Table tennis has experienced incredible growth in the nation’s capital over the years, and that growth is about to be rewarded.
From 12 to 13 March, for the first time, the ACT will host a leg of the Table Tennis Australia Tour along with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
With 116 of Australia’s top players set to descend on Canberra this weekend, the event will be held at the Tuggeranong Indoor Archery Centre in Greenway.
Table Tennis Australia CEO Scott Houston said securing a leg of the tour was a just reward for the ACT.
“Table Tennis in the ACT has gone from strength to strength in recent years,” he said. “It makes perfect sense to bring premier national events to Canberra given the ongoing growth of the sport, plus the proximity for interstate competitors.”
One of the reasons for the growth in the sport in Canberra has been the progressive ‘can do’ approach from the Table Tennis ACT board, led by Heather Tomlinson. Heather’s 18 year-old son Archie, one of the ACT’s top players, is looking forward to competing in the Canberra Tour against Australia’s best.
The progressive nature of the club has resulted in the employment of a full-time coach, former member of the Greek national team, George Logothetis.
There is now adult coaching for the first time, while the juniors continue to grow from strength to strength.
Australian Olympian and Paralympian, Melissa Tapper, has become an ambassador for Table Tennis ACT this year, and she will be involved in a talent identification camp in the lead up to the Tour event. The table tennis community expects that this, coupled with the motivation generated by seeing top players in action, will see growth in the sport reach new heights.
The first leg of the National Tour will feature a range of Olympians and Paralympians with age groups ranging from 11 years to open.
There’s plenty of enthusiasm around the sport in Canberra – head down to the Table Tennis ACT facility adjacent to Kingston Oval any time of the day and there’s a fair chance there will be a ball flying over the net.
Such is the growth of the sport in Canberra that the centre – though too small to host the highly anticipated Table Tennis Australia tour leg – is now open 24/7, every day of the week, yet still there is not enough room for all who want to play.
That growth, nurtured by an active volunteer base, has been recognised on numerous levels including winning awards for event excellence and being named the Table Tennis Australia Club/Association of the year in 2021.
Table Tennis ACT is now looking to build a bigger facility to cater for the significant growth in the sport.
If you are interested in knowing more about Table Tennis ACT, visit the website.