, featured nine tables in huge courts. The tables were numbered 1 through 9 away from the main grandstand situated at one end. Buddy, playing in the 75 age group, was allocated table #6 which was fairly centrally located. The crowd was separated from the playing areas by a wide walkway and two sets of partitions. Within the two lots of partitions two chairs were provided for each court to seat the adviser or coach for each player. All matches commenced simultaneously with two umpires per match. The players and umpires marched into the hall by the sound of some stirring music and then positioned themselves in each court facing the main grandstand. The announcer then introduced the players and umpires to the crowd.
I had quickly taken the seat across from the scoreboard to get a good look at it. Buddy was visibly nervous; his Chinese opponent appeared inscrutable. The man seemed most assured to me, for after all he was the incumbent champion who had earlier on massacred all his opponents in easy style. The average point score against him per game was a paltry three or four points! I was hoping he had no idea what Buddy played like. At least we knew his game. Buddy indeed jumped him, winning the first to 7. He hit his opponent off beautifully. Then Buddy, after leading all throughout the second, succumbed to -9. Somewhat deflated and disappointed, he agreed with me that he knew why he had lost this close game. He had played too many push shots to the centre of the table from which the Chinese jerked him from side to side keeping him unbalanced.
In the third game the, by then very confident, Chinese hardly made a mistake and fairly beat Buddy to 6. What Buddy was doing wrong was to serve too many serves fast. The Chinese loved fast serves which he returned awkwardly with half volleys for Buddy to gain the initiative in the point. By serving softly and then pushing the Chinese from side to side Buddy would soon get the ball he liked to hit for a winner. That was the plan. However Buddy found himself down 2-5 in the fourth before he settled down and hit three winners to tie the score at 5-5.
The Chinese coach then called “Time-out”. Just think you are beginning the game at 0-0, I told Buddy, and play each point as a game of its own. You have the ascendency now and you have them worried. Keep pushing from side to side until you get the ball to hit. Which he did beautifully, to keep the Chinese down to only two more points in the fourth, winning to 7. At two games all the match was finely balanced. Buddy had the bit in his teeth and had a wonderful rhythm going by now. He flew out of the blocks and led all the way till 10-6.
The crafty Chinese, with nothing to lose at that stage, hit two magnificent winners to catch Buddy by surprise, pulling the score back to 10-8. They both towelled down and were about to play again, when I called “Time-out”. Buddy seemed in a trance when he came over. I said, “Let them stew a minute Buddy. What I want you to do, as it is your serve, is to serve a soft one to his backhand, he’ll half-volley it to your backhand across the table with a little topspin push shot. Then you quilt it down the line.” And that is exactly what happened. The ball flew wide off the Chinese’s racket and Buddy had beaten the world champion.
The next match was not until 2.30 and we decided to have a cup of coffee and something to eat in the cafeteria next door. Buddy insisted to buy the coffee and cake and we chatted about all sorts of things except table tennis. I wanted him to unwind a bit and stop him fretting. At around 1.15 Buddy asked if I could give him practice with my forehand hits to both sides of the table. Bilic has normal rubbers and hits hard. We did that for 15 minutes and then Buddy went away by himself to prepare in his own way.
Bilic had Horst Langer in his corner, himself many times a champion. Buddy had never beaten either of them before and was once again the underdog. But normal rubber suits Buddy and he managed to win a close first game to 9. Bilic, to me, seemed a bit out of sorts, not being able to hold Buddy, who was hitting lustily. The second became a procession with further crisp hitting by the Aussie challenger to win it easily to 4. Buddy led all the way in the third to lead 8-4. Then Bilic caught him at 8-8 with very good play, when at towel time I called “Time-out”. “Buddy forget the score, start and imagine it is 0-0 again, you play each point one at a time and you’ll beat him.”
There was by now no holding the new champion and he won the next three out of the following four points to win at 9, again with beautifully aggressive play. He beat the former European champion fair and square 9, 4, 9 in straight games. Buddy was so overcome when he hugged me saying’” I love you Case; I would never have been able to do this without you!” I too was overcome with emotion, which was quickly dampened when Horst Langer came over and told me that he and Bilic were very upset by our unsporting behaviour. “Buddy did not acknowledge edges and nets and I was applauding every point won by Buddy.” I could not believe my ears.
Bilic never shook my hand at all. After a few minutes I went back to Langer and told him that instead of whinging they should both acknowledge that Buddy was the better player on the day. I explained that in Australia we call it sour grapes to complain when being a poor loser. Buddy made a promise to his late wife to take up table tennis again. “He has been a man on a mission ever since and is playing in honour of Peace, his late wife. He only has eyes for the ball and is very fixated on his game. Otherwise he is the gentlest man on earth.” Horst Langer then shook my hand.
Later on I learned that Bilic has a poor reputation in Europe as a player. Even a lot of the Germans were pleased that Buddy had won. Being a gentleman of the highest order, he is a most deserving world champion indeed. The draw Buddy copped was dead against him, but as Peter Sheedy maintains, “If you want to win a championship you need to beat all your opponents, no matter where you are seeded.”
It is so true…
To sum up all of Buddy’s singles matches in the 75s age group, which were ten in total, he first had to play the three matches in the qualifying group on the opening day. Then later in the week in the round of 128 he beat Alabaster (2,5,3); in the round of 64 Lau (5,-8,4,14); in the round of 32 Sasaki (6,9,6); in the round of 16 Jasko (1,9,8); in the round of 8 it was Freden (-4,7,2,-11,7); in the semi-final Tay (7,-9,-6,7,8) and the final against Bilic (9,4,9).
World champions and European champions alike, all of them succumbed to the “Buddy onslaught”. There were many more world and European champions in the 75s age group draw that Buddy did not have to play. One that comes to mind is Dieter Lippelt, twice world singles champion. He answered to my question, “Do you really practice seven days per week?” “No, I practice twice a day.”
There is no doubt that this very accomplished German player had tongue in cheek. But it does show the remarkable effort of Buddy Reid to win the world championship title in the “Mecca” of veterans’ table tennis, Europe. Australia is out on a limb in our sport, as our senior players find out to their chagrin, however the Aussie veterans have shown in this tournament that they are world class indeed.

 

The 31st Australian Veterans Championships were conducted at the newly reconstructed Kingborough Sports Centre, Kingston Tasmania from 18 Oct – 25 Oct, 2014.

Since attending and participating in the annual championships since 1995, I am amazed at the success of these championships. They are going from strength to strength. Over 400 players were registered to play, a record entry, and all this was made possible solely to the computer wizardry of Bev and Brian James. From year to year they voluntarily put their hand up to do a fantastic job. Without them the tournament could not function.

Of course we also wish to thank the Taswegian organisers and the many volunteers, who tend to become unnoticed by many of the players. Unfortunately, as our game is the Cinderella of Australian indoor sports, we have to put up with imperfect conditions. The light in Hall 2, with 15 tables, was too bright on most tables with the sun shining through the windows and too dark at night. Hall 1 with 18 tables was much better and was used exclusively on finals day.

As I am getting older and my memory fades quickly, these 8 days of intense competition seem to pass by so rapidly. Meeting and greeting old and new friends is heart warming and often the highlight. I must put these impressions on paper while it is all fresh in my mind. It is impossible for me as a competitor to view every match and these scribbles are therefore rather limited and only reflect my point of view, for which I take full responsibility.

And first I must reflect on the 30s age group, having been introduced a couple of years ago. To include them as “veterans” is a misnomer and I doubt if any 30-year-old wants to really be addressed as a “veteran”. The supposed rationality that the 40s have only one age group to play in is nonsense. Why not include the 20-year olds as well?                                                         No, for that reason and mainly also the logistical angle of running such a large fast growing tournament, let is stick with the 40s as being the youngest veteran age group.

Further I despaired to see the girls having only 3 teams in the 75s. The 70-year-women had just 6 teams. Why weren’t these two age groups combined? Not much fun in spending the first four or five days doing very little. The likes of Maureen Fischer and Lois McConnell would have very much enjoyed playing 8 matches instead of a couple and would have given a very good account of them. The proposition of 2-player teams for women in the 70s and 75s is not the answer to the problem of having just 3 teams. It should and could have been remedied.

As always the Team Events came first. Of the eleven team events for both Men and Women Victoria emerged with 6 gold, NSW with 3 gold followed by New Zealand (women’s 40s) and  SA (women’s 70s) winning the remaining 2 gold team medals with one a piece.                                   If Lan Zhai (Vic), the 40s and 50s women’s singles champion, had played teams the 40s would also have gone to Victoria and quite possibly the 75 Men’s as well for a different reason.                                            Victoria could have won 8 out of the possible 11 gold in the team’s competition.

I do not know why Zhai did not play 40 Women’s teams. I surmise that perhaps she had not yet qualified residentially (although she was listed under Vic). Whatever the reason, she stood head and shoulders above her peers. As far as the 75 Men’s is concerned the Victorian veterans committee, through their appointed selectors, missed the boat completely in picking the obvious state team.

The recognised 75 doubles pairing, which recently narrowly lost in the quarters of the worlds, were picked in different teams, thus causing the state team to finish a lowly fifth. Yet the B team managed to gain a bronze medal. An interesting statistic is that in the 75 Men’s team competition NSW remained undefeated, the Vic state team lost just one match and all other teams lost at least two matches. Only three players, one from WA, one from NZ and the other from Vic lost just one match each in the team competition.

Another gripe of mine is the O of M and the “tabletennisworld.com awards” (of which I personally have received four over the years) leaves a lot to be desired. I won’t mention names here, but some should have received this award, yet missed out. Others are not in the rightful O of M position and I am not the only one that believes this to be so. The way the Swaythling Club Awards were worked out some years ago, was a much fairer method and we all knew how it worked. Now we are left dangling in mid air and no one really knows how this is arrived at.

This tournament was not a good one for the incumbent champions. Of all the age groups, in both Men and Women, only world champion, Ihn van Le (NSW), managed to retain his 65 singles title. This must be an indication that the standard of play is constantly on the up and up.                                 We currently have a new 40 singles champion in Paul Langley (SA), who used every ounce of his experience to come from 2 games to 1 down to defeat Danny Semmler (Vic). At 9-9 in the fifth Danny served a fault and with it his chance to retain his title flew out the window.

With Lan Zhai (Vic) winning the 40s and 50s singles these two blue ribbon events were played in devastating style. Yes, the standard of veterans’ table tennis is getting stronger all the time. I must mention Joseph Healy’s triumph in the 80s over wily Tom Boyd. Joe was ill only a few days before the event and his wife wanted to stop him from playing. But Joe was determined to have a go and although beaten by Tom in the team event, managed to turn the tables on Tom; a rare gold for Tassie.

But the most impressive achievement, in my view, was that of Craig Campbell (WA).  Craig, at 59 years of age, was a convincing winner of the 50 Men’s singles. His finals opponent from Queensland, Max Wellington, played catch up table tennis to Craig for most of this gripping encounter. At 9-9 in the fifth with Craig serving, he produced two devastating backhand smashes to take the title. One wag said to me, “I didn’t know Craig was so backhand orientated.” Winning that age group at age 59, to me, resembles a small miracle.

Earlier when I spoke to Craig, and on asking he answered he was considering going to Spain for the worlds in 2016. “It must be a lot easier to play 60s than to play these guys who are turning 50 that year.” Craig certainly lived up to the salubrious title of “rubber man”, by which the Scandinavians dubbed him a few years ago, to win the title. Born in Victoria, in the country town of Geelong, he was country champion for some 10 or so years, until he left for WA in 1981 at age 26.

Women players are rather scarce at our veterans’ championships and that is why I wrote that the 70s and 75s ought to have been combined for the greater good of all concerned. The most prolific medal haul was by Pamela Tait (Vic) who collared the possible seven medals with  5 gold, 1 silver and a bronze. She knocked off the incumbent champions in Cynthia Langley (SA) and Betty Bird (SA) in that order; Pam outlasted them all with determined play.

There is so much more to relate but this report would become much too unwieldy. Suffice to say that all results may be gleaned on http://www.southerntabletennis.org.au/vets2014/results.htm This is the James’s loving work.

Next year the championships will be staged at the Gold Coast town of Caloundra in October.

 

 

The 16th World Veteran Table Tennis Championships held in Auckland New Zealand from May 12-17, 2014 have now been concluded.

Congratulations to everyone who just played at the World Veterans Table Tennis Championships in Auckland.
It was another successful International Veterans Tournament, my 11th on the trot.
1666 Players, 57 Countries Represented, 61 Tables, 5256 Matches Played
186 Australian players went to Auckland.
Australia finished 4th on the overall medal tally. From the Australian perspective the medallist were as follows

SINGLES
GOLD
O70 Men’s Singles       – Inh van Le (NSW)
BRONZE
O40 Women’s Singles  –  Eriko Ito (NSW)
O50 Women’s Singles  –  Nela Bran (VIC)
O70 Men’s Singles       –  Mick Wright (VIC)
O80 Women’s Singles  –  Betty Bird (SA)
DOUBLES
GOLD
O70 Men’s Doubles      – Inh Ven Le (NSW) & Igor Klaf (VIC)
O75 Women’s Doubles – Pam Tait (VIC) & Margaret Mulcahy (VIC)
SILVER
O65 Men’s Doubles      – Thomas Samuelsson (QLD) & Lennart Bjork (SWE)
O70 Men’s Doubles      – Mick Wright (VIC) & Dr Herbert Neubauer (GER)
O80 Men’s Doubles      – Geoff Nesbitt (VIC) & Harry Dye (NZ)
BRONZE
O75 Women’s Doubles – Lois McConnell (VIC) & Maureen Fischer (VIC)
                                     – Betty Bird (SA) & Nicole Pilliere (FRA)
O80 Men’s Doubles      – Ken Johnson (VIC) & Tony Herbert (QLD)
O80 Women’s Doubles – Prisca Rosario (VIC) & Elaine Edwards (NSW)
O85 Men’s Doubles      – Karl Preuss (NSW) & Chi Lam (USA)For All the results click on
http://www.wvc2014.com/

 

These 2014 Championships, freshly in my mind, are to be remembered for the efficiency of all the officials and volunteers. Without them no tournament is possible. Many of them sacrificed their own entry as players just to concentrate on the running of the event for our enjoyment. Congratulations are in order to the Kiwis and all their able helpers.

Comparisons with the other Worlds I have attended come to mind and are unavoidable. It is utterly impossible to match the opening and closing ceremonies we were privileged to witness in Hohhot, China in 2010. A video recording was made of it that can still be obtained on DVD; a more colourful and imposing spectacle seems unlikely to be staged ever again in my lifetime.

Looking through the results of all the other Worlds, since the inaugural one at Gothenburg in 1982, never before did Australia achieve the fantastic results is it did in Auckland, some 20 medals in total. In fact all those previous years Australia won a grand total of just 8 gold medals. Yet in this one tournament in Auckland alone we won no less than 5 gold (one Singles and two Doubles)!

Some may say that the overall entry was somewhat down at 1666, and there wasn’t the depth in players. Alright, it is true that we had as many as 2674 players in Lucerne, in Yokohama we had 2380, Bremen had 2834 and at Stockholm (3316), there were twice as many contestants as we enjoyed in Auckland.

However the quality of players was at a very high standard. One champion German player, Dieter Lippelt , whom I witnessed winning the 70s gold in Stockholm in very easy fashion, was mooted by his peers to be practising seven days per week. We shrugged our shoulders and thought, what hope have we got. I asked Dieter in Auckland, before play commenced, if it was indeed true that he played seven days per week. He answered, “Not at all, I practice twice per day…!”

But Lippelt and some other incumbent gold medallists were unable to retain their titles. Other players in that category that come to mind, apart from Dieter Lippelt who by the way was ‘promoted’ to the 75s, could manage only second placings at best. Geoffrey Bax (Eng), 80s Singles winner in Stockholm, had to be satisfied with a bronze medallion this time round and Betty Bird, most times playing for Australia, won the 75 Singles title in Stockholm for England. She disappointingly managed just a bronze in her next age group Singles, the 80s, for Australia.

Top player from Sweden, Peter Karlsson, winner of gold medals in both open World and European Championships whilst trying his hand at 40s-veteran table tennis, found Chinese player Zheng Li too strong in the semi-final after leading him 2 games to love. Yet Li succumbed to his countryman Yin Wang -5,-5,-7 in the final, once again showing the depth and strength of the Chinese at table tennis.

Dieter Lippelt (gold in 2008 and 2012) found the expatriate Chinese Chong Keng Tay from the USA too hard to handle in the final and went down in five games, the last two at expedite. Bernard (Mick) Wright from Victoria, Australia was the giant slayer in the 70s edging out Chen Hsiang Huang (TPE) 12-10 in the fifth after being well down in the deciding game. A very worthy result considering the man from Taipei insisted that the umpire give Mick a yellow card when the bat ‘fell’ out of Mick’s hand after receiving an edge ball to put him three points down in the deciding game. Justice prevailed…

Then Mick went on to win another cliff hanger against the Rio World Champion, Wolfgang Schmidt (GER) after being down two games to one and finally winning 13-11 in the fifth. As I said to Mick, “You sure seem to enjoy being on a knife’s edge.” However Brian Hill from England stopped Mick’s run in the semi, 11-5 in the fifth. Ihn van Le (AUS) found the answer to Hill’s compact game and beat him in four in the final for Australia’s only Singles gold. Le was one of the rare players to score the double.

My mixed doubles partner Margaret Mulcahy, together with Pam Tait played out of their brain to defeat all Japanese comers in very exciting close games. Pam’s many ‘rare’ forehand hits and Margaret’s chop smashes combined beautifully to win the Doubles gold against individually superior players.

