Swaythling Club Reception in Rimini

Present at the reception: (left to right) Lilamani de Soysa, Harvey Webb, Gloria Wagener, Claude Bergeret, Hans Westling, Reto Bazzi, Michael Theis, Torben Günther, Ina Jozepsone, Øivind Eriksen (Photo by Diane Webb)

by Diane Webb

The Swaythling Club International Reception (SCI) was attended by 33 members, guests, sponsors and prominent officers and officials on Thursday 30th June at the Stag European Veteran Championships in Rimini, Italy.

Also present were representatives from the 2023 World Veteran Championships (WVC) in Oman and the 2023 European Veteran Championships in Norway.

Gloria Wagener, Michael Theis, Beverley Godfrey (Photo by Diane Webb)


It was a time not only to socialise but to show appreciation to the retiring members of the WVC whose role has now finished due to the ITTF taking over the running of these Championships from 2023 in Oman.

The retiring WVC Committee of Hans Westling, whose brainchild the WVC was and without whom the Championships would not have developed in such a successful way, along with Ina Jozepsone, Michael and Christoph Theis, Torben Gunter and Reto Bazzi were presented with trophies to acknowledge their contribution.

Torben Günter and Hans Westling (Photo by Diane Webb)


Also in attendance was Gloria Wagener who was made the first ever Honorary Life Member of the SCI in 2020 in recognition of the many years she had dedicated to the SCI, she was accompanied by her twin sister, Beverley Godfrey.

A pleasant evening which not only gave the opportunity to give thanks to the many dedicated officials but also a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Günther Klugmann, Lilamani de Soysa, Øivind Eriksen and Vivek Kohli (Photo by Diane Webb)


Six players were the invited guests of the SCI at the EVC, they were Valentina Popova of Slovakia, formerly of the Soviet Union.

Popova gained two gold medals – in the over 60 women’s singles and over 60 women’s doubles partnered by Hungarian, Gabriella Ivasko, her opponent in the singles final.

Valentina Popova and Zdenko Kriz (Photo by Diane Webb)


The other invited players were Dimitar Karaivanov of Bulgaria, Dimitry Abramenko of Israel, Jean-Louis Lamarre of France, Risto Salo of Finland and Istvan Szalai of Hungary.

Szalai was also a medallist reaching the semi-finals of the Over 75 Men’s Doubles with Istvan Batorfi.

Pedro Moura, Ina Jozepsone and Øivind Eriksen (Photo by Diane Webb)


It wasn’t all pleasure for the SCI Executive, however, Reto Bazzi, Claude Bergeret, Oivind Eriksen, Lilamani de Soysa and Harvey Webb had two lengthy meetings to discuss business.

Richard Scruton was unable to be present due to his commitments for the European Table Tennis Union and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England where he is the Competition Manager.

Zsolt-Georg Bohm, Claude Bergeret and Reto Bazzi (Photo by Diane Webb)