u3a

Burnham on Crouch

Table Tennis 1

Status:Active, full but can join waiting list
Leader:
Roy Hutchins Tel: 07388 153930
Group email: Table Tennis 1 group
When: Weekly on Monday afternoons
2:30pm - 4:30pm
Venue: Dengie Hundred Sports Centre

The group can be described as 'friendly competitive'... The main focus being on enjoyment, exercise, socialising and improving your standard. All abilities are welcome - there are several good players that keep the rest striving to match or even beat them. It's PAYG, just a few pounds, when you attend the session. Fees payable to the group leader in the main hall. There are three tables and it is mostly doubles played. Numbers are limited so that at busy times you are not sitting out too long.

Nothing ever seems to appear in this newsletter mentioning these two well-attended, and quite long-standing groups of our u3a. It's my fault, so here goes with a bit of history and what's going on to date.
The Table Tennis 1 (Monday) session is the original group. It was started and run by Yvonne Charge way back in the 90's. They played at the Dengie Hundred Sports Centre on tables that were acquired from the closing Bradwell Power Station Sports and Social Club. It was well supported and enjoyed by both Ladies and Gentlemen of Burnham and the Dengie area.
Members were rediscovering their old talents from youth club days and some from more recent days when playing in the local Table Tennis league. It continues still today, running with 3 tables available for two hours, mainly playing doubles. Yvonne eventually found it too much to look after so I initially took it over in 2017. Phil Bevan offered to take the helm from me and ran the group until Covid lockdown! I picked up the leadership again when restrictions were lifted. Back in 2014, however, a few of us thought we weren't playing enough! So we started a second, slightly more energetic group on a Wednesday afternoon at the same venue. I soon became the group leader and this second group is still going strong. Amongst our Wednesday members are some that also compete for teams in the Burnham and District Table Tennis League (albeit in teams that occupy the lower positions of the lowest division!)
All three Table Tennis tables were initially owned by the u3a and were of a fold and roll design. Due to many years of use they were starting to show their age, our u3a kindly offered funds and the worst table was replaced with a new one (which arrived as a flat pack, a challenge in itself!) We somehow transported the old one to a new home. Last year the Sports Centre decided that the remaining two old tables had become too rickety for their staff to roll in and out of the store (we weren't allowed to move them for Health and Safety reasons). They said they were willing to purchase two new tables for the centre - great, but we had to dispose of our old ones. Diligent use of a loaned trailer, my car, and copious lengths of rope: we got them delivered to their new owners - not without incident I hasten to add!!!
But that's another story…
The Monday group could possibly accommodate a new member or two but, unfortunately, the Wednesday group is up to full numbers. It's thought that Table Tennis is good for keeping (slightly older) people's mental and physical agility. That's what we all say when we go home and slump in a chair after 2 hours of nearly non-stop ping pong.
-Roy Hutchins