But the story of the tournament, as I see it, was the drama and the unprecedented tale of the exploits of my erstwhile Doubles partner Geoffrey Volney Nesbitt, from Moama on the Victorian and NSW border. If ever advanced age, combined with severe physical handicaps, resulted in a fairy tale ending, it is the story of Geoffrey Nesbitt. Geoff, as he is known to his many friends all over Australia, first took up veteran table tennis in the early nineties.

Against all the odds he managed to win a Silver medal in the 80 to 85 age group Doubles together with his scratch partner Harry Dye from New Zealand, a feat aspired by many, but achieved by so few. Harry, by the way was the highest finishing Kiwi medallist.            In October 2010 Geoff collapsed with acute back spasms during the annual Australian national championships in Melbourne. Few players who I know are more involved and as totally absorbed by our sport than is our Geoff.

Table Tennis proved a godsend to him when struck by misfortune within the family. He told me it kept him sane during these trying years. It was therefore a terrible disappointment to break down and be unable to complete the tournament. We all, including Geoff, thought it would be but a passing discomfort and that he would be back on deck again soon to play our game.

But as fate would have it, after many tests and scans, he was diagnosed to be suffering from plasma cytoma, a devastating cancer of the bone. One of the vertebrae in his spine had been affected and X-rays showed it to be partially collapsed. He had lost several inches in stature. No more table tennis for Geoff.

After months of chemo and radiation treatments, including imbibing very potent drugs such as thalidomide, the cancer of the bone marrow went into remission. Geoff being much savvier at caring for his six-acre park than at computers, asked me to enter him for the 2012 Worlds at Stockholm on-line. I was to be his Doubles partner once again.

Five months before flying to Europe, Geoff’s cancer was on the march again. It had spread to a full blown multiple myeloma. Another one of his vertebrae was sloughing away and it had affected other bones in his body. Geoff had to wear a back brace to protect his spinal column. He was on the verge of being a paraplegic. The trip had to be cancelled.

Geoff’s hopes of ever playing the game he loved again were dashed. His oncologist, Dr Ali Sabhagi, warned him that any sudden jerky movement could collapse the spine and would mean a wheel chair for him or even worse. It broke his heart.

Part of Geoff’s ongoing treatments was bone infusions. Together with taking other very expensive drugs his blood count was stabilised and he was able to potter around his farmlet again. On visiting him at his property around November 2013, he asked me to show on his computer how to get onto the www.wvs2014.com Website.

I thought he wanted to see who had entered and so forth. He knew that I had already entered with my current partner Jim Furness for the 75s,and he had told Tony Herbert not to enter with him for Auckland in the 80s age group. Geoff was born on 21 May, 1934. He said to Tony his specialist had forbidden him to play, but he and his wife Margaret had been given permission to fly over and see his many friends again he met over the 15 years or so playing there.

Never did I foresee what he had in mind. He proceeded to fill out the on-line Entry Form, got his credit card out, entered the details and pressed “submit”. I protested that he had fooled me and that I would not be seen to be part of this plot, considering his condition. Geoff’s Irish logic had the perfect answer, “If I do not enter, I cannot play, but seeing I have now entered, I still need not play. You saw I have not put in for a Doubles partner, who I don’t want to let down.”

His wife Margaret was very upset, but I comforted her by saying that all this was just making Geoff happy in his own mind. “But we all know it is but wishful thinking on his part.” The accommodation was booked for us all at Northcote, a twenty minute drive from the Trusts Arena at Henderson, but five days before flying out Geoff came down with a severe lung complaint. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, but we knew Geoff would not be allowed to fly in his condition.

The will power of the man is unbelievable. He was going no matter what. His table tennis bag was neatly packed and as he proclaimed, “Everything had been booked and paid for.” Margaret had sleepless nights. She knows him better that anybody. Fortunately we had three quiet days in Northcote before the tournament commenced. The medication was having its desired effect on Geoff and he began to feel somewhat better.

His singles went reasonably well on Monday and he qualified second in his group. He had been allocated a partner in Harry Dye from NZ for the following day. Harry too suffers from a ‘crook’ back and is unable to bend down to pick up the ball. We urged Geoff to drop these Doubles and concentrate on the Singles where I said he could do some real damage in the 80s, but hopefully not to himself.

Again Geoff pulled rank and decided to play with Harry, a very nice Kiwi. It is not in Geoff’s nature to let anyone down. “Could I be his adviser/coach?” I had visions of needing to be close anyway to catch him if he fell over. Against all the odds Geoff and Harry went on to qualify first in their group, as Harry was suffering from a stomach complaint. Geoff got the same wog the following day. It is a wonder they got through, but some things are meant to be.

Thursday, after the lay day on Wednesday, Geoff did not play well in the Singles and was eliminated from the main draw. He was still feeling woozy and Margaret immediately took him to the flat for him to lie down and rest. By Friday Geoff was nearly his old self again and together with Harry managed to make it to the semi finals, to be played on Saturday, finals day. Some things are just unbelievable…

On Saturday only official advisers/coaches were allowed courtside. Harry’s son wanted to be his father’s adviser and we both sat side by side near the table before the semi final match. The German referee came over and told us that only one adviser was allowed per pair and one of us had to leave. I explained that Craig Dwyer was coaching his NZ father and I was advising Geoff from Australia. “We speak different languages in those countries.” He looked at me strangely, seemed to be appeased and acquiesced.

They had to play the #1 seeds, a Fin and a Swede, and quickly lost the first game in easy fashion. We encouraged them to persevere and a sudden change came over the match when Geoff quilted some lovely smashes as only he can do. Harry played the anchor role brilliantly and the Scandinavians started making errors. I could sense an upset after we led 2/1. Going into the fourth game I told Geoff to try his sudden quick return of service across court when given the opportunity, and before we realised it Geoff and Harry were in the gold medal play off, it all went so quickly.

The silver medal was assured at least, but they went down in the final against the #2 seeds 9,9,6, sadly it being my first loss as a world’s Doubles championship coach, but it felt I too won the silver medal. All along Geoff had made up his mind to play, fooling everyone, including his oncologist and I wonder what Bazhagi will say when shown the silver.

What is Geoff’s explanation and excuse?  “I don’t want to die wondering.” What a story…

 

 

Tony Herbert supplied the following message (4/2/2014)

The 32nd Australian Veterans Open Championships, 2015

  

The Queensland Board on Sunday the 2nd February sanctioned that the Australian Veterans Open Championship’s will be held at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium.
Starting 17th and finishing on the 24th of October 2015. 
At the State representatives meeting in Darwin I mentioned that the 32nd Australian Open Veterans Championships in all probability would be held in Caloundra.
I further explained the previous venue of the Australian  Veterans at Tallebudgera, although popular due to various logistical problems, namely that Darwin introduced the concept of 4 players in a group which necessitated a larger venue. Also the Qld Board liked the idea of going Regional, rather than the cities of Brisbane and the Gold Coast,without losing the attractiveness of the Pacific Ocean
Jason the CEO of TTQ and myself were given the task of investigating and assessing the feasibility of holding the event in Caloundra. And our findings were more than promising.
The venue is air conditioned and accommodation and restaurants are within walking distance of the venue.
As in Darwin their will be groups of four in singles and the first two in each group will go to the first round proper.
In addition there will also be a consolation singles.The rules regarding this additional event are that if a player is third or fourth in his/her group and if that person has entered two age groups the player will only be eligible to enter the one age group of his choosing.
Hope to see you in Caloundra.
Tony

Some more news from Tony Herbert    15/3/2013

Details of two tournaments that have some interest for Australian Veterans is one being held in Birmingham UK 27th–30th June.” The 4th International Team Championships for Veterans Societies” and the other in Bangkok 4–7th July “2013 Asian Cup Thailand”.

Further details of these events can be obtained from Paul Pinkewich at paul@tabletennisworld.com.au (2013 Asian Cup Thailand.)

Tony Herbert at anthherb@bigpond.com (The 4th International Team Championships for Vets Soc.)

I have investigated flights to Europe flying with Thai Airlines and they allow a stop over in Bangkok at no extra cost. The cost of Thai flights a couple of weeks ago was approximately $1650.

Tony.

March 2013

 

Veterans International T.T. Calendar

 

*)  = new or altered since previous issue!

 

The calendar is available on www.ittf.com, section SCI/WVC and updated every

two months. It can also be requested from westling.hans@telia.com

 

In order to keep the calendar updated, please send information about additional

veterans events to the email address mentioned above.

 

2013 

Mar 2         Tisnov, Czech Republic                Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament        zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

Mar 9-10   Blackpool, England                       Roy Norton

                   Vetts Northern Masters                roywnorton@aol.com

 

Apr 12-13  Crawley, England                         Roy Norton

                   Vetts Southern Masters                roywnorton@aol.com

 

Apr 13       Havirov, Czech Republic              Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament        zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

Apr 26-28  Bosa, Italy                                      Efisio Pisano

                   2nd Sardinian Veterans                 efisiopisano@yahoo.it

 

May 4-5     Moscow, Russia                             Mikhail Torgov  

                   ”20 years later” – Veterans          torgov_m@mail.ru

                   Tournament

 

May 9-12   Ruhpolding, Germany                  www.ruhpolding.de/tischtennis

                   3rd Int. Bavarian Veterans

                   Championships

 

May 11      Liberec, Czech Republic              Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament        zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

May 27-     Bremen, Germany                         www.tt-em.com

June 1        10th European Veteran                 veterans@tt-marketing.de

                   Championships

 

Jun 15        Hostinne, Czech Republic            Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament        zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

 

 

 

Jun 27-30  Birmingham/Wolverhampton,     Roy Norton

                   England                                          roywnorton@aol.com

                   4th Int. Team Championships

                   of Veterans Societies

 

Jun 28-30  Lake Balaton, Hungary                bajdik.istvan@t-online.hu

                   9th Tibhar Veterans Cup             www.tabltennis.hu

 

Jun 29-30  Trier, Germany                             ttcgelbrottrier@aol.com

                   59th Int. Veterans Tournament   www.gelbrottrier.de

 

Jul 4-7        Bangkok, Thailand                       thailandveteran@hotmail.com

*)                2013 Asian Cup Thailand            www.attvu.co

 

Jul 24-28    Albena, Bulgaria                           damakupa91@gmail.com

                   15th Int. Albena Festival                www.tabletennisalben.com

 

Aug 10-11  Varna, Bulgaria                            strongil@yahoo.com

                   14th Int. Veterans Tournament   i.id@abv.bg

                  

Aug 15-18  Panagyurishte, Bulgaria               ivkin50@abg.bg

                   3rd Int. Tournament                      www.tturnir.freehosting.bg

                   “AsarelMedet”

 

Aug 16-18  Neustadt a.d. Weinstrasse,           Jurgen Bock

                   Germany                                        juergenbock10@alice.de    

                   56th Int. Veterans Tournament

 

Aug 30-      Burgas, Bulgaria                           angelov@orcotravel.com

Sep 01        3rd Int. Veterans Tournament      info@orcotravel.bg

                                                                          

Sep 6-9       Tallinn, Estonia                             Rein Lindmae

                   Viru Veterans Cup                       info@pingpong.ee

 

Sep 17        Jaromer, Czech Republic             Zdenek Lhotka

                   Open Veterans Tournament        zdenek.lhotka@atlas.cz

 

Sep 20-22   Moscow, Russia                             Mikhail Torgov

                   Open Veteran Championship      torgov_m@mail.ru

                   of Russia                                       

 

Sep 23-27   Kemer, Turkey                              Savas Ertufan

*)                18th Open Veterans Tournament savas.ertufan@takeda.com

 

2014        Auckland, New Zealand               www.wvc2014.com

May 12-     17th World Veterans                     

17               Championships

 

 

2015        Tampere, Finland                         www.evttc2015.fi

Jun 29-      11th European Veterans

Jul 4           Championships

 

2016        Alicante/Elche, Spain

                   18th World Veterans

                   Championships

 

 

3/3/2013 – The passing of Klaus (Peter) Fischer

Just 21 days short of Peter’s 73rd birthday he succumbed to the dreadful cancer early this morning at home in Ballan, near Ballarat Victoria, where he and his wife Maureen lived for many years.                                     He will be sadly missed by all of us.

Peter, as we all called him, was a stalwart veteran table tennis player who had the distinction of wearing down the best of players in his age group. None of the top players in Victoria can say they had a clean sheet  against the dour hard bat defender.

Only two years ago Peter and Maureen both represented Australia at Invercargil, New Zealand, his first trip across the Tasman. We had the privilege of travelling together in convoy by hire car with the Fischers  through the South Island, and will keep many fond memories of that happy time.

We offer Maureen and Peter’s family our sincere condolences on their sad loss.

Vale – Klaus (Peter) Fischer

Received this e-mail from Peter De Low – 24/2/13

Dorothy (Doris, Dot) De Low is to appear on the television program Live Healthy, Be Happy which is scheduled to be shown on Channel 7 at Noon on Sunday 3rd March 2013.

Those details are correct for Sydney at present but may be different in other states.  Would also pay to check as they sometimes change program times.

Incidentally, she is due for surgery on her droopy left eyelid on 19th March.

Cheers

Peter

Some news from Tony Herbert – 13/2/2013
European News.
The ETTU intends to commence a European Veterans Team Competition. It appears that the ETTU has total control by nominating a committee which is devoid of any consultation with the World Veterans Committee WVC or with Countries who have experience in organising and running such championships. Is their attitude similar to a popular song in Australia some time ago “Shut up in your Your Face”?  
I am at a loss as to why the Swathling Club would have a representative on the ETTU committee. What benefit would this representative have on this committee other than having the expertise of eliciting monies and costs from countries holding the World Veterans Championships.  I estimate the cost attributive to to the SCI fee structure to be 18% of entry fees.)
To exclude ETTU-Veterans Committee in the initial negotiations to establish the rules and the format for this venture, to me, is rather arrogant and gives the impression of a dictatorship. Who better to represent veterans on this committee, than representatives from countries who will take part in this worthwhile venture..?
Local News.
The Sports Commission in Australia have changed their method of funding different sports and if a sport does not perform and obtain medals at the Olympic Games or World Championships their funding will be reduced considerably. Although we do have a let out, as medals could  be won in Table Tennis at the Commonwealth Games.
In the next few days details of the teams competition in Birmingham UK and the Tournament in Bangkok will be available on this web page.
The event in Birmingham is 28 — 29 and 30th June, which is a team competition and in Bangkok which will have a team as well as individual events. It starts on 4th–7th July. The Bangkok Tournament has price money. 
Best Flights – I notice two competitive fares, one is a combination of Thai and Austria Airlines and Thai Airline both with stop over in Bangkok. Both fares are in the region of $1650
Tony Herbert.

Worldwide Veterans’ Table Tennis Websites (and various Links)

25/11/2011

Keep up-to-date with World Veterans Table Tennis by logging on to

www.tt-veterans-international.com

for a special report of the 3rd  International Team Championships of Veterans Societies 2011 inIstanbul. Also view the latest rubbers approved by the ITTF.

Veterans’ Table Tennis is becoming more popular all the time.

All over the globe the constant evolution of these websites is evidence of many of yesteryear players returning to the sport they enjoyed so much when much younger, and are organising their own affairs.

As it appears there is more leisure time for many of us these days and folk are living decidedly longer, returning to the sport we love is a natural progression.

Table Tennis is uniquely and physically suited to virtually any age group. As studies in Japan have born out, the hand-eye coordination of Table Tennis is conducive to much improved brain activity, so vital when one ages.

The competitive exercise gives us an additional focus in our lives and we get the opportunity to meet many new friends going around the various tournaments all over the world.

The consensus of a veteran’s age starts at forty, then proceeds to fifty, sixty, sixty five, seventy, seventy five and readily goes up into the eighties and nineties, as evidenced at the bi-annual Veterans World Table Tennis Championships.

Participating in our sport keeps us fitter and healthier in both mind and body and as a consequence much happier, in particular when one approaches retirement age.

No better commendation to playing competitive “ping pong” is when one starts to look forward to entering a new age-group, instead of  fretting about getting older.

The editor

World Veterans Table Tennis Championships – Stockholm 2012  Have they shot themselves in the foot?

 

On 12 August 2011 the Swedish website www.wvc2012.com stated that over 500 entries have been received. By 18 August the entries passed the 600 mark. As I wrote earlier there is a maximum limit imposed by the organisers of 2800 players.

This seems to have upset many players in Germany, as I recently became aware of through e-mails with my good friend Gordon Lee fromFremantle WA. We have both played doubles together at Rioand in Hohhot and have played against the president of ‘Der Club’ (the German Veteran Table Tennis Association), Konrad Steinkamper.

Konrad is no slouch at the game. He has won the German Veterans championships before and was R/U in the 65 singles inYokohama. He made the semi-finals inRio, but forfeited after having a bad fall. He came back the next day however, to support his doubles partner with his nose in plaster. They promptly won the 70s doubles gold medal, no mean feat.

Steinkamper wrote the following to Gordon Lee:

“As far asStockholmis concerned, I will not take part in this event.

Last weekend (early August 2011) DER CLUB had its Annual Meeting close to Frankfurt/Main.

Because of the fact that the Organising Committee is not willing to guarantee a certain quota of players, we are not able to register our members of DER CLUB as per usual.

On the other hand many of us are not willing to accept the high player’s fee and the cancellation fees as well. So we have decided to no longer promote this event.”

