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The death has occurred of Bertie Levinge

The Association is sad to advise of the death of Bertie Levinge on 24th August 2021 at the age of 98.

As a player Bertie appeared at many veteran and interpro events in Ireland and will be remembered by all who knew him as a formidable competitor, a great character and a true gentleman.  

Bertie’s best performances outside Irelandcame in 2004 at the World Veterans Men’s Over 80s Singles and Doubles in Yokohama, Japan where he became a double world champion.  He had previously been runner-up in the World Over 70 Singles event in Manchester in 1998. 

At European Veteran events, Bertie won the Over 70s title in Vienna in 1995.  He was also a finalist in the 2001 European Over 75 Singles in Denmark and won the Over 80 Doubles in the 2007 European Championships in Rotterdam.

He was a credit to the Irish Table Tennis Association which he represented with distinction throughout the World.

On behalf of the Board and the Membership, we extend our condolences to his family and all who knew him.

Rest in Peace Bertie.

An online book of condolence is available on the link below:

https://rip.ie/cb.php?dn=468612 (rip.ie)

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Best of Luck Colin Judge in the Paralympic WQT

We would like to wish the very best of luck to Colin Judge who has flown out to Slovenia to compete in the Paralympic World Qualification Tournament. The tournament takes place in Laško, Slovenia from 3rd to 5th of June.

The event organisers in Slovenia will be streaming some of the competition on their YouTube channel; see the event website for more information on this, plus for times and days that Colin will be competing on via their app. Also, keep an eye out on our social media as we will be sharing further details on Colin’s games.

Keep up to date on the tournament by clicking this link https://wqt2021.si/

Best of Luck Colin from all at Table Tennis Ireland!! 

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Eimear Breathnach elected President of Paralympics Ireland

Former Para table tennis player Eimear Breathnach was elected as the President of Paralympics Ireland at their virtual AGM last week. Eimear has been a Vice President with Paralympics Ireland since 2015. Eimear represented Ireland at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. On behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the Association, we would like to congratulate Eimear on her appointment and we wish her the best of luck during her four year term as President.   

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Sport Ireland Diversity and Inclusion Survey

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Sport Ireland recognises that sport can make an important contribution to economic and social cohesion and a more integrated society by using the potential of sport for social inclusion, integration and equal opportunities, whilst emphasising the total unacceptability of discrimination in any form.

In order to broaden the scope of our work in the area of Diversity and Inclusion, Sport Ireland is seeking to develop a Diversity and Inclusion policy, the content of which will be informed by a widespread consultation and research process. The Diversity and Inclusion policy document will include tangible targets and actions areas against which Sport Ireland, its funded organisations and partners can work to promote inclusion and respect diversity in relation to participation in sport and physical activity.

Help make sport more diverse & inclusive for everyone by taking part in the Sport Ireland’s Diversity & Inclusion Survey.

Check the link to complete the survey: http://surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZN5JC66

#funsafeinclusive

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Paralympics Ireland’s New Campaign, The Next Level

Paralympics Ireland have launched a new campaign “Next Level”. Which will help support Ireland’s incredible Irish Paralympic Athletes, including our very own Colin Judge on the road to the Tokyo Paralympics and beyond as they bring human achievement to ‘The Next Level’. This campaign is about giving Para athletes full credit for their remarkable level of performance.  

This campaign gives the Irish public an opportunity to have an impact on Irish sporting achievements in a way that has never been available before. Every donor will know that they have played a key role in helping Irish Para Athletes achieve major results on the world stage. Irish supporters are rightly known around the world for their vociferous support of their sporting heroes, now we are asking those amazing supporters to support this unique campaign. 

To donate click the following link https://justgiving.com/campaign/paralympicsireland, for further details on this campaign check out their website https://paralympics.ie/ or their various social media channels. 

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Double Gold for Colin Judge in Poland

Colin Judge emerged the winner in the Men’s Singles (Class 3). The no.4 seed, in the final he beat Korea Republic’s Kim Jinsung (11-9, 11-8, 17-15), having in the penultimate round ousted Poland’s Maciej Nalepka, the top seed (12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9).

In the Men’s Team (Class 3) event, Colin Judge alongside the French pairing of Alexandre Delarque and Nicolas Savant-Aira emerged with victory. These three players were the most successful male players on duty at the 2020 ITTF Para Polish Open in Wladyslawowo. This second title gained by Colin Judge was not to be expected. 

Next up for Colin is the Costa Brava Para Open which is taking place next week. 

