Group celebrates 50 years of table tennis

table tennis 50th

The Bundaberg and District Table Tennis Association has celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special event on Saturday night.

Many present and past members gathered at the centre on Kendalls Road for the festivities and to look back the long history of the Bundaberg club.

Secretary Rhonda Dawson said the club was first formed after an advertisement, placed in the local paper in 1968, called for prospective players to get together.

She said Larry Taske was elected as the first president but things got off to a slow start upon realising the players did not have any tables.

“Members built four or five tables and official play commenced in 1969,” she said.

Not too many years later, in 1972, Rhonda said the club moved to the hall in Hanbury Street, North Bundaberg.

“At the time there were six tables and, the popularity of the sport had grown the club to 90 members,” she said.

“Fixtures were played two nights a week and there was a social play on Friday nights and Sunday mornings.”

Table tennis 50th year cause for celebration

In 1991 the club made another move, from Hanbury Street to their current premise on Kendalls Road where Rhonda recalled lots of “blood, sweat and tears” that went into the construction of the large building.

She said since the move, many changes had taken place.

“We still only have seven tables for competition but up to 14 tables can accommodate schools and the junior competitions,” she said.

“The centre has been expanded to accommodate new toilets and showers, disability amenities, a new canteen and a storeroom among other things.”

Rhonda also said there were many fantastic staff and players at the club who continued to mould the skills of the junior players, including president Phil Freeman and development officer Dave Delpratt.

“The club has some very talented juniors, a lot of whom have come from the school programs,” she said.

“These juniors have been encouraged and coached by our development officer Dave Delpratt and many senior players who have given their time so freely.

“We owe these players many thanks for their time and effort that they have put into the juniors, with some of them now state and national ranked players.”

The table tennis 50th year anniversary celebration included an annual awards presentation with over 130 guests enjoying the evening.

To find out more about Bundaberg Table Tennis go to the Facebook page here.