Sweden undoubtedly is a very expensive country for tourists and many would be dissuaded from participating because of the high costs.   Gordon Lee was disappointed when I told him I was going to play with my long-time partner Geoff Nesbitt in Stockholm. Geoff has been ill, but is in remission. So Gordon went looking for another partner and he hit the jackpot when he received this good news from Steinkamper:

“Dr. Peter Stolzenburg.                                                                                                          Some months ago I had agreed to play doubles in Stockholmin Cat over 75 with him.

Then I had to tell him that I will not play inStockholmby reasons you already know. It was not easy for me to cancel this double. In this Email I have promised to look for a strong partner and I recommended him to play with you. Now he told me that he is willing to do so if you agree.”

Gordon asked me for my opinion and I told him Peter Stolzenburg is a much better player than I am, so go for it. Which of course Gordon did.

Now all this brings me to the question, have the Swedish organisers made the right decision to place this arbitrary ceiling on the number of contestants on the basis of first come first served? Remember that inYokohama(2004) the Japanese limited their own countrymen to 1000 and had qualifying tournaments to achieve this.

The membership of Der Club would be one of the largest in the world, if not the largest. In my experience of the 10 consecutive worlds veteran championships I played in, the German players have always featured prominently, not only in numbers but especially in performances.

Time will tell.

The editor

LATEST on WORLD VETERANS at STOCKHOLMSWEDEN – 25/30 June 2012

Notice to all prospective Australian veteran players. Enter as soon as possible.

.

A terse message appeared on the Swedish Website yesterday, www.wvc2012.com 2/7/2011, that the last date for Entry is March 2012. Maximum number of participants 2800. First come, first served.

It went on to report that between 20-25 June 2011, EVC was played inLiberec. WVC 2012 was present with a stand and the interest was enormous. Be ready on August 1st when the registrations  start here on our webpage!

Registration start

By Emanuel | Published: 14 June, 2011

Registration for WVC 2012 will be possible from august 1st. All registration will be done digitally online. The registration is handled from our partner Congrex. Information about tournament, accommodation, tours, etc will be updated accordingly. Please be informed that the maximum amount of participants will be 2.800! (VEM inLiberec now 2450 players..)

The Editor

Just in case you never got the Today show down your way today (5/10/10), here’s the link to watch Dot De Low’s interview.

http://today.ninemsn.com.au/default.aspx

I received this message from Howard Middleton on http://www.freewebs.com/internationaltabletennisclub

also on http://www.costa-news.com/index.php?option&task=blogcategory&id

who wrote about the demise of English Table Tennis and outlined some of the problems associated in his opinion of the Management of the ETTA. 

Howard mentions that in the recent World Championships in Moscow England was ranked 34th in the World and, I am not sure, Australia was ranked a little below England’s ranking.
Over the years England has received in total many millions of pounds to develop table tennis in particular to win medals at the 2012 Olympic Games. This year they had their budget cut, I believe, by 50%
One issue I would like to receive comments on.
The back page of the 26th Aust TT Veterans Open Championships Programme, as in previous years, mentioned a Winning Partnership between Aust Gov and the Aust Sports Commission and there are two photographs not of Veterans Players but two elite players. What is worse to me is a statement, I assume by TTA,
“That the Aust Gov agency invests in Sport at all levels,
AND TTA WORKS CLOSELY WITH THE AUSTRALIAN SPORTS COMMISSION TO DEVELOP TABLE TENNIS FROM COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION TO HIGH-LEVEL PERFORMANCE (my capitals).
I TREAT THIS STATEMENT WITH SOME SCEPTICISM; WHAT A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE TO HIGHLIGHT TWO GREAT AMBASSADORS WE HAVE IN TABLE TENNIS viz. DOT DELOW AND BILL BATES, SO WHY NOT HAVE THEIR PICTURE ON THE BACK COVER IN COLOUR, TOGETHER WITH A SHORT ARTICLE OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS IN HOHHOT.
WHAT ABOUT IT TTA!!        

Nets and edges,
Tony 

The inimitable Tony Herbert from Queensland, and a great lover of our sport, submits the following article. Please feel free to comment.

Australian Veterans Table Tennis Association.

The European Veterans Societies are in the Process of designing and implementing their own Web Page and have asked other countries to link their Web Pages to European Vets Web Page.

As for myself, I feel it would be advantageous to participate in this new venture for information we receive from Europe such as World Vets, European Tournaments and European Championships and articles from a number of  European Veterans  Societies can be readily perused.

My next article will be about a Vets event to be held in Sweden.

One quote I like, and might be attributed to TTA, when I visited the Ho-Chi-Ming Museum in Vietnam. It read “Lack of Communication Breeds Egos”

I believe TTA’s new constitution is being presented to Veterans in Melbourne at the 27th Annual Veterans Championships.

Some of the articles I envisage might be controversial, as Case and myself believe in serious and open debate with the view to improve the sport we all love.

Please forward your comments to us, particularly on whether Australia should spend time and money in holding the World Veterans in Australia.

Contents for Consideration and Comments.

I have studied data from previous World Vets and this data has been translated into Euro’s obviously. The conclusion I have drawn is only an approximation of the early days of WV’s events when a number of countries used their own currency for entrance fees.

Interpolating these figures and coupling them with previous number of entries, I estimate an entry of 1600 — 1800 participants. In addition, some 320 accompanying persons.

The SCI have advised TTA that the entry fee not exceed AUD200 .

For example: 1600 –1800 entries AUD320000—- AUD360000  minus 10% of entry fees to SCI.

Also the accommodation and hospitality costs for seven executive members of the SCI, ITTF president and ten previous world champions ( I estimate 18% of entry fees will cover all the costs of these gratuities. In total these add on costs can be 18% of entry fees. Another ratio I established is the total cost of equipment etc including 5% import tariff and 10% GST, wharfage and other port charges allow 48% of the FOB price.)

Since my initial talks with Ted Davis several months ago together with Paul and Ken, I noticed NSW have taken up the challenge and are pursuing my suggestion of holding the WVs event at Homebush.

The reason I suggested Homebush is because of the area. It is sufficient; internet quotes an area of 6000sqm. (Although I don’t know how much the skate park takes up and could reduce this area.) Lighting and flooring are a permanent fixture in the two halls. Except one of the halls has a sprung wooden floor which I believe would not be a problem. In short, not having to install flooring and lighting makes Homebush an ideal venue at a very competitive price.

Present day costs I estimate hiring the halls for six days would be in the vicinity of  $25000 — $30000.plus cleaning, security etc. I contacted the manager of the venue and I asked for an approximate of present day prices. I did this because I have found in the past that one has to push an organisation to think laterally and not having some background information may discard any suggestions to bin thirteen. (Even if one presented a folio which was fully costed, it could also be destined to file thirteen.)

Note the SCI will insist on an arena with a capacity of approximately 2000 to watch the finals, whichever country holds the event and to have a minimum of 80 competition tables, plus practice tables.

The Olympic and Paralympics Table Tennis competition 2000 venue would be ideal  venue to hold the finals of the WV’s (Obviously this would increase the costs.)

Pie in the Sky Ideas

Firstly: If a Pro Tour event was held at the Gold Coast (GC convention centre is far to expensive to hire, but alas as always no one is prepared to discuss problems such as this with people who know.) or in Sydney, finals of the World Vets which are held on the Saturday could be followed by three days of the Pro Tour event or as I have lobbied for years a FESPIC disabled championships in Australia.

Pro tour event could be played after the finals of the WV’s event and the FESPIC event could be played before the World Vets. The event would take roughly ten days.

Only one hall would be needed to accommodate the FESPIC event. There are three hotels at Olympic Park and obviously disabled facilities would need to be checked for suitability. If acceptable then no transport would be necessary from these hotels to the venue which is a distinct advantage.

( In Qld the board should consider and thought be given to holding a disabled event such as a 40 unit point event at Run-Away-Bay which incidentally I suggested as the venue for the Australian Juniors this year. I believe we have a wonderful chance of promoting both State and Federal Government’s policy by introducing a greater emphasis on the inclusion for the movement impaired, aged persons and the general members of the community, by having an Expo of Table Tennis at Homebush. What a wonderful opportunity!

My SLOGAN for promoting table tennis was, “Table tennis can be played by people 8 to 80 years of age,” but our wonderful Ambassador of table tennis Dot De Low proved me wrong. It should read 8 to 100.

After completing my feasibility study for the WV’s in 2008 to be held at the Gold Coast, which appeared viable. BUT translated into the financial climate of 2014 it was a big risk due to the costs of hiring the GC Convention Centre.( Exchange rate could be a killer for holding these events.)

Due to my conclusion that the event, if held at the GC, would not be viable I lobbied NSW for the event to be held at Homebush.

Having  played at Homebush and I am familiar with the area necessary to accommodate 80 tables. 80 tables will easily suffice an entry of 1920 athletes: the total area available according to the internet is 6000sqm. My calculations from my previous study of holding the event in 2008 still holds good for today or in the future is 4000sqm for courts plus 40% for isles and  temporary seating etc equals 5600sqm.

For your consideration.

Table Tennis Australia, Qld or NSW must decide whether the main reason for holding the WV’s w is purely to make a large profit or to promote the game of table tennis.    Nationally!!!

We are all aware that our elite players will not win medals at major ITTF events unless we import top Chinese players and then perhaps Australia could be successful

The Commonwealth Games competition is not classed as a major event by world’s table tennis standards, so Australia could be successful in obtaining medals.

The Sport and Rec if they adopt the Crawford Report, which clearly indicate those sports which are most likely to win medals will therefore accordingly receive the bulk of the money.

The second phase suggested that sports that do not fall into this category and which have to obtain funding based upon participation rates, chances of increased funding from Sport and Rec would be minimised if a policy to achieve this requirement is not developed.

Remember the old Victorian saying “children should be seen but not heard” and this attitude appears to be when it concerns the Australians Veterans.

If one insists on a large profit for the above events, then being selected to hold these world events will be diminished, I believe it to be ultimately detrimental to TTA, in the long run particularly, when they are publicise that they develop table tennis from beginners to elite players( will be later quoting the exact wording.)

As you may be aware I received a letter from Diane Schoeler regarding another matter. It points out other countries that have seriously considered holding the 2014 World Vets Event.

With regard to volunteers, if the above suggestions are successful, then it could be a forerunner for Sydney’s World Expo in 2017. Remember Neil Harwood when he indicated that table tennis had 95% attendance of volunteers, which I believe is the highest of all sports. Of course mainly Vets.

Keep well,

Tony ( formerly, years ago, referred to as nets and edges).

Why have AusVet & VicVet?

Published 9/8/2010 at 8.30 am

This question is invariably asked by some. Sometimes it is asked in an enquiring manner because of genuine wonderment; at other times in a somewhat derogative fashion when it is immediately stated that, “We already have a Veterans Committee, so why create another one?”

In response to the former poser, it is clear that there is a great difference between an incorporated association and an appointed sub-committee.

One is autonomous, the other totally dependent on the organisation that has appointed it.

In other words, in the first instance, veterans are run by veterans for veterans.

In the latter instance an appointed committee may proffer proposals, but has no right or power to implement any of their wishes; they must first ask for permission. They’re there in an advisory capacity only, with no voting rights.

During the past four years many of these recommendations by sub-committees of both TTA and TTV were overturned or totally disregarded.

I have been personally involved in them, both as a player and as a veterans’ state selector.

So when decisions and requests are made by veterans and are ignored or denied by those who are in charge, then ‘spontaneous combustion’ takes place and independent associations are born.

It is no co-incidence that these denials and adverse decisions are mainly made by well meaning people, but by those who have little knowledge of veteran affairs.

Therefore it makes elegant sense that veteran affairs should be left for veterans to run.

The conception for the formation of AusVet and VicVet, though entirely new to our sport here in Australia, is not such a novel idea at all.

All major sports have their veteran arms, all are incorporated and operate independently of their peak sporting bodies; and with their wholehearted consent, may I add.

When in 2007 TTA declined to endorse our first national veteran teams selections to compete in Cottbus, everyone involved was disappointed by being disenfranchised. Regardless we went anyway, and our SA girls won the first world championships 50’s team gold medal.

When arbitrary levies were imposed on all veteran players competing in the nationals in 2007 by TTA, many players strenuously objected. Because of this furore they disappeared from the ‘menu’ the following year. However they were re-imposed in 2009, much to the chagrin of the national veterans committee and all the competitors.

In Victoria we had in the years 2008 and 2009 four different selected state teams rejected by TTV. The Board refused to stand by their own appointed selectors.

In 2010 they were summarily dismissed.

Not because the selectors had done an inadequate or shoddy job, but mainly because they were deemed to be disobedient to the Board’s selection criteria. This was not said in so many words of course.

No, they were thanked for their diligent duty (one of them for 25 continuous years), but told their services were no longer required.

Have matters now improved as far as Victorian team selections go?

It is very sad to report that in 25 years of veterans’ table tennis in Victoria, never have so many eligible players been overlooked and/or misplaced in state teams.

Victoria could have had a much stronger line up if due diligence had been exercised by TTV and for them to have allowed the veterans themselves to do the selecting of state teams according to their own criteria.

We have more than twelve instances in this year’s teams where players are incorrectly appointed and many others totally overlooked.

Victoria is so much stronger than it’s reflected in the present teams.

Because of all the above mentioned reasons, AusVet and VicVet will not go away, but they are all the more determined to rectify the present unsatisfactory arrangements.

The day will surely come that the peak bodies of our sport will have so much more time to spend on their own business and affairs, when the veterans will run their own competitions according to veteran rules.

So far we have managed to have one of our own, Dorothy Mary De Low elevated to the highest honour in the land and awarded an OAM for services rendered to our sport, on Australia Day 2010.

TTA was quite happy to delegate that job to AusVet.

Also see article in this week’s Womans Day.

We had another stalwart player in Bill Bates winning a world championship singles gold in Hohhot in 2010. See articles elsewhere on this site.

Veteran table tennis is here to stay and is bound to go on from strength to strength.

The editor

Gordon Lee supplied the following eulogy on the recent passing of Betty Jaggs.

Betty Jaggs was a Fremantle Club member in the 1940’s and 1950’s. She passed away suddenly on the 14th of July 2010.

Only 2 weeks away she was training and playing with the stronger club members in preparation for the National Vets.

With her cousin Joan Jackson they formed a formidable doubles pair, winning the State title in 1956.

Betty, under her maiden name of Betty Sergeant, won the State singles title in 1954 and after marrying won again in 1956. She represented Western Australia several times. Bill Bates was a senior member of Fremantle around this time and of course knew Betty well.

Another junior member of Fremantle at the time was Gordon Lee. Gordon after taking up the game again in 2002, rang around looking for former players to join him. Betty took up the offer and soon regained her former skills. She and Gordon’s wife Shirley and a third lady had their accommodation booked for the Melbourne Australian Veteran’s Championships in October. The 3 ladies were to form an over 70s side, all from the Fremantle Club. Betty would have acquitted herself very well, just look at what Bill Bates has achieved.

Gordon Lee and Betty’s brother Ron Sergeant were the nucleus, together with Colin Harburn of the Western Australian junior team which played in St. Kilda in 1956.

Betty will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Gordon Lee

Short report on the Veteran World Table Tennis Championships in Hohhot, 2010.

(by Case de Bondt )

From Rags to Riches.

56 Australians arrived in China to do battle with the top veteran table tennis players in the world, Betty Bird played for England, Roy Leung and John Lau for Hong Kong, but for all intents and purposes are all Aussies. Having participated in every world championships, apart from Melbourne in 1994, this would have been one of the largest Australian representations.

Most of us arrived on Friday 4 June and found the conditions on the practice tables trying, to put it mildly. The balls were behaving strangely and were carrying long. The rarefied atmosphere in Hohhot, which is some 1,100 metres above sea level, increased the pace of the balls and it took some time to come to terms with the strange conditions.

The opening ceremony was out of this world and had to be seen to be believed. A DVD is available to those interested to view this unprecedented colourful display by hundreds of Chinese, including many school children and a massive choir.   The show had everyone enthralled and on the edge of their seats.

Left handed William Bates, one time ranked third at table tennis in Australia, but never  representing  his country internationally, has excelled himself by winning the World Veterans Table Tennis Singles title in the over 80 age group.

To the best of my knowledge this feat has been achieved only on four previous occasions by Dorothy De Low, the late Una Fitzgerald and Stan Wynack, and Van Chat Mai. However since the last time an Australian Veteran won a world championship (Van Chat Mai, Melbourne in 1994), the standard of play and the number of entrants has greatly increased.

The 15th World Veterans Table Tennis Championships held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China from 7 – 12 June 2010, with more than 2200 players from 57 countries, produced a worthy Australian champion in Bill Bates, against all the odds.

Here we had a world championship held on Chinese home soil, and Bill was victorious against players recognised as the very best in the world.             What’s even more remarkable is that Bill, who was “never going to play eleven up” just qualified second in his group, to play in the championship draw proper, only on a three way count back (on points).                                                              All three players featuring in the count back had scored 2/1 and the chap who had beaten Bill finished up missing out!

But then Bates went from strength to strength and in a tense final before a packed Stadium beat the German Roessler in four glorious games.                     Roessler previously had disposed of the last remaining Chinese player in his semi in five close games.

The turning point in the final came in the third game at 1/1 and 6 -7 when Bill got an edge ball to make it 7 – 7. However Bill thought his ball had missed the end of the table and, ever the sportsman walked over and flipped the scores to 6 – 8 on the check umpire’s flip board.

The central umpire would not have a bar of it, flipped the scores back to 7 – 7 and after some delay, with Bill still not wanting the point, got the match under way again. Roessler had lost concentration with Bill running out the game at 11- 8.

