Table Tennis returns to Lisburn

Lisburn Racquets Club is the venue for the revival of table tennis in Lisburn, following successful elite training sessions there prior to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the staging of the annual Junior Interpro Championships there in April.

Saturday, 6th September 2014, 3:30 pm
Patricia Hunter, left, Chair of the Irish Table Tennis Association had a meeting with Lisburn City Council last week, with the hope that the council will get involved with the Ulster Open and Ulster Junior Open. Alderman Paul Porter, middle, came along to chat to some of the Table Tennis players who were at a three day training camp.

Catering for everyone, and showing that table tennis is truly a “sport for all”, Table Tennis sessions are commencing on Wednesday September 10.

The play on Wednesday nights will take place alongside the Ulster Squad and their High Performance Coach and Irish No 1 John Murphy, so everyone will have the opportunity to watch the best Ulster players in action during their practice - and hopefully pick up a few tips.

It is also planned to have former Ulster Interpro/Irish International players attending from time to time.

Patricia Hunter, left, Chair of the Irish Table Tennis Association had a meeting with Lisburn City Council last week, with the hope that the council will get involved with the Ulster Open and Ulster Junior Open. Alderman Paul Porter, middle, came along to chat to some of the Table Tennis players who were at a three day training camp.

Lisburn was a vibrant centre for the sport of table tennis for many many years, with the likes of Cecil Walker involved as Team Captain of Irish Teams playing in the European League, Karen Senior (now Walker) who played for Ireland at many events as well being a Doubles Bronze Medalist at the Commonwealth Championships in the late 70’s, Thomas Heasley (Irish International at Senior level), Louise Gibson (now Taggart) who played for Ulster and NI, and many more besides.

Lisburn had its own table tennis league alongside the Belfast & District League, with stalwarts like John (Junior) Lockhart and John McArdle administering the action. There were teams from Churches, schools, Lisburn and Dunmurry Golf Clubs, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club all participating, with annual Inter League matches against the Belfast League. Anahilt produced the best team at that time, with Alistair Cairns, Freddie Brown and Roy Copes winning the All Ireland Clubs Cup and representing Ireland in Austria at the European Club Cup.

With Table Tennis now experiencing an upsurge in popularity, it is hoped that this venture at the Racquets Club can be a new beginning for the sport in Lisburn.

The planned outcome from these sessions is a Club for Lisburn table tennis players - and anyone with an interest in this exciting fast sport and who wants to get involved on a volunteer/playing basis should either contact Amanda Mogey or leave their name at the Racquets Club reception.

Coaching will be held for Beginners/Improvers aged 7-13 years old between 7pm - 8.30pm, and an Open Session 8.30pm - 10pm for adults and teenagers from 14 years (pay and play, £3 per session).  

Beginners/Improvers need to register with Amanda Mogey ([email protected] or 028 90 383811) who has been eyeing up potential talent at the Racquets Club’s summer scheme. Cost for Juniors: £3 per session or £27 for 10 week block (payment in advance) - with bats and balls provided. Coaching, fun and games will be available every evening with the sessions led by Jennifer Thompson (Level 2 Coach and former Irish No 1 who played at many International events for Ireland and Ulster) and John McFaul (Table Tennis Ireland Level 2 Coach and Ulster Masters Coach).