Athletes of the Nation, Istvan Jonyer newest member

A richly deserved award for Istvan Jonyer (Photo: Micheller Szilvia) Awarded to Hungarian athletes over 60 years of age, who continue to play decisive roles in sport, Istvan Jonyer, winner of the men’s singles title at the 1975 World Championships in Calcutta, was inducted into the Athletes of the Nation order on Friday 21st May. Overall, 12 athletes comprise the group, a vacancy arising following the passing of Sarolta Monspart earlier this year on Wednesday 21st April; in 1972 she became the first non-Scandinavian female runner to win the World Orienteering Championships. Existing members of the group made the decision, eight being physically present, the remaining three keeping on contact by phone. A margin of 50 per cent of the vote required to gain

Orange Order of Orange-Nassau bestowed on Han Gooten

Han Gootzen recognised for his contribution to the community (Photo: courtesy of Bert van der Helm) Presented on Monday 26th April, a total of six men and one woman received the Member of the Order of Orange-Nassau; one such recipient was 62-year-old Han Gootzen from Uden. A national holiday, known as King’s Day, the day marks the birth of Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, the award is made in recognition of outstanding service to the community in general. In addition to being Chair of the Business Events Uden Foundation from 2013 to 2017 and being a mainstay at Uden Hockey Club, in 1969 Han Gooten became a Board Member of the Netherlands Table Tennis Association, serving for 24 years. More recently, in the

ITTF Veteran International Calendar

The scene in 2019 in Shenzhen The ITTF Veteran calendar for 2021 – 2022 is currently as follows: 2021 Saturday 15th May: Hostinne, Czech Republic – International Tournament Saturday 22nd - 23rd May: Albena, Bulgaria - 8th international tournament Saturday 12th June: Prague, Czech Republic - International Tournament Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th July: Albena, Bulgaria – 23rd International Festival Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th August: Varna, Bulgaria - 21st international tournament Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th August: Burgas, Bulgaria - 10th international tournament Friday 27th – Sunday 29th August: Albena, Bulgaria – 8th int. team championshipsCancelled Saturday 4th September: Liberec, Czech Republic - International Tournament Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September: Sunderland, England - Vetts North Eastern Masters Friday 10th – Sunday 12th September: Karlskrona Veteran Open, Karlskrona, Sweden Sunday 26th September

Historic date: 50 years ago, Australian Ping Pong Diplomacy

Paul Pinkewich, a member of the 1971 Australian team (Photo: ITTF) Much has been written over the years about the United States team visiting China, following an invitation received at the 1971 World Championships in Nagoya; the outcome being that the following year Richard Nixon, President of the United States, visited the world's most populous country. However, less well known is that the Australian table tennis team also accepted an invitation from the Chinese government; Wednesday 21st April marks 50 years since those wearing the colours of the green and gold, stepped foot on Chinese soil. Australian Ping Pong Diplomacy was enacted, matches, training sessions and cultural visits being the order of proceedings; the effect closer relations were established between the two countries,

Leszek Kucharski, newest member

Leszek Kucharski at the 1981 World Championships in Novi Sad (Photo: Malcolm Anderson) Born on Wednesday 8th July 1959, Poland’s Leszek Kucharski is the latest member of the Swaythling Club International. The now 61-year-old competed in eight World Championships commencing in 1997 in Birmingham, before being ever present from 1981 in Novi Sad to 1993 in Gothenburg. Most notably in 1985 in Gothenburg, alongside Stefan Dryszel, Andrzej Grubb, Andrzei Jakubowicz and Norbert Mnich, he was a member of the Polish outfit that secured bronze in the men’s team event. The performance matched the best ever from a Polish men’s team at a World Championships; significantly, it marked 50 years since their first ever success. In 1935 in London, the trio of Aloizy Ehrlich, Loewenhertz

Libuse Uhrova in our thoughts

Libuse Uhrova, always a warm gentle smile (Photo: city of Pardubice) Born in 1935, Libuse Uhrova, perhaps better known by her maiden name, Libuse Grafkova passed away on Friday 9th April; suffering from cancer, she was 86 years old. A career which started in 1947, she was a member of the Czechoslovak national team from 1952 to 1963, occupying top spot on the national rankings throughout 1957 and 1958. In 1992 Libuse Uhrova with Steve Boros, Ichiro Ogimura and Ferenc Sido (Photo: Ebby and Diane Schöler) Playing days over, from 1964 she turned her attentions to coaching, firstly at the Sokol Pardubice club; then later in 1974 at T.J. Tesia. Displaying initiative, she fostered international matches against Yugoslavia, as well as for a period of

Toni Borg remembered, a role model for future generations.

Toni Borg, in 2012, as ever competitive (Photo: Christian Heyerdahl) A stalwart member of the Swedish men’s team, in his prime some six decades ago, following a period of two weeks in hospital, suffering from Covid-19, Toni Borg passed away on Saturday 27th March. He died just two weeks short of what would have been his 84th birthday; he was born on Saturday 10th April 1937. A debut when only 17 years old, he played 29 international matches for Sweden, participating in the World Championships in 1957 in Stockholm and two years later in Dortmund. Additionally, he competed in the 1960 European Championships in Zagreb, the second edition of tournament. Lining up alongside Hans Alser, Tony Larsson, Bjorne Mellström and Stellan Bengtsson, silver was

Message from President, Swaythling Club

by Eberhard Schöler, President Swaythling Club International At a recent meeting of the Executive Committee held via Skype the subject of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) was discussed. We are very conscious that according to our constitution we should have had an AGM at the World Championships in Busan during 2020, but as you all know this was not possible as the event was cancelled amidst the Covid pandemic. It was then planned to have the AGM in Busan in 2021 on the rearranged dates, but again this was not possible. The Executive Committee would like to hold the AGM in 2021, with elections, but at the time of writing await an announcement from the ITTF as to when and where the World Championships might take place.  If this again proves impossible we will look to

Courting controversy but a true sporting personality, we remember Chester Barnes.

Chester Barnes, the racket his trademark by Diane Webb & Ian Marshall England international, Chester Barnes passed away on Thursday 18th March; born on Monday 27th January 1947 in Forest Gate, east London, he was 74 years old. He died of a heart attack. Always known as Chester but in fact legally George. The legend is that his father suggested “Chester” after the entertainer, Charlie Chester, one of the most celebrated comedians, radio and later television presenters of the era; a man who could talk the hind leg off a donkey! Perhaps it suited, Chester Barnes was no mean conversationalist. It was an era when England needed a table tennis star; Diane and Rosalind Rowe, alongside Johnny Leach, being world champions were household names, but

Alan Hydes remembers distinguished official

Alan Hydes pictured with Maurice Goldstein win 1982. A former President of the English Table Tennis Association in the 1978 New Year’s Honours List, Maurice Goldstein received the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire). Throughout his life, Maurice Goldstein worked tirelessly for the sport of table tennis, especially in his home city of Birmingham.