Veterans 6 Nations Opened by ITTA President

The Six Nations Veterans Championships commenced this afternoon with an address from the ITTA President, Joseph Hickey;

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Whilst Brian Finn is too modest a man to have allowed any mention of his work on the organisation of this event in to the official programme, I am delighted to be able to acknowledge his magnificent contribution not only to this event, but also to the management of veterans’ table tennis in Ireland.

To everyone else, I am pleased to extend to you a ‘Cead Mile Failte’ or a hundred thousand welcomes, to this 2013 Veterans Six Nations Championships at the ALSAA arena in Dublin.

Whenever I watch matches, I see part of the magnificence of table tennis. Ours is a sport that requires considerable athletic ability. It also requires mental agility and tactical awareness. But most of all, it requires you to combine all of these abilities, if you are to succeed.

Over the next 3 days, competitors will strive to deliver that perfect loop, that vicious chop, that short push or that stunningly disguised serve. People will cheer the successful outcome, or agonise with you if the ball fails to reach the desired destination.

However, veterans’ table tennis is about more than just sporting success. It is a celebration of life. It is a shout to the world that the passage of time has not dimmed the desire to enter the sporting arena and continue the athletic endeavours of our earlier years.

Veterans’ table tennis has done a magnificent job in ensuring that as Father Time marches on, we are able to continue that journey, playing our sport with team mates and fellow competitors on an equal footing.

Whether today is your first international selection, or another step in a long and illustrious career, if you look around this hall, you will see team mates, fellow competitors, coaches, umpires, event organisers, family and friends. You will see people, who are sharing every moment of this Six Nations Championships with you.

When the last shot has been played on Sunday, and whether our contribution was on or off the table, let all of us who have taken part in this great celebration of table tennis, be able to say with an inner calm of quiet satisfaction, ‘ we did our best’,

Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude now, by formally declaring this Six Nations Championships open, and let competition begin.

Joseph A Hickey


Irish Table Tennis Association