The final game became a procession and was never in doubt. I have never seen Bill play so aggressively. In fact he lost the second by overdoing it and missing six hits. But he then became his very consistent self again, and if a back hand hit came back, started rallying all over again.

The quote of the tournament came from Bill. When I asked him how he felt after winning Gold, he answered, “I couldn’t handle his spin!”                           I wonder what Roessler felt…

Australia can be proud of its achievement at world level. We won one Gold, one Silver, Dot De Low in the 85 Doubles; and three Bronze, Betty Bird in the 75 Doubles and Ihn van Le/Igor Klaf in the 65 Doubles.

In contrast England, with its vast depth and experience only managed one Gold (in the Men’s 75 Doubles, Fred Lockwood/Merv Wood).                                        The Veterans are outshining the Junior and Senior table tennis players in this country by lifting themselves to world standard, and what’s more at their own expense.

The future of our game is assured and will be revitalised when we look to the achievements of our veteran players in Australia.

I received the following correction from Tony Herbert:

Hi Case,
The UK or better known as VETTS had to my knowledge 4 Gold’s of course Fred was one and the other 3 was Pam 2 Gold’s and my good friend Les Darcy 1 Gold I think plus a Silver. And Roy Norton a Silver which was a pity that he did not get a Gold after all his hard work in organising accommodation and tours for a large portion of about 220 players from Aust, UK, Sweden and South Africa.
Tony
Thanks for that Tony!  Ed.

The present Points System in Victoria and elsewhere.

 

Nothing has caused such controversy in table tennis ranks as the current Points System. This system is supposed to rank all players, so that we can compare the playing strengths of one player against the other.

In Victoria, and as a Veterans Selector the past two years, I was intimately involved with these points.

My experiences and understanding of the system are detailed below.

The seedings of a tournament are governed by these ranking points. In fact the selectors are supposed to (ordered to) use these rankings for seeding purposes. These Athletes’ Ranking Points are virtually set in stone and may only be deviated from in case of injury, or if athletes are within 50 points of each other and sometimes when the points of a player is unknown.

They “may only be adjusted on rare occasions and Victorians are to be seeded in sequence of the most recent TTV rankings.” Strong words indeed. 

This is where the problem lies and the controversy rages.

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in the system being a good idea in principle, but only with several provisos.

All players should be ranked as close as is reasonable to their playing ability and not hundreds of points wide of the mark. Secondly in the case of veteran players only matches within veteran ranks should be collated. Thirdly the system does not work, unless by far the majority of the members’ associations participate.

We all know that Juniors improve rapidly, especially when coached. They often are ranked far lower than their playing ability and therefore should only be collated within their own ranks.

Veterans are totally different players to Juniors and their style of play, often with ‘funny’ rubbers, cannot be compared to the way Juniors play and are coached.

So to be fair to all players these different age groups should not be in the same mix.

Some examples: In A2, my grade in Croydon, many of the players including a number of promising juniors, are rated far too low. They are on average by more than  200 points below my rating, presently at 1396.

Of 26 players who have all beaten me as often as I have gotten the better of them, the average rating is 1185 (I totted up their current points divided by 26).

Is this fair to me or my team mate Roy Cintolo?

Roy had 1550 points two years ago.  Since playing at Croydon he has tumbled down to 1343.

Yet our contemporaries in the 70 age group, Chris Sykes (1500) and Peter Fischer (1430) are both ranked well above Roy and I.

For that reason they both received the # 3 & 4 seeds at the Geelong veterans tournament, behind Igor Klaf at #1 and Buddy Reid at #2.

Roy and I missed out.

STS Points (State Team Selection Points and these points are different) are awarded to the winner, R/u, semi finalists and quarter finalist at the rate of 36 (1st); 18 (2nd); 9 (semis) and 5 (quarters). This is in a ‘top four’ tournament and somewhat on a lesserscale in the others.

Ever since Roy and I have been selected in State Teams, each year from 1996 onwards, we have always got in ahead of both Chris and Peter, and at times both Chris and Peter were selected in the B Team.

It doesn’t take Einstein to work out that, unless one gets a top four seeding in a specific age group, chances of getting sufficient STS Points by the end of the season (mandatory for selection according to TTV) to make one of the top four places in a State team, are slim indeed.

What has all this to do with who deserves to be selected because he is the better player? It defeats the whole purpose of the system.

Peter has recently lost heaps in Bendigo because, among others, Ken Sands beat him. Ken came down from NSW to play (arguably he was ranked #3 in the land last year), yet Peter lost as many as 15 points to Ken when he was beaten in the 65’s. He also lost 13 points when beaten in the same tournament by Bruce Harmer.

Both Ken and Bruce are grossly underrated. On top of that Peter met Igor Klaf in the second round of the 70’s at Bendigo. He was not seeded there. Is it any wonder that Peter feels hard done by?

Now Chris Sykes plays pennant at Dandenong, where results are not sent in to TTV to be recorded and collated. I have beaten Chris the last two times, in Geelong and at Dandenong. I received a lot of points for Geelong, but none for Dandenong. Is that fair? Of course it isn’t, neither to Chris nor I.

The management in Dandenong (until very recently not affiliated with TTV) refuses to send in pennant results. As Brett Sonnet told me, “Some of our players would refuse to play pennant while the present ranking system is in place, so we have decided not to participate.”

One of the many reasons for AusVet and VicVet coming into existence is because of this iniquitous present system which the powers that be impose on us veteran players and they make it mandatory on the selectors to seed the players in veteran tournaments.

Just because the State body has the authority to make this imposition on veteran tournament players does not make it right.

We need to have our own veterans rating system, where we can compare veteran players with other veterans or apples with apples if you will.

And the sooner the better for all concerned.

I invite your comments.

The Editor

The first comment I received came from Jim Furness.

Hi Case,  14/5/2010

Seems good to me.  I don’t know if you can fit it in, and off the top of my head I cant be specific, but at nearly every vets tournament in the divisional events, in one or more divisions the top seeds are knocked off in the first round and unknown or under-rated players are going through to the final and collecting money. This is grossly unfair to the genuinely ranked players of that division and deprives them of an opportunity to win or progress and have a satisfying day. The system as it stands is flawed. It needs manual intervention in many cases to bring it anywhere near correct.

As I understand it, an unknown player has to enter at least 3 or 4 tournaments before they are awarded points. They enter low grades and clean up while under a cloud. The system should limit such players to division one until they are qualified for points allocation, allowing their ability to be more accurately assessed, and maintaining the integrity of the divisions for established players.

Would you believe I mentioned this to Phil Davis a year or two ago and he said that was a good idea and he would put it to the next board meeting. If he did, which I have reservations about, nothing has come of it.

Cheers Jimbo.

PS: Further to the above it is pertinent to note that no less than six (6) volunteer veterans’ selectors have resigned since 2007 because of disenchantment with the system and the denial of their discretion in determining seedings for tournaments and selecting State Teams.

A further two selectors were dismissed by TTV at the end of January 2010; one of them after more than 20 years of continuous service and two more have indicated their retirement next year.

Volunteers are as scarce as hen’s teeth; in addition the other dismissed selector travelled 300 km from the country each time to attend meetings during the past two years. Is this the way to go forward? A fitting reward for services rendered? Hardly…

NEWS FLASH      Friday 29/1/10

Highest Honour in Land for Dorothy De Low, OAM

This “News Flash” appeared on the Irish Website http://ittua.com on 26 January 2010.

“The Medal of the Order of Australia is the most prestigious honour in the land and Dorothy’s achievement has been recognised by Australia at last.”

For those of you who have not as yet heard the great news, ‘our Dorothy’ has indeed been honoured with the Order of Australia Medal for services rendered to our sport.

To me the above headline is reminiscent of ‘a prophet not being recognised in her own country’.

No recognition of this wonderful event has been shown on either the TTA Website or on the TTV Website, arguably the country’s strongest Table Tennis State.

Only her home State TTNSW Website carries a cursory notice, stating

“Congratulations to Dot De Low on receiving the OAM in the 2010 Honours List, awarded for services rendered to Table tennis. Dot will celebrate her 100th birthday in October.”

It would appear that the only Table Tennis player recipient in the world who has received her Country’s highest Honour means little or nothing at all to those in our fair land who are in charge of our sport.

As most know, in addition Dot is already published in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Oldest competitive player.

Aren’t these startling events and the publicity that ought to go with it not the very opportunity our sport needs to attract more players?

Cannot TTA see that by encouraging folk to take up this ‘Sport For All Ages’ is a boon to our Government and a wonderful opportunity to attract sponsorship?

Why is this so?

But all the way at the other end of the world, Kiron Choudhury the Irish Secretary of the Table Tennis Umpires Union considers all this with the acclaim it deserves on his Website.

He goes on to say,

“What about recognising Dorothy’s achievement by Her Royal Highness The Queen. The Governor-General could be the right authority to instigate for recognition of Dorothy’s achievement in life.”

It puts us in Australia to shame.

It is to be hoped that those in authority of our beloved sport will see that this is too good an opportunity to let go begging and use Dorothy’s elevation to attract others to table tennis.

May I warmly congratulate our Dorothy on behalf of all the Veteran Table Tennis players in Australia on this remarkable milestone in her illustrious life and that you may represent us in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia at the World’s once again next June.

 

the editor

 

Being singled out by the president of TTV, but not for any praise.

I had no idea that I was so corrupt, a coward and a liar who misleads his fellow veteran players.

But this is what Phillip Carruthers told the whole table tennis world in Australia, stopping just short of naming me but making jolly well sure that by referring to the “originator” there is no doubt about who he is talking about.

He did not have the courage to initially sign the letter or name me, but chose instead to hide behind the TTV letter head and using their website.

He further had his cronies distribute this ‘blog posting’ to some select players during the nationals in Hurstville, to make sure those without a computer would also be informed.

The Public Officer and Secretary of both AusVet  and VicVet  is well known to all competitive veteran players as the “originator” of these two movements, which sprang up the past year or so.

Rather then asking the pertinent question:

Why have these movements come into existence so readily?”

He chooses instead to shoot the messenger in a most despicable piece of diatribe full of suppositions.

Martin Solomons, a respected veteran player was concerned that the last paragraph of this ‘epistle’ was referring to him and demanded a full apology for the defamatory remarks.

This prompted Carruthers to repeat the article, but this time with a disclaimer that it was not Martin he was referring to.

Why are you so aggressive Phillip? Why do you invent these scurrilous ideas? Is it perhaps that the veterans are correct in recognising your unnecessary interference in their affairs?

Is that why you are being so aggro?

It does not behove the leader of the Victorian peak body to demonstrate his emotions and it does him no credit at all to lower himself to name calling.

We are all mature people whose only wish and desire is to have fun enjoying our great game to the full.

To that end Phillip, please be man enough to apologise to all the veterans for inferring they are being led by the nose.

The editor

Carruther’s article can be viewed on www.insports.com.au/ttv/

PS: As this article by Carruthers has been removed from the ‘insports’ Website I can supply a ‘signed’ and an ‘unsigned’ copy to all those interested. Just send me an e-mail at caseybul1@bigpond.com

The editor 

AGM’s, Reports & Notices

In History, Minutes, News on November 3, 2009 at 8:44 am

13-17 April, 2017 NZ Veterans Open Championships – Christchurch

As usual here follow my impressions of the tournament. This way it will remain an historic account of what transpired, be it through my eyes. Forgive me if I reminisce about all the Championships that I was privileged to attend and played in, all over the Land of the Long White Cloud. We have had 18 national championships conducted since 1999. However there was no NZ Veterans Open Championships held in 2014, in its place we played in the World’s Veterans Table Tennis Championships in Auckland.
It is always a profound pleasure to fly across the Tasman and spend time in the only country I could live in beside Australia. It is a beautiful country where the folk are lovely and considerate; they are proud patriots and always make us feel welcome to their shores.
Also please bear with me when I look upon these Championships through the eyes of an elderly competitor. This year’s attendance, to me, appeared to be somewhat diminished once again. The Aussies accounted for some 40 players and the Kiwis numbered barely more than that. Also for the first time, to my recollection, there were no O80s teams’ events. This is sad.
Aren’t these Championships meant to cater to the Veterans, a sport for all ages? There were six O80 players, all very competitive and ready to rock and roll. However the Tournament Management decided to put us in the O70s teams instead; two age groups below what we had entered in and wished for.
I cannot but feel that the withdrawal of the support of Table Tennis New Zealand for the Veterans in 2009 is the cause for the lesser number of players. Instead of winning TTNZ medals, we now receive medals bearing the name of the local Associations where the tournament is being held.
To me it detracts a great deal from the prestige and value of being the national champion; one becomes just the winner of a local tournament without the endorsement and blessing of the national body (which should encourage the support for the Veterans). Fortunately TTA continues to stand by the Veterans in Australia.
Since 1999 there have been 17 Test matches between the Aussies and the Kiwis (no Test matches were held in 2000 and 2014). All were conducted in New Zealand. The reason of course is that there are many more veteran players in Australia than live in New Zealand. The only win by NZ was the last time we played in Christchurch (2013), when they won by the narrowest of margins.
My premonition this year was that the Kiwis could easily add another victory to this solitary win. I thought their line up looked decidedly menacing compared to our players. Many of us played in a lower age group. A good example is Lorraine Baker who represented us on the O40s table. Lorraine is in her sixties. My own age will be 81 this year, yet I played on the O75s table, and there are many other instances.
Was it experience that prevailed for the Australian contingent? We scraped in at 32/28 and the result hung in the balance until the end. Analysing the results showed that “the oldies” saved the day. The first six tables including the O60s gave NZ 19 rubbers to Australia only 11. But then fortunes favoured the visitors on the next six tables where NZ managed only 9 rubbers to the Aussies 21.
It is a good reason to add the O80 Men’s players to the Test team matches, and thus encourage them to continue to support the tournament. Also a possible deadlock on rubbers would then be eliminated as there would be thirteen tables. Of the 13 Singles titles on offer, Australia won 8 and NZ 5. All results can be viewed on
http://ttnz.tournamentsoftware.com
For those selected to play for Australia in a Test match is a great honour indeed. To represent one’s country would have to be the greatest accolade achievable in our sport. Friendships were renewed and new ones made. A wonderful time was had by all. The saddest disappointment was missing my good friend Steve Craw who came to an untimely end last February.
New manager Ethan Lin for the Canterbury Association is to be congratulated on a job well done. Also thanks must go to the referee Alan Moore and the many tireless workers in Hamish and others whose names escape me. Another person I must mention is the effervescent John Tan, our bubbly photographer. He was darting in everywhere taking action pictures. I believe he took some 2000 shots of all competitors and their entourage.
The next New Zealand nationals will most likely be conducted at Easter again on the North Island.

The 30th Australian Veterans Table Tennis Championships were held at the Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin, from 7 – 14 September 2013.

My third time at this venue, previously in 1997 and 2005, proved to be little different as far as conditions go. The month of September, building up to the wet season, was humid and constantly at 33 degrees Celsius; a great change from the cold and the wet in Victoria.

The main Indoor Stadium, containing 16 tables, was air-conditioned to the extent that often a jacket was required. On some tables the airflow was quite noticeable and made the ball do funny tricks. The other Basketball hall with 14 tables was quite hot and the change over from one hall to the next was a challenge.

In the fixture book are listed 316 players, which are 100 more than in 2005. However there were 80 more participants in Canberra last October. No doubt the tyranny of distance is a factor here. In addition Darwin prices are much higher than most other states and may not have been affordable to some.

Many thanks, as usual, go to the tireless chairman of Vets, Ken Cole and his loyal workers, as well as to the James’s administration. Without the efforts of these much appreciated volunteers this annual event simply could not run.

Double Fish balls were to have been used, but Adidas balls were provided instead. They seemed light in comparison and reminded me of training balls. However       innovative changes were the introduction of four-player pools in the Singles. Another was the 8:00 am starting time of the matches (back from 9:00 am).

Brian and Bev James sent out a questionnaire to all the participants about these changes after the tournament was concluded. These changes were introduced on a trial basis for 2013 and 2014 only, so I hastened to answer these important questions. In my view the four-player pools are a great idea, it gives players more matches and the earlier start helps facilitate this.

Having two players progressing in the pools is a much fairer way of qualifying than it was before with just the one qualifier.

To back this opinion up, just look at my own two age groups, the 70s and the 75s. We had Ian Stennard coming second in my pool of the 70s, yet he went on to play in the semi final to deservedly win a Bronze medallion.

He’d have been eliminated under the old system.

The same holds true of Jim Furness in the 75s. He too came second, yet also earned a Bronze. Several other players qualified second in both the 70s and 75s and thoroughly deserved to be in the main knock-out draw. No doubt there are further instances in other age groupings.

The ‘champion state’ in the Team events was South Australia with 3 Gold (30Men, the 60 Women and the 75Men) Victoria won 2 Gold (40Women and 70Men). New Zealand won 2 Gold (50Women and 60Men). Western Australia won the 40Men, NSW won the 50Men, Japan the 70Women and Queensland the 80Men team event. This makes up eleven Gold team medals in total.

It is interesting to note that there is absolutely no correlation between state team representation and Gold Team medals won. Victoria had by far the most players with 77, yet only managed two Gold Team medals. On the other hand Japan had just the three players and won one. WA was represented by only ten players and won one. NZ did very well to win two Gold team medals with but 19 players. NSW won just one Team Gold with as many as 55 players and Qld with 47 players managed just the one also. SA excelled with three Team Gold and only 30 players.