Para Malmo

Report from the 2020 Malmo Paralympic Open

A Para Development Squad travelled to Malmo, Sweden, last weekend to represent TTI in the annual Malmo Paralympic Open Competition. The squad was one of the largest in recent years with 12 players from all three Paralympic classes and three provinces represented. Indeed the Irish squad was the largest single group of players among the 8 countries, 40 clubs, and 124 players who entered the Malmo Open this year. Supporting our 12 players were coaches/managers/minders Susan Keating and Mick Cunningham, along with additional coaching from Rachel, Hiroto and Chinatsu, who also assisted when coaches were under pressure to cover all of the matches. Mick also provided the entertainment but, alas, what was said in Malmo, stays in Malmo….!  While our overall approach to the competition was one of developing the skills and confidence in our emerging players, our overall medal toll tells us that we are well on the way on that journey – a whopping 2 gold, 5 silvers and 2 bronze medals with an additional 5 quarter-finalists in the knockout stages of a number of classes.

Friday 7th involved all of the doubles matches. Gerry Commins won gold (partnering Arnoy Brede of Bergen) in the Wheelchair Doubles final, where the final opposition was provided by our own Mark Henderson and Alicia Winter, on a score of 3-1. In the standing doubles, Aaron Mellows and Matthew Collins progressed to the last 8 of the knockout stage, but were unlucky to come up against the top seeds and eventual winners and lost 3-0. Matthew Flynn and Conor Halpin qualified for the plate event in the Standing Doubles, but lost out in the last 8. So, a great start with 1 gold and 2 silver medals plus a quarter-final placing in a knockout stage.

Saturday 8th saw matches for players over 21 years organised across 3 mixed performance classes along with a Youth (U/15) class for both wheelchair and standing players and a Junior (U/18) class for both wheelchair and standing players. In the largest class – Performance Class 3 – Gerry Commins, Mark Henderson and Patrick Sweeney qualified out of their respective groups, but were beaten at the last 16 of the knockout stage. Aoife Kelly and Aaron Daly both went through to the last 16 in the plate, but lost out at that stage. Gary Sorenson enjoyed a wonderful run in the plate and eventually finished joint third winning a bronze medal – mission accomplished for both Gary and Susan! In the Junior Standing event Matthew Collins qualified out of his group but lost out at the last 8 in the knockout stage, while Aaron Daly, Matthew Flynn and Caoimhe Folan went into the plate but lost out at the last 8 stage. The undoubted highlight of Day 2 came in the Youth Standing class where Conor Halpin, playing very well throughout, won the plate final. In the same class Aaron Mellows was very unlucky to finish outside of the medals in 5th place. So, another gold medal plus a bronze medal for Ireland!

Sunday 9th presented the Squad with competition in singles matches in their respective Paralympic classes. Here we enjoyed our largest medal haul and some outstanding performances. In class 3, Alicia Winter went into the plate event and eventually made it to the final where she finished second, winning a fine silver medal. In class 3-4 combined, Gerry Commins and Mark Henderson also progressed into their plate event where Gerry won a silver medal and Mark, losing out in the semi-final, won a bronze medal. In class 7 both Matthew Flynn and Caoimhe Folan lost out in the last 16 of their plate event. In class 8 Conor Halpin fared better in getting to the last 16 stage of the knockout event, but eventually lost out here. In class 11, Aoife Kelly, Matthew Collins and Aaron Mellows qualified out of their respective groups into the knockout stage. In an unfortunate draw Aaron and Matthew were pitched against each other in the last 16 and, after a titanic struggle, Matthew prevailed on a 3-2 score. Both Matthew and Aoife failed to get beyond the last 8 stage having been beaten by the eventual finalists respectively. In the plate event Gary Sorenson went out in the last 16, Aaron Daly and Patrick Sweeney progressed into the last 8 where they were drawn to play each other. Patrick prevailed 3-1 and eventually he made it to the final where he lost out 3-1 despite playing very well. So, a medal toll of 3 silver and 1 bronze for Day 3.

Finally, thanks to the coaches for their unfailing enthusiasm and encouragement of the players; thanks must also go to all our players for a wonderfully competitive attitude over the weekend and for being great ambassadors for themselves and for TTI; last, but not least, special mention must go out to the family members who travelled to Malmo to support the players and who contributed to a very enjoyable social experience.

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Help Colin Judge to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Colin Judge in action

This year will see Colin Judge embark on a qualification campaign all around the world in an attempt to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Colin has 3 missing limbs and Table Tennis is the sport that gave him an outlet through some very difficult times. His dream is to represent Ireland and win a medal at the next Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020!

 The typical costs for an athlete to help prepare, travel, compete, qualify and participate in the Paralympics would be in the €40,000. Giving Colin any bit of help, no matter how big or small, can really help take the pressure off Colin and his family in a very important year.

Here is the LINK to the GoFundMe page: