Table Tennis For Me

a writing by Paul Butters

(Written Monday, December 24, 2007). Table Tennis is great fun. It can also be a very competitive game. I usually play at least twice per week at a place called "Clee Sports Centre". In fact I've regularly played local league ("club level") since the early 1970s. The leagues I've played in include Grimsby and Cleethorpes (25 years), Doncaster (about 4 years), Leeds (1 year) and Scunthorpe ( 1 match!). I played 4 matches in the Huddersfield League too, but not as myself (as "Alex" in 1971)! In Grimsby I've played mainly for "NALGO" club and also "Parkside".

My favourite table tennis rubber is Butterfly Sriver L, medium-thick sponge. Basically I'm a counter-hitter or counter-attacker but I try to play a "Total" or "All-Round" Game. Wish I could put more spin on the ball! Need to improve my footwork and my "short-game". My deadliest shot is a wristy backhand flick. Can block well against loop at times.

Time to blow my own trumpet. In Doncaster I helped win the 4th Division Title, and a 3rd Division Runners-Up medal. I also reached the semi finals of the "Lower Division Singles" (all in the 1970s). My Grimsby CV includes two 2nd Division titles, three 3rd Division titles and one 5th Division title (those were the days!). In 1999 I won the 3rd Division Individual "crown". 2000 saw us win "The Cup" (handicap tournament). Matt Dean was our star in the cup, taking many games off our higher division opponents. I've also got the dubious distinction of playing 4 times for Grimsby Veterans third team.

Gladly league relegations only number five that I can recall. Right now I play for NALGO E in Division Two along with Ken Chesman, Trevor Winslow and recent signing the legendary Kev Cooper. Don Newton is Club Secretary. Trevor's wife Val specialises in grabbing us tables at our local carvery. By my reckoning our team lies sixth in the table and we aim at least to maintain this status.

PS 22\8\08 - Actually we finished 8th, enough to stay up (just). Sadly in June Ken passed away with cancer.(In November 2006 we also lost inspirational player Terry Smith who died in a boating accident). Next season I have opted to play for the very bottom team in the league. Hope to make them second from bottom or better! A fresh start for me and I may give them some tips. Roll on October! Loved the Olympics. Let's Attack!!!!

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