Where Victoria did show their dominance this year was in the individual Singles, winning seven Gold medals out of a possible 15 events. SA won two, NSW two, Qld two, Japan one and WA one. The emergence of Danny Semmler, ranked equal fifth in Victoria, in the veteran ranks accounted for the 30s and 40s Singles Gold. Vic also won the Women’s 40 Singles Gold with ‘Mizzy’ Shirota starring. I believe that unfortunately this may be her last year in Australia and will return to Japan. Roma Chambers, Brian Berry, Ivana Trnka and Igor Klaf all completed the Victorian surge winning Singles Gold in the 50s, 60s (2x)and 70s age groups.

SA’s Sharad Pandit won the 50s Singles. Ihn van Le of NSW won the 65s Singles, the 65s Women’s Singles went to Japan’s Akemi Chikagawa (here for the first time), Cynthia Langley of SA won the 70s Women’s, Gordon Lee of WA complemented the states 40s Team Gold by winning the 75s Men’s Singles, SA’s Betty Bird the 75s, Tony Herbert the 80s and Gillian Hutchinson the Women’s 80s Singles.

All the complete results of the 2013 Vets can be found on the James’s website http://www.southerntabletennis.org.au/vets2013/results.htm

Next year’s championships is to be be held in Kingston, Tasmania from 16-25 October 2014

2013 – Christchurch Easter Veterans Open Table Tennis Championships

This annual tournament has once more come to a close. The writer has been privileged to have been a participant in this very popular tournament since 1999, a total of 15 years.                                                             Coincidently, that was the year when the Trans Tasman Test between Australia and New Zealand was inaugurated. It has been fiercely contested for 14 years (no Test in the year 2000). Australia had won all 13 of these Test matches until this year, but squeaked in with a very close result at North Harbour in 2010 by the narrow margin of 26/24 rubbers, on ten tables.

But 2013 gloriously proved to be the year-of-the-Kiwi, when New Zealand finally broke this drought with a well deserved 23/22 victory, on nine tables. Still a somewhat undermanned Australia very nearly ‘stole’ the Test which, on paper, always favoured New Zealand.  Australia did win five of the nine tables; however the blue-ribbon 40s tables proved to be Australia’s nemesis, with a score of 9/1 going to the host country. Max Wellington of Australia won the sole rubber against Simon Fenwick, but the Kiwi dominance proved too great a hurdle for the Aussies to overcome.

No quarter was given by any of the players and surprisingly the result continued to hang in the balance for quite some time. When the final Doubles match on the 70 Men’s table was still in progress, it was already apparent that New Zealand would win; either 24/21 or by the solitary rubber. This victory would therefore be all the sweeter, as the Aussies got so close. The final result was received with great applause and acclaim by everyone present, including the Australian contingent. Congratulations must go to the New Zealand Test players for sticking to their guns and being triumphant, with the great game of Table Tennis being the ultimate winner.

As is customary the Team Events were held on Good Friday and Saturday, after the Test matches on Thursday night. Some of the hardier (or perhaps fool-hardy) players opted to play in two age-groups. This meant at least 8 Teams matches over the two days with the Individual Events commencing on Saturday night to follow. The writer paid for this by receiving a ‘dicky knee’ out of this heavy schedule, but it was a small price to pay just to be part of the action.

The A grade Team events saw the 40 Men of Canterbury 1 (M Darroch, L White) win the Gold and Auckland (C Dye, J Tang) winning Silver. The 40 Women was won by Auckland (S Sandley,   G Liu, C Little) and Victoria (B Bennett, D Wilson) coming second. Canterbury 2 (G Davey, K Ghorpade, A Joshi) in the 50 Men won Gold with Silver going to Queensland (T Morato, J Sherriff, M Wellington). 50 Women was won by Canterbury 1 (T Tanfana, L Gardner) and Silver went to Waitemata (M Bohm, T Sulimova). The 60 Men of Victoria (M Solomons,B Berry, M Ede) was victorious and North Harbour’s team of K Fogarty, D Pattinson came runner up. The 60 Women was won by Presidents 1 (V Beaver, A Roberts) and Presidents 2 (A Williamson,              T Sulimova) were the Silver medallists. Victoria in the 65 Men (M Ede, M Solomons, M Wright) were successful and Queensland (W Borkhardt, C Gradwell, K Hay) came second for Silver.       65 Women Presidents (V Beaver, N Garrett) won and Manawatu (V Scarr, G Halford ) second.

The 70 Men results are incorrectly posted on the New Zealand website and should read Victoria 2 (C de Bondt, J Furness) winning Gold and Victoria 1 (R Lake, B Reid, M Wright) coming second on a count-back. Queensland came third in the 70 Men’s Team with two losses, one against each of the Victorian teams. The 75 Men Victoria (C de Bondt, J Furness) were victorious over Presidents 1 (K Johnson, H Dye).  As all individual results can be perused on www.tabletennis.org.nz/ let me touch on a couple of the highlights I was able to witness whilst not playing at the time.

The semi-final of the 40 Men’s Singles between two great exponents of the sport, Malcolm Darroch of Canterbury and Greg Letts of Western Australia, was arguably the match of the tournament. I had a bird’s eye view of this spectacular encounter from the umpire’s chair. Here we had two players who are very proficient in their own right. Malcolm hardly takes a backward step and attacks incessantly with beautiful topspins and changes of pace. He is a very athletic personality as well as the perfect gentleman. Greg on the other hand is very happy to run all over the place and return the most improbable of shots with beautiful defensive stroke making. He too is very fit and chases everything down, using the whole court.

At one instance Greg was lobbing from the back of the court with Malcolm in the ascendency and in full flight.  After five or six high lobs, with Malcolm unable to smash the ball away for a winner, Greg’s very high return hit a full edge on Darroch’s side of the table to almost break his heart. Letts also does attack suddenly and break up the rallies, which he tried on many occasions with considerable success. The match went to the wire with Darroch narrowly winning the fifth to deuce at 11-9, to take out the semi. However Letts was a bit unlucky and had a couple of match points in the fourth game. He went close to upset to #1 seed and proved a most gracious loser. Darroch had a much easier time in the final, beating Brian Berry from Victoria to take out the event.

He won the 50s Singles as well, defeating Stuart Armstrong another Kiwi, who we saw play in Canberra during the Australian nationals last October. Earlier Stuart, in an action packed match knocked out the ‘rubber man’, Craig Campbell of WA in five, after Craig had several match points in the final game. Campbell had fought back magnificently in the fourth to stay in the match.  Darroch proved to be the player of the tournament with 5 Gold medals in the 40s and 50s, the elite age groups. Other players with multiple Gold medal wins were Case de Bondt with 5 Gold in the 70s and 75s; Mick Wright with 4 Gold in the 65s and 70s; Jim Furness with 3 Gold in the 70 and 75s; Thomas Samuelsson with 3 Gold in the 60s and 65s and Buddy Reid with 3 Gold in the 65s and 70 age groups. Some eight other players won 2 Gold medals each, as can be viewed on the NZ website.

Alan Moore and his wife Cathy did a wonderful job being considerate and friendly to all (which is not always easy to do), when they refereed and managed the tournament. There may have been a couple of hiccups and omissions in the program, but there appeared to be very few volunteers to help them run the tournament.

We had 132 players, but this is nothing like the many players, 387 last October in Canberra, who participated in the Australian National Vets. But then we have the experienced Brian and Bev James, with their wonderful computers and helpers, to run it.

Due to the World Veteran Championships to be staged  in Auckland, during the month of May next year, there will not be an Easter Veterans tournament in New Zealand, as both championships are too close in succession. Regularly updated information on the 2014 Worlds in Auckland can be found on the NZ website.

The editor

27 December 2012 – Communication from Konrad Steinkaemper, President International Veterans Table Tennis Society

Dear All,

Although you will not believe it, but it’s true: Once again another year will come to an end soon.

We will have a little review and we have to ask if the IVTTS could achieve anything to further Veterans Table Tennis around the world during 2012.

I have to confess that we have tried a lot to realize our main aim, however we were not able to accomplish what we set out to do during 2012.

I would like to remind you that we have tried to convince ITTF to include the WVC within the ITTF Constitution, because of the increasing importance of Veterans Table Tennis around the world.

We have contacted the responsible ITTF Veterans Committee already in August 2012, and we have proposed some amendments of Chapter 4 of the ITTF Constitution “Regulation for World, Olympic and Paralympics Title Competitions”. Instead of discussing our proposals with that Committee we were notified that its Chairman has resigned with immediate effect. So there were no discussions possible. Instead of that we were informed that new Terms of Reference (TOR) of the  ITTF Veterans Committee should be discussed first. So we will have to wait again to present our proposals to include the WVC within the ITTF Constitution.

To come back to the above mentioned review: We were not able to achieve our main aim during 2012.

At the beginning of 2013 we will try to contact ITTF again.

I wish you and your families merry Christmas and all the best for the coming New Year. If your most important wishes or intentions for 2013 can be put into practice I will be happy with you. Take care!

Best Regards

Konrad Steinkaemper

President – International Veterans Table Tennis Society

At the recent state delegates meeting of the Table Tennis Australia Veterans Committee, Mr Paul Pinkewich mentioned about Asia having their own VETERANS  Championships.  Paul is quoted in the minutes to supply relevant information of this event.

The fourth team competition, organised under the auspices of the International Veterans Table Tennis Societies, will be held at the end of June in Birmingham, England. (Australia is a member of this organisation who’s aim is to develop Vets TT. Details to be advised later).

Tony Herbert

23/10/2012

Mpowerdome, Fadden ACT – 29th Australian Veterans Open Table   Tennis Championships held from 13 October – 20 October 2012

It seemed not that long ago when we played these championships in Adelaide last year; a year passes so quickly. Canberra is notoriously hot or cold, but the weather turned out nicely for us this week, in the mid twenties during the day. The venue, the Mpowerdome building, is run by a totally Australian owned company formed in 2006, to wit:  Mpowerdome Pty Ltd.

Ken Cole, the Veterans chairman in his opening address informed us that it cost $29,000 to hire this venue for the duration of the tournament. The structure resembles a large aircraft hangar and is constructed with steel ribs covered by some tensile membrane fabric. The floor is obviously concrete covered by a polyurethane surface with an underlay of recycled rubber tyres.

The Mpowerdome-company boasts operating the largest indoor multi-sport, multi-purpose facility of its kind in Australasia. However luckily we were spared the really hot weather, as the place would have resembled an oven. As it was the conditions were trying to say the least. The glare during the day was as unnerving as was the buildup of heat plus humidity and the balls were playing tricks on everyone. Some adapted better than others.

The courts, 32 in number, were very spacious and more than ample. Some of the tables were quite shiny, in particular during the bright daylight and not all were level. It amazes me that the nets are checked regularly for height, but the levels of the two halves of each table are ignored. Some tables were “pagoda” like and others the converse. Little effort is required to adjust the four corner legs, as it does affect the bounce of the ball when uneven.

That having said, I must commend the Canberra table tennis community for a splendid tournament which hosted no less than 391 players. Without the professional help of Bev and Brian James the event would be a logistical nightmare. Every evening, on arriving at our lodgings, the results were already posted on the Internet. This huge tournament could not be run without their efforts. Their Website with all results posted is: http://www.southerntabletennis.org.au/vets2012/results.htm

As is customary the players received an official programme containing the names of all competitors, the events they’d entered, table numbers and the days and times.  It also records all previous winners in age groups since the championships commenced 29 years ago, including the winners of the Team Events. We’ve seen New Zealand players coming to participate for many years, the Japanese girls make it their annual holiday by competing in the Australian and several other internationals participated in the championships. Victorian players have figured prominently over the years and this year was no exception with as many as 70 players representing the state and a goodly number (19) were entered into President’s teams.

Victorians comprised some 22% of all participants and I wondered if the results would be commensurate. I’ll list the states in order of achievement counting just the one Gold medal per Team only.                                                                  Victoria collared 26 Gold, 22 Silver and 31 Bronze medals.                              NSW was next with 12 Gold, 11 Silver and 23 Bronze.                                         SA won 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 9 Bronze.                                                               Qld gained 5 Gold, 7 Silver and 25 Bronze.                                                        New Zealand did well scoring 3 Gold, 8 Silver and 7 Bronze.                              ACT got 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze,                                                              Presidents got 1 Gold, Japan came next with 1 Silver and seven Bronze.               NT had Silver with TAS and USA both winning one Bronze medal each.

Surprise, surprise, Victoria won 44% of the Gold medals on offer and 35.5% of all medals combined. I have never calculated these percentages in other years before, but it wouldn’t surprise me that this could well be a record. I did not include the newly entered 30-year-old category in these figures and I must also add that those reading this may assume that I am a Victorian; and, with apologies, they would be right.

Among some of the noteworthy achievers was Wayne Heginbotham (NSW). He won 4 Gold and a Bronze medal and captured the prestigious 40 and 50-year old Singles titles. Wayne, with a commanding lead in the 40s Singles final 9-1 in the fifth against Max Wellington (Qld), had the fright of his life with Max almost catching him, but at 10-9  made an unforced error to concede the match to a much relieved Heginbotham.  I wonder if thoughts of last year’s missed opportunity against Greg Letts (WA) was going through his mind. Wayne fittingly won the 40s TTWorld.com.au award for his overall effort.

Xiaoping Sun (ACT) was a dual Women’s Gold medal Singles winner in the 40 and 50 age groups and deservedly received the “Paul Pinkewich Award” for the 40 age group.

Igor Klaf (Vic), with 5 Gold and one Silver this tournament, boosted his total individual Gold medal tally over the years to a record 65 (not counting any team Gold). He too won the Singles title in two age groups, 65 and 70 and did it effortlessly. This enabled him to win the TableTennisWorld.com.au  award.

Mick Wright (Vic) got his money’s worth winning the possible, 7 medals with 3 Gold, 3 Silver and one Bronze and thereby winning the .com award to cap it all off. Mick was exhausted by the time he played Igor in the last series of matches and could not repeat his great effort of beating him, as he did in Adelaide last year. Earlier in the week he captained the Vics to an upset 60-finals-Team-win over NSW with the amazing score of 6/2. Never can I recall a team with Ihn van Le in it going down so convincingly.

Gordon Lee (WA) was ever so chuffed to win his first ever Australian Singles title in the 75s. He did it with panache and added this Gold to his Silver World Doubles medal he won in Stockholm this year, and the President’s Team Gold with Colin Geraghty (Vic) as his team member. However sadly it was not quite sufficient for him to win the .com award. In fact four recipients of this award did not win a Singles title.

Peter Fischer took ill about two weeks before the championships and withdrew from his position in the Vic State team in the over 70s so that he would not jeopardize the chances of his team winning the gold medal. However, he showed his great courage in participating in the individual events, going down fighting in the semi finals of the 70 singles and winning a well deserved bronze medal.   Wayne Greaves (Vic) had a bad fall and cracked a bone in his leg and Kevin Cope (NSW) had a recurrence of a torn calf muscle. Sadly both players could take no further part in the tournament and had to forfeit their remaining matches.

During the medal presentations Ken Cole, himself no stranger to tragedy, paid a moving tribute to some of our friends who passed away this year, Jan Graebner (SA) and Thelma Beaumont with Dave Beaumont as recently as 13 October, the day the tournament commenced. He also informed everyone that Geoff Nesbitt and Joan de Bondt are both suffering from cancer and he hoped both would return to the game.

All results can be perused on the above mentioned Website, as well as the Order of Merit and the “.com award” recipients. Next year the championships will be held in Darwin from Sat. 7th – Sat. 14th September at the air-conditioned Marrara Indoor Stadium (Website www.tabletennisnt.com.au)

The editor

12/7/2012

World Veterans Table Tennis Championships 2012 – Stockholm Sweden

This increasingly popular bi-annual world event was conducted at the impressive GLOBE complex in Stockholm, Sweden from 23 – 30 June. Almost 3,500 players participated from no less than 67 countries. This would be the greatest number of players in the history of the event. The GLOBE, the largest spherical building in the world, resembles the midnight sun but one could be forgiven to believe it to resemble a table tennis ball.

The opening ceremony on Sunday evening took just an hour with the usual customary speeches by dignitaries and the highlight being an exhibition match by the Swedish champion players Jan/Ove Waldner and Mikael Appelgren, which of course dutifully finished at one game all. Mindful of the economy of time in staging this opening ceremony (and these can sometimes drag on some), it was but a very faint shadow of the lavish and never to be equalled opening ceremony we were treated to in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia two years ago. As this was my tenth WVC since 1994, I can report that it was arguably one of the best run tournaments during that period of time. The three excellent venues in the GLOBE itself (66 tables), the HOVET (40 tables) and the ANNEXETTE (27 tables) left little to be desired as far as playing conditions and the spectators were concerned.

A clear view could be had of all 133 tables from the ample stands in this vast complex by those not playing. However, of needs be, no seating could be provided in the aisles between the tables for those not playing in a match and everyone else had to find a seat in the tribunes or upstairs in the HOVET until it was their turn to play. The halls were interconnected and once familiarised with the venues and its accesses we could move from one to the other within minutes. The logistics of running a tournament of this enormous size are huge and the organisers are to be commended on and congratulated for their diligent work in enhancing the enjoyment of players and spectators alike.

The wearing of identification tags and players’ numbers was strictly enforced and no access to anyone, or play was permitted without it. The many table managers kept a close check on every table and made sure that matches started on time and would not delay the commencement of the matches to follow. The clock was immediately put on any players threatening to hold up proceedings. A novel idea was the introduction of local junior players to assist with the umpiring once the pool sessions were concluded after the first two days. The referee personally involved himself in the count back procedures to ensure no mistakes occurred. I know this from personal experience in having been involved in a close three-way count back right down to the points on my table.

