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.

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