'Congratulations to the Goulburn Club for the initiative they showed in organising the inaugural Southern NSW Teams Tournament.
A Northern Division Tournament has been successfully held for a number of years and it is extremely pleasing to see the Goulburn team use their initiative to provide a similar event for Southern NSW.
The tournament took place on the weekend of 28 and 29 October and featured 16 teams split into two separate divisions.
Invitations were issued to most of our affiliated Associations in Southern NSW with a very positive response from Berrima, Kiama, ACT, Blayney, Nepean, Wollongong, Central Coast and the host Association of Goulburn. Unfortunately the Wagga Wagga teams were a late withdrawal due to personal circumstances.
Players started to arrive in Goulburn on Friday night to prepare for the tournament which commenced at 8.30am on the Saturday morning.
After a brief word from the head of the organising committee, John Lees, the games commenced. At this stage I should mention that the Goulburn Centre which is located on the grounds owned by the Goulburn Workers Club is named the John Lees Centre. This was appropriate as he was responsible for sourcing the, soon to be demolished, premises and ensuring they were converted to the excellent venue it is today.
From the outset the Goulburn team had decided that the weekend must be a social event as well as an opportunity to display skills at our game. To ensure this was possible the games were timetabled to allow a break of around 90 minutes between matches. This proved to be an excellent idea as it allowed the players time to recover and indulge in the necessary social side of our game.
Food was constantly supplied by the team, at a price well below market, with special dietary requirements catered for in an efficient manner. Drinks were also provided again well below market price.
Division 2 commenced the proceedings on Saturday and it was almost immediately obvious that the visitors from Kiama were going to be difficult opponents. The only hope for the opposition was that they would be extremely sociable and not able to maintain the form after these activities were finished. The opposition were sadly mistaken and although the Kiama team did participate fully in the social side of things they were still too good on the Sunday.
The Goulburn Division 1 side made it clear that this was their tournament and teams were going to have to play extremely well to wrest the inaugural crown from them.
Sunday morning saw an early start again with breakfast being supplied by the team from 7.30am onwards. This ploy to ensure players arrived on time on Sunday worked extremely well.
At the finalisation of the event medals were provided to winners and runners up with the results being
- Division 1 winners were Goulburn No. 1, Chintan Trivedi and Mike Turner with the ACT team of Kim Niu and Faisal Pirwani as runners up
- Division 2 winners were Kiama Kings, John Nieborak and Vinh Phan with the Goulburn team of Andrew Howlett and Richie Jiang as runners up.
A tournament such as this does not happen without a great deal of work and local assistance. In this regard we should acknowledge the assistance given by the following
- The Goulburn Mulwarree Council who provided gift bags to all participants and ensured that all the people present were aware of the virtues of the area when their Tourist Information bus arrived at the venue and passed on valuable information to all present. Thank you, Council and staff, for your efforts
- Members of the organising committee of the Goulburn Club who were able to cover the late withdrawal of the Wagga Wagga teams and still ensure everything ran like clockwork.
- Table Tennis World for their sponsorship of the tournament even though Paul Pinkewich dropped a table tennis table on his foot ensuring he could not attend.
- All the participants in the tournament for their attendance, sportsmanship and desire to enter into the social aspects of the tournament.
- The spectators who turned up regularly with many players from past eras regaling us with tales of how things were in the past.
Once again congratulations to the Goulburn team who will be hosting a bigger and better tournament next year.
Table Tennis NSW'