If there is a criticism to be made it is about the flimsy paper players’ numbers (only one) provided. No way could these last the whole of the tournament and would soon tear and turn soggy by the perspiring athletes. My wife Joan used the plastic cover provided with the ‘Player’s Participation Certificate’ to enclose the number in and pinned it on my shirt in that fashion; the only way to go. Australia was represented with 69 entries, largely due to Paul Pinkewich in promoting ‘Pinky’s Tour’. Thus we gained a magnificent entry from a country where table tennis is but a very minor sport. Unfortunately four players that I know of in Geoff Nesbitt, Peter Fischer, Maureen Fisher and David Beaumont, had to withdraw from the event due to illness or there would have been as many as 73 from Oz. Our thoughts were with them and we wish them all well. Stalwart player Tony Herbert also missed out after undergoing a back operation.

The www.wvc2012.com website features all the results in detail, a marvellous improvement in this modern era of communication. However nothing can really take the place of actually being there to witness this great spectacle of veterans at play or participating, so allow me to paint you some word pictures of my impressions. For those who weren’t there, the format is Singles play in pools of four players in each age group on Monday and Doubles play on Tuesday. The top two players or pairs in each pool go into the Main Draw and the bottom two are drawn into the Consolation Event (which is optional). All the ensuing Singles events are played on Thursday up to the semi-finals stage and likewise the Doubles on Friday. All finals were played in the main GLOBE stadium on Saturday, where there was more than adequate seating for all.

This is a wonderful improvement on say Yokohama in 2004, where it was impossible to watch all the finals when spectators crammed the aisles between tables. Even then if you managed a spot close by from where you could watch a particular match, one had to stand all the time. Another interesting improvement is the staging of the Consolation finals on Saturday instead of playing them out earlier in the week, as happened to me in Lillehammer, 1996. As is customary since Manchester (1998), Wednesday is a lay day enabling everyone to do some sightseeing. It also allows the organisers to complete the draws for the knockout stages of the tournament. Stockholm is unique in being built on 14 separate islands which are interconnected by bridges, tunnels and ferries. One day is hardly sufficient to do this beautiful city justice and many stayed on afterwards.

Australia did itself proud in this illustrious world-company of veteran table tennis. No Bill Bates this time, who won the Men’s over 80 Gold in Hohhot. However we won a ‘Gold-of-sorts’ in Betty Bird from Adelaide, when she came from behind to take out the Women’s over 75 event. She chose to represent England, as she has a foot in both camps, but she did represent Australia last Easter in New Zealand. The record will show that England won this Gold. Without a doubt Betty’s win was the most exciting and meritorious victory in coming from behind I have ever witnessed at this level of competition. In the final against the Japanese Hayashi she was down two games to one and 0-6 in the fourth, when her adviser Lorraine Baker called time out. Betty then found herself down 1-8 and 2-10 but yet, after many breathtaking recovery returns against the aggressive play of Hayashi, managed to draw level at 10-10 before taking the game 13-11 to level at 2/2. She then was never headed to win 11-8 in the fifth and deciding game. For once a very good defender defeated a very good attacker in a world final. No doubt M/s Hayashi will have continuous nightmares about this match…  To add to her Singles Gold, Betty and her regular partner Nicole Pilliere (FRA), with whom she has won medals previously managed a Bronze medal in the Women’s Doubles this year.

Then we had another ‘Australian’ entry in the Men’s over 50, Lu Qiwei, born in China. I had never heard of him nor ever saw him before. Neither did most everybody else.  He turned out to be a real ‘smoky’ in this tournament. Apparently his son lives in Australia and because he visits him regularly decided to play under the Oz banner. As fate has it he was drawn in the same pool as Mikael Appelgren of all people, then went on to beat him and by winning his pool gained the #1 seeding in the Main Draw. I was fortunate to witness the whole match and thinking at the time (on Monday) he represented China, was not at all surprised he could play a bit; but at that devastating standard? He took Appelgren by surprise and led two games to nil by completely outplaying him. Mikael recovered and rallied to make it two all. The fifth and deciding set was always very close with the Yokohama champion earning several match points to no avail, before going down 16-14.

Then, as expected, these two met again in the final. This time Appelgren knew what to expect, but again found he trailed two games to one and level at 8-8 in the fourth. The match was almost in Lu’s grasp. But somehow Appelgren found a way to even the game score and take out the match to win his second world veteran title. But not without some help from the zealous Swedish umpire who faulted Lu and red-carded his adviser. Qiwei, together with doubles partner Y.Wang (GER), also won Bronze in the doubles. Someone told me that Lu was a member of the Chinese national team in his heyday and it would not surprise me that Wang was one of his contemporaries at the time. No wonder they can play.

A genuine Australian result was produced byGordon Lee from WA, together with Dr Peter Stoltenburg (GER). They teamed exceptionally well to win a Silver medal in the over 75 Doubles. A pity that when the final was about to commence another overly officious table manager insisted on Peter to get a new number on his back for the final. He had to run all the way to control for the computer to print out a number, completely upsetting him and getting him out of the rhythm of his preparation. After a 10 minutes delay the opposition of Kruger/Luber (#1 seeds) got the early drop on them and the AUS/GER pair went down easily in straight games; Gordon rightly is over the moon with his Silver Medal in the worlds, probably the highlight of his career.                                                                            The Bremen Silver medallists Buddy Reid/Igor Klaf found the going tough and got to the 4th round when the German/Swiss combination of Smidt/Iffland got the better of them 7, 6, 4. Earlier Klaf lost to Dieter Lippelt (GER), the eventual winner, in only the 2nd round. Horst Frohlich/Roy Norton (ENG) lost in the 4h round of the 70 doubles to the eventual winners Lippelt/Lempke (GER).

Prisca Rosario got to the quarters in the over 80 Women (and won the Consolation Doubles with a Belgian partner in the same age group). Gordon Lee managed to reach the final sixteen (4th round) in the over 75 Singles, as did Case de Bondt. Craig Campbell and Wayne Heginbotham did extremely well in the very strong over 50 Singles, both reaching round 4, whilst Lorraine Baker reached round 4 of the over 60 Women in the Main Draw. John Sherriff and Paul Pinkewich both reached the 4th round in the tough over 60 Singles Main Draw. Anna Pha with RSA partner Fiona Lister came r/u in the over 65 Women’s doubles Consolation. Horst Frohlich made the 3rd round in the 70 Main Draw but then ran into former champion and #1 seed Horst Langer (GER). Although leading two games to one the gallant Frohlich went down -7, 7,-6, 5, 8 in a very close match.

The next worlds will be in May 2014 in Auckland New Zealand and the Kiwis will have their hands full in matching the mammoth Swedish effort this year. The south of Spain will host the worlds in 2016.

The editor

14/04/2012

New Zealand Veterans TT Championships at Palmerston North                 6-9 April 2012

These championships over the Easter break have once more concluded, and here follows a short report.

123 players, including 27 from Australia and one from Syria, participated in these annual and enjoyable open veterans national table tennis championships. The camaraderie, as always was marvellous.

Craig Campbell and Greg Letts flew all the way from WA; Betty Bird, Gwen Rapley and Lorraine Baker from SA; Tony Herbert, Werner Borkhardt,            Col Gradwell , John Sherriff  and Thomas Woltmann from Qld; Ken Cole and Stephen Tai  from NSW; David Sherman and Anthony Rae from Tas; Julian Goldenberg, Wen Ung and Trevor Taylforth from ACT, Prisca Rosario, Ken Johnson, Margaret Johnson, Case de Bondt, Buddy Reid, Averil Roberts, Michael Ede, Clive Sim, Jean Pierce and Verna Ho from Vic.

This was my fourth championships in the B & M sports stadium at PN on the North Island. The lighting conditions were again somewhat dim for our sport, it being a typical multi-sports hall mainly designed for basket ball.

However the Manawatu Association, ably led by tournament secretary Shona Cudby and tournament controller Joachim Kusche, more than made up for that with efficient management and the size of the courts were enormous; we could have done with ball boys!

The annual Test match between the home country and Australia on Easter Thursday at 7.00 pm was a wonderful start to the tournament proper, followed by the Team events on Friday and Saturday. The individual events commenced on Saturday evening through Sunday and Monday.

When the teams lined up for the introductions and the national anthems, superbly sung by two local singers, one wag softly whispered, “Here we are, the lemons and the plums,” referring to the mainly yellow Aussie uniforms and the black Kiwi garb, “but I prefer the plums.

The Australian contingent was rather undermanned, as many of the regulars opted to go to Stockholm in June instead. If ever the Kiwis had the chance to knock off the Aussies, it was this time. Yet surprisingly Australia once again was victorious 33/17. Full results can be found on the New Zealand website http://www.tabletennis.org.nz/

Shona told me that this time there were about 60 less players since the last time the event was held in Manawatu, and she put that down to fewer Aussie players coming over than usual, and perhaps some players were sick.         There is no doubt that the recent earth-quakes and the continuing trauma at Christchurch also played a part.

Some NZ veterans voiced concern about the abolition of veteran tournaments in NZ two years ago by TTNZ and ventured to say some veteran players just lost interest in competing and travelling to the national veteran championships. Others said that the veteran tournaments were on the wane anyway.

Be that as it may, in principle it seems to me to be a retrograde step to discontinue events for veterans. I’d hate to see the same thing happening here in Australia. We all love matching our skills against our peers and enjoy the extended table tennis fraternity of the veterans.

Special mention must be made of our Manager Ken Cole for the diligent and painstaking work in organising the Test team personnel. He took charge of all the uniforms for the 20 Test players, made sure we all received the correct sizes and took an extra suitcase with him to NZ for those who lived in other states.

We all enjoyed the tournament immensely and most of us concluded the event by going to the farewell dinner on Monday evening. Val Beaver, the NZ veterans’ selector, announced the Order of Merit in the various age groups of both Men and Women players. These can also be perused on the NZ website.

The venue for next year’s tournament is yet to be determined but will be published soon. On the short list are Christchurch on the South Island and Whangarei, north of Auckland, on the North Island.

The editor

26/10/2011

Some impressions of the Australian Veterans Table Tennis Championships.

The 28th Australian Vets was held at the Adelaide ETSA Park Netball Stadium from 15 – 23 October 2011. We used the same complex the last time we were inAdelaide.

Although it cost the organisers $22,000 to hire the venue, as is usual the lighting was not suited to our game but most of us adjusted as the week went on.

The numbers were down somewhat, but more than 300 ardent participants flocked from all overAustralia, New Zealand and Japan. Lars Sandmark (Sweden) and Long Phan (Vietnam) also made the long journey. Sadly many times winner Ihn van Le (NSW) had to withdraw through sickness and his vanquisher last year, Truong Hoang (NSW), also did not come.

After the medals’ presentation on Saturday, Ken Cole chairman of the Australain veterans committee, paid tribute and homage to Bruno Zimmaro (Vic) and Merle Snedden (NZ) who sadly passed away this year.

They will both be sorely missed on the table tennis scene.

The Kiwis punched well above their weight as did WA. Victoria, thanks to their “golden oldies” managed three Teams’ Gold medals, but appear to be slipping somewhat overall.

We could well do with the services of the likes of Dennis Makaling and Danny Semmler for instance, to become more competitive in the younger age groups.

I for one thoroughly enjoyed this well run tournament, as I’m sure most of us did. Apart from one incident, which shocked those watching a quarterfinal of the Men’s singles, this annual event went very smoothly and was run with the customary aplomb by the computer wizardry of Bev and Brian James.

Marilyn Dixon and her co-workers pleasantly surprised us with the most lavish spread that I have ever seen at an opening function. The band and the vocalist at the closing function were superb.

The highlight for me, and of needs be having missed many other exciting matches, was the tremendously hard fought semi final on Saturday between Wayne Heginbotham (NSW) and Greg Letts (WA).

Greg, with his natural skilful defence, explosive backhands and unexpected forehand looping “stole” this semi, after being down match point in the fourth. There is nothing so beautiful at table tennis, from a spectators’ point of view, then to see a very good attacking player being contained by an equally proficient defender.

This was my 16th Australian since 1996 and like many others, am already looking forward to next year’s event at the Mpower Dome, Fadden ACT.

The editor

All results may be viewed on the James’s website:

http://www.southerntabletennis.org.au/vets2011/results.htm

More from Tony Herbert  (23/9/2011)I have been in touch with Ron Garrett my friend inNew Zealandand only suggested layout of tables, floor area and number of tables needed. Not wanting to interfere, but just suggesting. Basically I put my four penny worth in (Translation when I catch up with you all) because there were all sorts of rumours floating around that NZ can’t hold the event and they cancelled the World Juniors.My experience with New Zealand is their closing function generally means great food and a terrific atmosphere. A number of Australians travel the ditch to play in their Open Veterans Event each year.I promised Ron I would publicise the event inAustralia.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-                                                  STOP PRESS WORLD VETS NEW ZEALAND 2014
TTNZ Secures Unique Venues for World Veterans ChampionshipsAfter recently announcing the playing venues for the Championships, Table Tennis New Zealand has secured two magnificent venues to cater for the all-important welcoming and farewell ceremonies.The Auckland Museum Domewill be the venue for the Gala Cocktail evening before the commencement of the tournament. It’s a venue like no other in what is often regarded as Auckland’s most impressive building. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in New Zealand’s history and heritage while enjoying quality Kiwi wines and canapés. It will be a night to remember.Likewise the Viaduct Events Centre will be a once in a lifetime experience that many people will be familiar with from seeing it televised world-wide during the Rugby World Cup and the America’s Cup. The Viaduct Events Centre will be the venue for the Banquet and Ball after the week of on-the-table exertions.WVC 17 Committee member Mike Loftus is an Aucklander who lives close to the Museum and he reported to TTNZ”The Museum Dome is the most unique space available in Auckland and we’re only able to get it because we’re working nearly three years in advance of the booking date. As for the Viaduct Events Centre, it’s not called “Party Central” for nothing. People will be on the waterfront of the City of Sails and there’s nowhere quite like it on the planet.”After the recent announcement of the playing venues TTNZ is pleased to be able to complete the full picture of the WVC sites with the addition of these two magnificent social venues.


Waitakere and NorthShore Venues Announced for World Vets, 2014.

Table Tennis New Zealand has selected the Waitakere Trusts Stadium http://www.thetrustsstadium.co.nz    and the NorthShore Events Centre  http://www.nseventscentre.co.nz  as the venues for the 2014 World Veterans Championships.

After comprehensive site inspections by TTNZ the venues were endorsed as having the necessary capacity and ultra-modern facilities required to host what will be the largest tournament to be held on these shores.

The Waitakere Trusts Stadium is regarded as the “Jewel in the Crown” of Auckland sporting facilities and at only seven years old will be the principal venue over the week of competition in May 2014. The North Shore Events Centre will boost the number of tables needed for the earlier rounds of the tournament.

The recently completed North-West Motorway will make transportation between the venues efficient and was a major factor in favour of the North Shore Events Centre. That plus the fact that the 2007 WJC event was successfully held in the stadium made the decision an obvious one for TTNZ.

Henry Redmond, from the WVC Organising Committee, was part of the team that undertook site inspections of the chosen venues after narrowing down the field of potential stadiums. He reported to TTNZ,

“Both venues are world class. There is everything needed in terms of playing facilities, catering, medical, massage facilities, you name it these venues have it. The Waitakere Stadium is even on the doorstep of some of the best wineries inNew Zealand, so if the games aren’t going your way you can enjoy yourself in other ways! I’m sure Hans Westling will be impressed when he visits on November 12th and makes his report for the Swaythling Club.”

Tony Herbert has contributed the following article (14/9/2011).

                                   World Vets AucklandNew Zealand

Most Veteran players are familiar with the decision by the Swaithling Club that NZ were selected to host the World Vets in 2014. However, since this decision was made, there appears to be some animosity against NZ holding this event and rumours abound that NZ won’t be able to stage the event. These doubters are making all sorts of unfounded noises, I believe, because of not being familiar with the NZ proposal presented to the SWC and the facilities available in Auckland.

“Auckland doesn’t have the expertise to run such an event, as they cancelled the World Junior Championships; there is not a stadium large enough to hold the event; Auckland will have to build a new stadium; weather conditions will be wet and cold and not enough people to run the event;” and so on…

I decided to carry out some research as to possible venues in and around Auckland and have spoken to friends in NZ. It was established there is a stadium in Auckland, a multi purpose sports stadium, the “Waitakere Trust Stadium (WTS)”, and this stadium is located in Henderson on the outskirts of Auckland. (This stadium can be located on the web and some details of the facilities are available.)

The stadium has an area of 4900 sqm and I have calculated that 72 tables can be accommodated with a court  size of 10m by 5m and has provisions for about 1800 entries.( Melbourne had 67 tables and about 1790 players entered.)

I carried out a feasibility study for the 2008 WV Championships to be held either at the Gold Coast or Brisbane and established a ratio of 40% for aisles and small spectator stands which was ideally suitable for the WVC. Another statistic is that previous venues to hold the WVC had a ratio of approximately one table per 25 entries. WTS has a ratio of 36% for aisles and on the floor seating. The stadium has additional seating above the playing area. NZ also has permission from the SWC to ferry athletes to another stadium nearby if entries are greater than 1800.

The Henderson district has limited accommodation and the centre of Aucklandis about 14 kms away. To me it does not prove a problem, as a continuous bus service can easily be enacted and one can view Auckland’s wonderful picturesque harbour. Being able to see a flotilla of yachts with their spinnakers blowing in the wind is a majestic sight. I know Milford Sound is a long distance away but if one wanted to walk the world famous Milford track, if open, is another tourist sensation. It’s a three day walk and if you are relatively fit its well worth the effort.

