Table tennis club going great guns
Often it’s the other way around, but for 23 years a Tawa-based table tennis club was exclusively for women.
The Tawa District Mid-Week Table Tennis Club has 50 members today and there is a waiting list.
On Tuesday mornings – and two Thursdays a month – during winter the Wellington Red Hackle Pipe Band clubrooms next to Redwood train station are packed with table tennis players.
This year the club celebrates 50 years with a lunch on July 30.
Treasurer Terry Roche said it had humble beginnings in June 1966.
‘‘A group of women got together – they were young mothers who wanted their own activity,’’ he said. ‘‘The men were often off doing their own thing and the mothers wanted to do something social and be active.’’
The Rewa Ladies Table Tennis Club began its days at the Catholic Hall in Rewa St. In 1969 it shifted to the Linden Community Centre, before another move to its present location in 1987.
It became the Linden Ladies Table Tennis Club in 1976 before adopting its present name in 1990.
Club captain Cheryl Ransom said the decision to accept men in 1989 wasn’t unanimous.
‘‘It went to several votes before it was carried,’’ she said. Today, the 50 members are split 50/50 between the sexes.
Roche, who began playing because there was a table at his workplace many years ago, said the social side of the club was important.
‘‘It becomes a routine, especially in winter. It’s fantastic and fun and you look forward to seeing the same faces.’’
The Tawa club is entirely populated with retirees, some coming from as far as Makara and Waikanae. One regular just celebrated her 90th birthday.
Some play for fun, others are more serious and will take part in interclub.