75 and Going Strong

6 years ago

PingSkills News

Hi Alois

You might find this hard to believe but at the age of 75 I am still playing competitively and even crazier still hoping to improve!

I am English and have lived in France for the past five years. Table tennis here is very well organised, lots of clubs with excellent facilities all provided by the government. The funding of sport here for the community is a million times better than the UK which came as a surprise to me. I started as far back as 1949 playing in the leagues in the UK and continued for around 45 years giving up finally in my late 50’s. When I moved to France in 2007 I had not played for around 15 years but decided to join a club just for fun and to enjoy it, I had no intention of taking it seriously again. My first visit was a bit intimidating, a large hall with about 20 tables with some very fit young men bashing the ball hard with a coach barking instructions.

In all my years in England I never had a coach, I just learned as a kid and that was that! After a few months going down to training sessions I got the bug again and was invited to play for the 5th team. I now play three times a week with a match on Fridays and two other training sessions. Since I last played the game has developed enormously and the vast range of types of bat and rubbers was mind boggling. I have finally settled on a Butterfly chop for the forehand and Stiga long pip Defender on the backhand. I play at a modest level but the great thing for me is the pleasure I get from it. To my surprise I feel I am improving and my win percentage is now coming up to 50%. One nice thing about playing at an advanced age is the pain of losing is less than it was mainly because I am so grateful to be still playing! When I watch a young kid doing his nut having been beaten by the old man, it makes me smile. It’s a bit like looking at an old film of what I used to be like!

I spotted your Pingskills site on the web recently having looked at one or two of your videos which were very interesting so I decided to join up.

Best wishes

Bill Clarke


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