We are all familiar with the sporting competition between our two countries, particularly when the two countries are playing rugby. Recently Australia beat the All Blacks in the Belasco Cup and to some extent it makes up for Australia not being successful in being selected to host the World Veteran’s Table Tennis Championships.

Ron Garrett will be in Adelaide playing in our National Open Veterans Championships in October and if you would like to get an official up-date of the World Vets 2014, I am sure Ron will be able to do this. Please remember the information outlined above is my opinion only and is through my unofficial research.

Another rumour floating around is that Hans Wessling will be visiting Sydney after viewing the facilities in Auckland in October, but from a reliable source it will be in November.    (This is not a paid advertisement but merely to clarify some disinformation that is floating around.)

I for one am looking forward to travel across the ditch to play.

Nets and Edges-Tony

STOP PRESS – Tony tells me that NZ will publish an official statement on the 2014 WVC in Auckland on the Website shortly. (see above 23/9/2011)

25th Anniversary of the New Zealand Veterans Table Tennis Championships

2011 saw the 25th anniversary of these popular championships, always held over Easter, and this year held at Invercargill way down south of the South Island.

Amid all the adversity that struck the New Zealanders during the past year the championships was a welcome interlude and diversion from the mine disaster and severe earthquakes which took many lives and caused terrible destruction. Because of this the numbers were down to only 106 players.

The South Island in particular is suffering and tourists are shunning Christchurch in droves. This is why it is uplifting to see the Aussies supporting these championships and deciding to come after all, despite the trauma.

Victoria and Canterbury provided 12 teams each, which is a good indication. Noticeable was the absence of many of theAuckland players, one of the largest clubs who only appear to support the championships when held on the NorthIsland.

New faces for Australiawere selected to the Test teams. We saw Vicky Carruthers, Averil Roberts (formerly NZ), Trevor Taylforth, Peter and Maureen Fischer help the Aussies to a 32/18 victory in the 12th encounter between the two countries on Easter Thursday.

Other newcomers to New Zealand were Phil Carruthers, Ken Johnson and Thomas Woltmann. Sadly missing, due to illness, were stalwarts Merle Snedden, Geoff Nesbitt and Merv Allardyce and our thoughts go out to them.

The new venue was the impressive ILT (Invercargill Licensing Trust) Velodrome. The brand new 14 STAG tables provided were more than sufficient to cater for all the events. The roof of the Centre where the championships were held in Invercargill (2005) had collapsed under the weight of four feet of snow in 2010. It was then completely demolished and the reconstruction of the new stadium will be completed by next year.

34 players from Australia and 5 non-playing spouses (22 were from Victoria) made the journey across the ‘ditch’. This contingent had a large hand in many of the results.   All results of these championships can be found on the New Zealandwebsite  http://www.tabletennis.org.nz  but let me summarize some of the highlights for you.

Margaret Mulcahy scooped the pool with 8 (eight possible) Gold medals!;   the 65 & 70 Teams, 65 & 70 Singles, 65 & 70 Doubles and 65 & 70 Mixed. As long as I have been attending these championships, to the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t happened before. It has to be a record; she played in the Test as well, winning both her Singles rubbers and the Doubles with Maureen Fischer.

Last year at North Harbour Mick Wright went very close but just missed out on the 65 Singles, when Buddy Reid stopped his run in the final. Mulcahy did not play in the 60 Team event then (2005) at Whangarei, but did win all other seven events for 7 Gold. This time she went one better; a meritorious effort.

Top Kiwi player Malcolm Darroch, making a come back since 2005, took out both the 40 & 50 Singles titles, thus stamping his authority in those age groups and being unquestionably the best player of the championships.

Belgin Bennett turned the tables on Sabine Westenra of NZ, who beat her in the Test match, to take out the 40 Women’s Singles and earn the #1 placing in the Order of Merit.

Buddy Reid, who like Malcolm does not play in the Team events on Good Friday, won the two age groups of the 65 & 70 Singles, as he did last year. Buddy, who was born in 1940, is a true ‘evergreen’ and still plays the modern game. One has to play BOTH Teams and Individuals and that is the reason why Buddy does not feature in the Order of Merit.

Roma Chambers starred in the exciting finale to the championships (the last match to finish) in her 50s Singles final against the #1 seed Tutty Tanfana of NZ. Roma led two games to nil, but Tutty fought back to level the scores at 2/2. Then Roma bolted to a 9-3 lead in the deciding game, yet somehow Tutty caught her and levelled at 10-10. With one of the best rallies of the day Roma ran out the winner to conclude a wonderful tournament.

The Order of Merit’s list, reflecting the play of the best players in both the Teams and Individual events, can be perused on the NZ website.  Three players earned the distinction of heading two different each groups in the rankings viz. Mick Wright, Margaret Mulcahy and Case de Bondt.

A pity Buddy missed out on a ranking. Darroch played in a three-player Team in the 40s and played on Saturday and thus gain the #1 ranking. It goes without saying that Reid is by far the dominant player in both the 65s & 70s and would have surely have won the 60s as well, if he had been eligible. Entries are restricted to  two consecutive age groups as we all know.

Summing up, the championships were the most enjoyable I have experienced in the 13 years since 1999. It is most likely due to both the excellent venue and the leisurely and comfortable manner the tournament could be conducted, simply because of the low number of players. The social aspect of the competition was definitely enhanced because of this. Thanks go to all organisers and the dedicated volunteers who conducted the tournament.

Next year, DV, the tournament will be held by the Manawatu association at Palmerston North on theNorthIsland(during Easter of course).

Casey

Round Robin Veteran Tournament on 27 February 2011.

The VVTTA will stage an R/R tournament at Princes, Carnegie on 27 February commencing at 9.00 am. There will be four age groups, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s for both Men and Women.

The fee is $10 per player and it is a requisite that the VVTTA $5 annual membership is paid also.

Our AGM will be held at lunchtime and three committee positions are up for election, vice president and 2 committee members.  Nominations to be forwarded to The Secretary PO Box 24 Inverloch 3996.

The facility has a canteen and light meals are provided.

We gratefully acknowledge our major sponsors in Steve Dikolli, the Manager of Princes Entertainment Centre and “VicVets”, Suppliers of custom made sporting equipment (03 9776 0677 or 0418 341 834).

Below the e-mail invitation to all.

Hi folks,

Find attached Entry Form to kick off the New Year.

The event is an R/R tournament at Princes, Carnegie on 27 February.

All relevant info on attached Entry Form and entries will also be accepted by phone to Arlene and Andrew on 9803 6736 or by e-mail on

aswagner11@yahoo.com or abeaton@supernerd.com.au

Come along, have fun and get lots of matches for just $10 and please pass this message on to your friends.

See you there, Casey

The 27th Australian Veterans Championships held on 16 – 23 October 2010 in Melbourne at the MSAC have been concluded.

There were some 321 entrants in the Team Events with another 40 or so additional entries in the individual events, making a total of 364.

This was down somewhat on the entries to Tallebudgera in 2008 when we enjoyed a record 376 entries. However Victoria had a record entry of 108 players.

We missed the Scandinavians in Lars Sandmark, who has been coming for the past nine years, his team mate Niels Ramberg and Annie Ramberg.

Lars’ good friend, Tommy Samuelsson, told me that Lars is suffering from back troubles so his other team members decided to stay away also, which is a pity.

But the three Japanese ladies came again, as did a record number of Kiwi’s, totalling 31 players.

There are now six different age groups in the team events with the new addition of the multi-sex 80’s.

Victoria claimed three Team gold medals winning the 60 Women, the 70 Men and the newly formed 80’s mixed team.

Queensland with 52 players also won three Team gold (40 Men, 50 Women and 75 Men) and NSW comprising 70 players won two gold Team medals (50 men and 60 men). New Zealand won the 40 Women and South Australia (31 players) captured the 70 Women.

Western Australia with just 20 players claimed a Team silver (40 Men) and a bronze (50 men) and New Zealand also won a Team silver in the 50 Women and a Team bronze in the 60 Women.

Once again several competitors succumbed to injuries and physical ailments which prevented them from playing.

Among those were my good friend and doubles partner Geoff Nesbitt who got severe muscles spasms in his back which hospitalised him for five days, SA’s Herb Ellis had a blocked bowel and was rushed to hospital in the middle of a match. My brother Fred and Qld’s Danny Schull tore calf muscles and Anna Pha finished up on crutches with the same injury. Gary Luu contracted a chest complaint and had to be replaced by Sanh Tran in the 80’s.  The WA team of Gerry Bridson and Russ Weslund withdrew.

Then Graham Boyton of NSW collapsed on the court requiring oxygen.

An ambulance was called but left him behind as he recovered sufficiently, but there was to be no more play for him either. And these are the ones I know about; there could have been others.

But as we are all veteran players it is to be expected that some will be unable to cope with the sudden spate of matches every day. May all the injured and ill recover quickly and get back on deck.

After the teams’ events, for many the highlight of the week, the individual events commenced on Thursday. All doubles were played on that day with only the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Doubles held over till Finals Day, Saturday. Friday saw all Singles matches played, commencing with the group matches. All semi finals and finals were played on the last day, Saturday.

Making some general observations to begin with, there was a distinct feeling in the air that there was to be some ‘changing of the guard’.

That the players, who have been dominating for years, could be surpassed by their younger contemporaries. Others through sheer perseverance managed to get on top of the better known names.

Contestants who excelled were, firstly, Sharad Pandit from South Australia who, without doubt, was the best player in the competition with  Singles gold in both the 40 and 50 Men’s Singles and a gold in the 40 Men’s Doubles.

Then we cannot overlook the phenomenal achievement of the mercurial Mick Wright (Vic). Although Singles medals eluded him, he was masterful in winning no less than 3 gold medals in Doubles play and with different partners! His team for Victoria also scored Silver against the very strong NSW side.

He won the 60 Men’s Doubles with Michael Ede (Vic) by defeating the legendary Ihn van Le who partnered a ‘young’ Truong Huang (both NSW).

Mick won the 60 Mixed with Val Beaver (NZ) and the 65 Mixed with Pam Tait (Vic). In the semi final of the 65 Singles Mick led Ihn van Le 2/1 and in the fourth game, led 9-7 and then held match point at 10-9.

The experienced Le managed to claw out of that one and went on to play Igor Klaf (Vic) in the final soon after, whom he beat convincingly 6,4,7.

It is interesting to note that Mick commenced his playing career with a plain pimpled bat when in his teens. He still uses a plain pimpled bat but with just a sliver of sponge behind one side. Talking about perseverance…

The ‘ever greens’ in Igor Klaf  and Betty Bird (SA) both won 3 gold medals, as well as a gold each in the team events. Now being in the 70 and 75 age groups respectively has given these players a new lease of life.

Ihn van Le’s dominance in the 60’s age group over many years was ended when his team mate, the much younger Truong Huang, defeated him in the 60 Singles in four games. Yet Le still managed gold in the 65 Singles, the 65 Men’s Doubles and one in the team event. In addition he won two Silver medals (60D + 65S).

Tom Boyd (NSW), who is in his eighties and has had a hip replacement, still is a force to reckon with. He won two gold medals (75 MS + 75 Mixed) and the only player who got the better of him was Sanh Tran in the 80 Singles. Sanh Tran was called in for Victoria’s 80’s B team to replace Gary Luu, who had become ill. He was instrumental in winning the team gold as well. So Tran finished with 2 gold medals

Pam Tait played well for gold in the 65 Mixed with Mick Wright and the 70 Women’s Doubles with Margaret Mulcahy, as well as the team gold.

Other multiple gold medal winners were Chris Little (NZ) who won the 40 and 50 Doubles and BP Huyhn (Vic) who won the 40 and 50 Mixed Doubles. Buddy Reid collected gold in the 70 Men’s Doubles and the 70 Mixed, as well as the 70 team gold. His Mixed Doubles partner Margaret Mulcahy won gold in the 70 Women’s Doubles and the 70 Mixed.

The tournament was very well managed, ran smoothly and full credit must go to Alan Hopkins, Nick & Lois McConnell and their band of willing workers.

Brian and Bev James did their usual very competent work at control and it is impossible to envisage this huge tournament to be successfully run without their expertise.

Next year’s event is planned to be held in Adelaide.

Dick Miles Record-Setting US Table Tennis Player Dies at 85

Here follow some extracts from the New York Times and the Dick Miles Website.

Dick Miles, whose powerful forehand and sterling defensive skills made him perhaps the greatest table tennis player the United States has ever produced, died Oct. 12 in Manhattan. He was 85. The death was of natural causes, his wife, Mary Detsch said, though he had had heart problems for many years.  From 1945 to 1962, Miles won 10 men’s national championships, more than anyone else before or since. He succeeded in international play as well, and for many years was considered a challenger to the dominant players of Asia and Europe. In 1959, he defeated two top Chinese players and reached the semifinals of the world championships. He was one of only three American men ever to advance that far. None have gone further. “There was probably no other player in the history of U.S. table tennis who was better than Dick Miles,” said Tim Boggan, the official historian of the United States Table Tennis Association and a friend of Miles’s.

Richard Theodore Miles was born in Manhattan on June 12, 1925, and was raised by his mother, Ivy. By the time he was a teenager, he was playing table tennis 10 hours a day or more.

After high school, he briefly attended New York University, but mostly, from then on, he just played table tennis. His signature stroke was a potent forehand using an underhand grip (that is, the racket head was pointed down). Beginning with a looping backswing with the forearm held close to his body, he finished with a snap of the wrist that delivered the ball with astonishing topspin. It was his habit to drive the ball to the center of the table.

“Instead of hitting to the wings, he hit to the middle,” Mr. Boggan said. “He’d go for the gut again and again.”

Depressed about his Singles play in 1948, Dick said, Forget the Mixed. But threatened with suspension he reluctantly walked out to the table with Thelma “Tybie” Thall (later Sommer). Walked out, it may have been, wearing gloves and an overcoat, his breath as frosty as his demeanor. “I don’t want to be out here,” he told her. Amazingly, however, thanks to Tybie’s sun-bursting enthusiasm, Dick thawed a little and they won a (16, -11, -16, 22, 19) quarter’s match from Leach and Vera Dace Thomas, that year’s World Women’s Doubles Champ. Then in the semi’s they beat Sido and Angelica Rozeanu who, beginning in 1950, would win six straight World Women’s Singles Championships.

But off to a very bad -13, -14 start in the final against Vana and Vlasha Depetrisova Pokorna, a pre-War World Women’s Singles and Doubles Champion, Dick told Tybie (“A crazy hitter,” he reminisced later), “Listen, this is embarrassing. Just push the ball back. You don’t hit a ball until I tell you to.” Then–“with Miles driving fiercely” and Tybie taking “Vana’s sneaky service with coolness”–they won the last three games, 18, 19, 12. “Tybie threw her racket in the air and came over for a hug,” Dick said, recalling the moment. “But I pushed her away. Didn’t say a word to her, didn’t even shake hands. I acted like a real shit.” And he added, “Afterwards, good players congratulated me, fussed over me–it was sickening.” So much for Mixed Doubles? Not exactly, for I did hear from another source that by presentation time Dick was feeling pretty good about being a World Champion, was even smiling

What an historic rivalry Dick and Marty Reisman enjoyed in the late ‘40’s. You couldn’t have asked for a more dramatic, climactic final than the one they put on at the Apr., 1948 U.S. Open–won by Miles, 12, -16, 20, -18, 20. Here’s the Topics’ account of that match that tries impartially to praise both players:

“2000 people screamed and cheered as Miles defeated Reisman in a deuce- thriller, fifth-game final at the National Table Tennis Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Every heart pounded and blood vessels were strained as Reisman deuced it up in the fifth from 20-18. The next two points were some of the greatest exhibition of driving and defending ever seen in the history of United States Table Tennis. Reisman drove his heart out against the mighty Miles backhand chop defense….Driving ball after ball for minutes on end against the country’s steadiest defense.[Reportedly, one point lasted 8 minutes.]…[The] playing was so superb that one player or the other had to be forced into an error, neither making any of his own volition. Keeping the ball away from Miles’ murdering forehand drive Reisman forced him to play defense throughout the match, giving him only an occasional shot on the forehand side. Garnering all his points by forcing Miles into error or hitting through his backhand defense, Reisman played a remarkable match and a smart one that was anybody’s guess as to the outcome….”

The fact that even for a World Championship the rubber on Dick’s hardbat wasn’t new was hardly unusual. “In those days, he said, ” you used your rubber for maybe 5-6 years before you felt you were taking a chance and changed it. By this time the center spot on your racket was all black, pure black, and the pips had started to go. So you had to change. The worst thing, though, was to see marks around the perimeter of your racket. Then you’d say to yourself, “Good lord, look how I’m playing!’”

Privately, Dick felt that his win over Andreadis at this ‘56 World’s was his “cleverest” win, because, he said, “I played like Leach–didn’t give Andreadis the heavy chop he expected but floated the ball back.” Dick then lost his quarter’s match to Ogimura, who was about to win his second Men’s Championship.

At the N.Y. Team Tryouts, Miles came second to Gusikoff, emerging from a strong field that included Bukiet, Somael, Schiff, Jack Howard, Jerry Kruskie, and Irv Wasserman. Then at the National Team Championships in Detroit, Dick, playing not with a hardbat but a new sandwich racket, was 15-3 in N.Y.’s win.

