Active Life is an exercise programme especially designed for the over 50’s that can include more than one activity in each session.
There are a broad range of activities giving a variety every day of the week. Fitness class, gym session, go for a swim or the multi sport sessions which include Table Tennis, Mini Tennis and Badminton.
Joan has been going to the two hour table tennis sessions for about 5 years, starting as a beginner. The standard varies from beginners, people starting again through to improved players now in the local league. I go along with Joan, when I can, to support table tennis coach, Sandra Rider who runs the Table Tennis and Mini tennis on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
There are 10 table tennis tables with an attendance of about 30 and two mini tennis courts attended by up to 15.
Some people switch between table tennis and mini tennis.
It is a very social group and Sandra also organises separate events such as annual ten pin bowling and the Xmas lunch.
Sandra has vast experience both as player and coach and still plays at League, County and Internationally as a veteran. She also has medals at Veteran European and World Championships.
Sandra Rider, on the right, with her Bronze Medal in the over 60’s Ladies Doubles event at the World Veterans Table Tennis Championships, 2018, held in Las Vagas. Her doubles partner Shirley Gelder is on the left.
I have played in leagues since I was 16, including mostly full seasons in Leeds Division 1 for 50 years for Victoria Table Tennis Club, until 4 years ago when I moved to Leeds Judean Table Tennis Club.
Joan and myself decided to join Sandra at the Veterans World Championships in Alicante in 2016. I lost all my group games three straight, although the other player who went into the Over 70’s Consolation with me won it.
Joan led a lady from Brazil in the Over 70’s Singles by 2 games to 1 before losing in the 5th.
People just seem to keep on playing table tennis.
Last week, I was short of two players for my team’s first Summer League match in Leeds Division 1 against Lawnswood YMCA A team. I thought I may have to re-arrange the match but was given two lower division players. Step forward Malcolm Shedlow, age 86, and Dennis Fisher, age 80, who both started playing for Leeds Judean Table Tennis Club in the 1950’s and spent many years in Division 1. I am only 75 so brought the average age of my team down to 80.
Leeds Judean table tennis C team in the Leeds Summer League against Lawnswood YMCA A team at the YMCA on 4 June 2019. Dennis Fisher, aged 80, Mick Burton, age 75 and Malcolm Shedlow, age 86. Photo by Mark Bleakley of Lawnswood YMCA.
Our opponents were Mark Bleakley, Ankush Vidyarth and Kiran Babra with average age early 40’s. The result reflected our respective ages!