Vets hit the table tennis champs

Ann-Louise Stewart, Monica Deeth and Pam Clarke preparing for the championships.

By Allan Clarke

The Queensland Veteran Table Tennis Championships hit-off at Brisbane’s giant Downey Park stadium this Thursday and will wrap up next Sunday night. The Rockhampton Association has three players representing the city in the over-50 women’s team section.

While Ann-Louise Stewart, Monica Deeth and Pam Clarke look a fairly solid team on paper, the competition is full of stars from all over the state and they will probably have to play to their best to wind up towards the top end of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the lightning team’s event. Overall, the tournament has attracted record entries and organisers will have a very busy four days.

The carnival is virtually the selection process towards the Australian Veteran Championships that are scheduled to take place in Darwin early in October. At the conclusion of the team matches and a series of individual singles and doubles events across all the age groups reserved for the masters of the sport state teams will be selected.

Stewart and Clarke will be hoping for some favourable results as they have nominated for state selection while Deeth is happy to assist with Rocky team-related duties and is unavailable for consideration to attend the nationals.

In other representative news the city’s leading player, Joel Coughlan, remains in solid preparation for the Paralympics at Tokyo where he will represent Australia. There are many strict conditions he has to uphold in the lead-up to him joining the national squad prior to departure for Tokyo.

Due to this commitment Coughlan is unavailable for the current season of fixtures in open grade at the Leichhardt Park playing centre which commenced two weeks ago.

There have been plenty of top-quality matches in this fixture where basically players are grouped into divisions according to their current standard and take part in two singles clashes. In the four-person per side format split into two sections the doubles ties are different to the normal in that the doubles combinations are drawn from each sub-team which adds interest to the ten-week competition.

Club Nights continue on Mondays from 7.30pm and people of all abilities and ages, including social players, are welcome to attend.

Youngsters wishing to start playing the sport can attend the regular junior coaching sessions on Thursdays between 4.30pm and 6.00pm. Equipment is available for beginners and qualified coaching personnel is always on hand. All of the younger players in the club’s top-grade competition have come through the local junior coaching program.