At the ‘62 Eastern’s, Bukiet beat Miles in the quarter’s, 19 in the 4th. Bernie’s technique was to roll, and roll, and roll–just wear Dick out. However, at the National’s in New York that followed, Miles, still committed to the sandwich bat, won his 10th and last U.S. Open–over Reisman in 4 in the semi’s, and then in an Expedite match in 4 over Norby Van de Walle, with whom he won the Doubles from Gusikoff/Klein. This success prompted Newsweek to do a May interview with him.

From the mid-’50’s almost through the mid-’60’s, Miles gave up considerable tournament play in favour of Touring, for which he was well paid. He also visited and played in Australia.

Vale Dick Miles.

 

More from Tony Herbert, 5/10/10

Although the World Vets are in 2012 this date is approaching quickly and those players who are interested in participating in these Championships would, I believe, like to know more about the City and Country holding the event, particularly if they have not entered such an event before.

The last World Vets were held in Inner Mongolia and the event’s opening and closing ceremonies was a wonderful, colourful and exhilarating experience. The organisers of the Opening and Closing extravaganza managed to subtly blend young and mature age members of Hohhot’s community into a breathtaking presentation of Inner Mongolian culture, combined with an emphasis on a healthy activity.

The opening and closing ceremonies were both beyond anyone’s expectations, and coupled together with an excellent meal with some surprises of China vintage wines, made the closing function more pleasurable. And another highlight of the evening was a presentation by a Chinese Tenor when the audience was spellbound with his rendition of Mus sun Domra.

I have attended a number of World Senior Table Tennis Events and in my opinion none have  surpassed the glamour and the enthralling occasion of Hohhot’s opening and closing ceremonies.

One can keep abreast of redevelopments by logging on www.wvc2012.com to keep up-to-date with details of the World Vets in Sweden.

Australia has a close relationship with the Vasamuscet Museum, which houses the galleon which sank during its maiden voyage and remained undiscovered for centuries.

Fremantle has a maritime museum, which is one of the leading authorities on the restoration of sunken wooden ships and exchanged technical data and their experts went to Sweden to discuss the restoration process of timbers that has been embedded in silt.

Tony, (nets and edges)

Practice Session

A very enjoyable practice session by most members of the Victorian teams, organised by VicVets, was held at the Coburg Stadium on Sunday 3 October, 2010

Despite the early start, due to daylight saving, some 50 veterans including a “young veteran” in Craig Carter, honed their skills in preparation for the nationals.

Many thanks go to Bruce Carter, Prisca Rosario, Angelo Tabone and the ever active ladies who provided the lunch.

Hi Everyone,     I am using the European Championships as an example of the English Veterans Table Tennis Society of how Vets can work together to further the development of table tennis for us oldies at reasonable prices   For the past few years a number of us has been associated with Roy (Norton), a truly passionate table tennis player who tirelessly works for the benefit of others and of course the game of table tennis.   With the formation of AUSVETS we are now able to to communicate with tt Veterans all over Australia and together with our friends in Europe.   In particular with Konrad (Steinkamper) from  the German Veterans Association  ‘Der Club’ who is also another tireless worker for the development of Veterans table tennis.   One purpose of this article is to act as a guide as to the costs one can expect in Europe for the World Vets in Stockholm. Remember Stockholm is one year further down the track and is generally more expensive than Liberec. Roy no doubt will once again carry out the necessary investigations and come up with an acceptable hotel  package. Good on you cobber,( I don’t know whether Aussies will allow me to use this term of endearment being a Pommie).   Although Australia are disadvantaged in holding the World Vets, we gain a considerable advantage with our currency when travelling overseas .72 Euros and .60 Pounds to the Aussie Dollar   Tony (formally nets and edges).


European Championships 2011

LIBEREC         CZECH REPUBLIC

Liberec is a town near the German border about 1hr.30 mins from Prague airport. It is a town surrounded by small skiing resorts.

The table tennis championships will be held in Tipsport arena, Liberec.

I have booked all the rooms in 3 (maybe 4) small hotels in the skiing village of Bedrichov 8 miles from Liberec.

They are family run hotels with 25/26 rooms each (picture of hotels on next sheet). All have ensuite rooms (a sauna is extra charge), and small swimming pool. The rooms are very clean and basic, (very similar to the hotel we had in Italy).

The hotels are on a bed breakfast basis but all serve dinner if required, all the hotels are in walking distance of each other, and various functions can be arranged like barbecues discos, etc. in one of the hotels.

The Arrangements are that you book your own flight to Prague (all the cheap airlines fly to Prague). From the airport I will arrange buses at various times to pick you up and take you to Liberec on Saturday 18 June 2011, and returning to the airport on Sunday 26 June 2011. You will have 8 nights bed breakfast in one of the hotels, with buses running to the sports centre daily except the free day.

The cost for the bus to and from Prague airport, 8 nights bed breakfast, and transfers to and from the sports centre is as follows:

2 people in a double room:         £265 per person

1 person in a single room:           £265 plus a sup. of £160

3 people in a room:                       £235 each

Prices are based on the Euro at 1.15 to the pound.

Anyone wanting to go to Prague before or after the championships – this can be arranged. (30/40 euro per night B/B sharing).

If you are interested in going contact:

ROY NORTON

Tel n:  07973182494

e-mail:  ROYWNORTON@AOL.COM

Please fill in and return asp

LIBEREC    18th –26th June 2011

 

Name             ____________________________

Address        ____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

Postcode      ____________________

TEL:                ____________________

E-MAIL:         ____________________

Please book me for Liberec package 8 nights:

Single £425                               _______

Twin pp £265               _______ sharing with: _________________________________

Triple room pp £235  _______  sharing with: _________________________________

Souvenir shirt – the Roy Norton group/Bedrichov village/European championships

@ £3 each – size(s) required  ________________________ number(s) required ____

By the 1 Oct 2010      I require:            £150 deposit

By the 1 April 2011                 I require:            your flight details

By the 1 April 2011     I require:            if you require to stay extra days in Prague

ROY NORTON

12 CHARNWOOD CLOSE

BRIERLEY HILL

W. MIDLANDS

DY5 3UE


Case please put this on the Aus Vets Website.     The Website of the International Veterans Table Tennis Society-International Veterans is now up and running and can be reached www.tt-veterans-international.com  The web site is in its infancy and will be seeking reports from all the member countries as to points of interest relating to Veterans. Of particular interest is the date for the International team competition in Istanbul in August. There are two tournaments prior to this event but they are in July. One tournament is in Trier which is the oldest city in Germany and dates back to Roman days the other one is also in Germany. The Trier event is a well organised tournament and is one I recommend. The actual dates of these events can be obtained from the website. If anyone is thinking of entering these events please contact me in Melbourne. Tony (Herbert).


Dear all,

I would like to tell you that we will install the Website of the International Veterans Table Tennis Society – Veterans International – at the end of next week. You will find it under the following address: www.tt-veterans-international.com

You should take into account that we are no professionals to produce Websites. I therefore ask for understanding if this Website will not present the state of special technology. For me is more important that we will have in future a medium where we can publish our opinion to problems concerning Veterans Table Tennis in future. I therefore ask you to take this chance and to send Ruud Peters or me your statements. As examples I will offer you the following News, that also will part of our Website:

1.  European Table Tennis Union (ETTU)

The next European Table Tennis Union Congress will take place during the 2010 LIEBHERR European Championships in Ostrava (Czech Republic) on 13th of September 2010 . The following items are concerned with Veterans Table Tennis:

   Changes of the General Regulations concerning the European Veterans Championships

For the next ETTU-Congress in Ostrava/Czech Republic on 13th of September 2010 the ETTU – Executive Board has proposed to change Para E.6.2 of the Regulations of EVC as follows:

“E.6 ENTRY FEES and LEVIES

E.6.1 The entry fee shall be set in advance by the Executive Board.
E.6.2 The organising Association shall pay to the ETTU a levy of 15.000 €.”

This increase means a triplication compared to the current levy of 5.000,00 €. In view of that expected ETTU-decision it will assumed that the Entry Fees for players and Accompanying Persons will further increase.

–     Candidates for the ETTU – Veterans Committee

For the next ETTU-Congress in Ostrava/Czech Republic on 13th of September 2010 the ETTU has nominated the following candidates for the Veterans Committee:
“Bazzi,  Reto                            (SUI)
Filipovski,  Atanas                   (MKD)
Georgiou, Andreas                   (CYP)
Klugmann, Gunter                     (GER)
Dr. Kriz, Zdenko                     (SVK)   President or of Youth Committee
Schaler,  Eileen                       (ENG)
Torgov,  Mikhail                      (RUS)
Turkeri,  Yildirim                    (TUR)”

We have to remark that for more than 2 years this Committee consists on the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the President of Swaythling Club International as co-opted member only.

No Report of Veterans Table Tennis in Ostrava

There are the following 5 ETTU – Committees at present:Technical Committee, Youth Committee, Veterans Committee, Ranking Committee and Umpires and Referees Committee. During the ETTU – Congress in Ostrava on next Monday all Presidents of the above mentioned Committees will report about their fields of activity during the last period.

It is remarkable that only the President of the Veterans Committee will not report obviously on his field of activity (See ETTU Website). This matter of fact emphasizes our criticism impressively that Veterans Table Tennis in Europe feels  not represented in the ETTU by its Veterans Committee up to now.

2. WVC 2012 in Stockholm

From the 1st of October 2010 on you will find under www.wvc2012.com all basic tournament information in three languages (English, Swedish and German). This Website will be updated step by step.

Have a nice weekend.

Best Regards

Konrad (Steinkamper)

Congratulations to all those selected in the Victoria teams for 2010 and those nominated for a President’s team. This notice is addressed to you:

Dear Player,

We believe that the bonding of teams is very important in achieving success in any competition. To this end we cordially invite you to the following event.

Victorian Veterans Teams Selected Players Invitational Training Session

Hosted by: Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association Inc.

Venue: Coburg

Time: 9am to 1pm

Date: 3rd October (Sunday)

Fee: $10.00

(The fee is to cover hire of venue, and refreshments will be provided inclusive of that cost)

Format: Team Matches of 3 players, 11 rubbers, or Round Robins depending on entries received. An enjoyable morning of table tennis is assured.

RSVP by the 19th of Sept.2010

The venue is located cnr Murray & Newlands Rds Coburg Melway map 17 K10

I will attend.

Name:………………………………………

Phone:………………………………………

Email:……………………………………………….

Please give us your RSVP,

The Secretary PO Box 24 Inverloch 3996,

by no later than 19th Sept (or we’ll see you at the Mornington tournament the week before).

Report  1st AGM of the Victorian Veterans Table Tennis Association held 16 May 2010 at Dandenong.

Attendance:  63 members and some 30 or more interested observers.                                                           During an approximate 60 minute interval of the inaugural Vic Vets tournament at lunchtime, the chairman Jim Furness, read the Annual Report (published elsewhere on this site) which was accepted by acclamation.

Office Bearers were then elected with the appointments of Jim Furness as chairman, vice chairman Clive Sim, secretary/public officer Case de Bondt, treasurer Andrew Beaton, committee members Prisca Rosario, Margaret Mulcahy, Verna Ho and Roy Cintolo.

Many questions from the floor mainly dealt with the disappointing attitude of the Board of TTV towards the numerous attempts by the steering committee of VicVets, the past twelve months, seeking affiliation.  At all times VicVets endeavoured to work within the constitution and not break away from TTV, but most disappointingly are regarded with distrust and disdain.

It was stated that the present committee would continue to pursue affiliation with TTV, within the rules of the constitution, and would spare no efforts in achieving this goal, even if it could take another year and possible changes to the composition of the Board of TTV would ensure a better relationship.

The chairman expressed gratitude to the Greater Dandenong Table Tennis Association for the use of their stadium, for the cover of their comprehensive insurance to all and to Jason and his helpers for manning the canteen as well as helping with all other matters.

The following volunteers were also thanked: Referee Len Powell, Umpires Barbara Powell and Gordon Hayman and tournament controllers Debbie Brighton and Andrew Beaton.  A great debt of gratitude goes out to all concerned.

A pity that TTV did not see fit to recognise the tournament and award State Team Selection Points to the players, but all of them came because they enjoy playing  just the same. The planned and ‘sanctioned’ Dandenong tournament was cancelled because the Greater Dandenong Table Tennis Association had not applied to affiliate with TTV. When VicVets offered to stage the tournament instead, TTV wrote Dandenong to tell them they were all of a sudden affiliated after all and would they please hold the tournament! Needless to say this fell on deaf ears…

Case de Bondt, Secretary Vic Vets

Andrew Beaton wrote the following letter to Robert Katsipis who was one of our generous sponsors:

The tournament ran from 9.00am to 8.30pm, all except 3 events where finished by 6.30pm.

We allowed Buddy Reid to play in 7 events, he made the final in 6  of them!

The last half a dozen or so matches involved him, he was constantly playing from 2.30pm to 8.30pm.

Of the 33 events 3 where cancelled due to lack of numbers: O40 Men’s Doubles, O75 Women’s Singles and O80 Singles.

We had strong fields in the O60, O65 and O70 Men’s age groups.

Only 18 females played. Roma Chambers and Ivana Trnka being the strongest two.

Only Brian Berry and Jeff Dever from the top Victorian O40 and O50 men played. Ilya Goldenberg from Dandenong played.

But we had most of the top O60, O65, O70 & O75 Men’s players Buddy Reid, Igor Klaf, Mick Wright, Jim Kilderry, Peter Sheedy, Horst Frohlich, Case de Bondt, Roy Cintolo, Geoff Nesbitt, Hans Pappon, Peter Fischer, Chris Sykes….etc.

Of the better players in the older women’s age group we had Prisca Rosario and Margaret Mulcahy.

We had quite a few new players to the Veterans: Tanya Honson from Croydon (Mark Hall’s girlfriend for the last 6 weeks, you may have seen her at Bendigo, her great grandparents came from China, she herself is Australian born and quite an attractive girl), Kathleen Dight from Diamond Valley, Deniz Yener-Korematsu from Coburg and Shu Yun Tang from Dandenong.

Andrew de Zwart, Shane O’Connor and quite a few other players I have never heard of before, in the men.

Case’s eldest daughter, Debbie Brighton was the tournament controller; she is a good operator and did an excellent job.

We paid $2220 in total prize money, we got about $2000 in entry fees, which included the VicVets membership fee of $5, plus $499 in sponsorship including your $100. We paid $150 to the referee and umpires (Len and Barbara Powell & Gordon Hayman also was an umpire but wanted no payment).

VicVets started with $250 in the bank before the tournament and will have between $400-$450 after it (mostly made up of membership fees).

Thank you again for your generous sponsorship of $100 towards the prize money and the box of Andro balls.

We used 25 balls, we got 14 back, Arlene and I are going to use them as training balls. I will pay you $15 for them at the Vic Closed. Also do you want the 75 unused balls back, I can bring them to the Vic Closed on Sunday the 30th May.

Kind regards,

Andrew Beaton

VicVets Treasurer

MINUTES OF 1st AGM AusVets, October 2009

Minutes of 1st AGM AusVets  at the Hurstville Sports & Aquatic Stadium Sydney – 22 October 2009 Chairman pro tempore, Ken Cole opened the meeting at 9.00 pm in the Gym and welcomed some 110 players from all States and Territories. Following down the Agenda, which was published on the website http://www.ausvet.wordpress.com the Minutes of the Inaugural Meeting of October 2008 in Perth were adopted. Moved such by Martin Solomons, seconded Dave Sherman. Ken Cole then addressed those present and apologised for the loss of his voice. He went on to ask Martin Solomons to take over the chair. The secretary read out the Annual Report , which was accepted for information. The first item was the Proposed Constitution along the lines of the English VETTS published on the website. A few copies were distributed and the incoming committee will aim to formalize same, to be presented at next year’s AGM in Melbourne. Another one of the items in this Report concerned the Contact with TTA and the formal registered letter sent to TTA requesting affiliation of AusVet Inc. It was read to the meeting by the secretary. Even though 9 weeks had passed since the letter was sent, no response had been received from TTA. It was suggested from the floor that another attempt be made to communicate with the peak national body and indicate to them and assure them of our honourable intentions. A Financial Report was given by the Public Officer, Case de Bondt, who advised the meeting that $330 was expended to Incorporate AusVet in December 2008. It was moved by Trevor Taylforth, seconded by John Younie that the Registration Fee for Members be set at $5.00 per annum. Adopted by acclamation. Election of Office Bearers. Moved John Younie, seconded by Tony Herbert that Ken Cole be elected as Chairman. Declined by Ken Cole, but he did indicate he was happy to be on committee. Others to decline the chairmanship were Martin Solomons, Clive Sim and Case de Bondt. Elected as Secretary and Public Officer : Case de Bondt (Vic) Elected as Treasurer : Song Chen (ACT) Elected as Committee Members : Ken Cole (NSW), Ken Sands (NSW), Clive Sim (Vic), Tony Herbert (Qld), Gordon Lee (WA), Maureen Sherman (Tas). It was suggested from the floor that attempts be made to obtain representatives from South Australia and the Northern Territory to supplement the present Committee. Moved Trevor Taylforth, seconded Glenys Joliffe that these members be duly elected. Carried by acclamation. General Business. Ken Cole once again addressed the meeting regarding his concerns with TTA and the arbitrary imposts imposed on all veteran players the past few years without consultation with the Veterans Committee. A spirited discussion followed dealing with the very reasons as to why AusVets has come into existence. Several present suggested that we should “go it alone”, but the consensus appeared to lean towards keeping Good Relations and remain in Good Standing with our peak associations by using our membership base to speak with one voice to negotiate matters dealing with all things veteran and try to revert back to the modus operandi of the first 24 years of veterans table tennis in Australia. The meeting was closed by Martin Solomons at 10.15 pm.