Keenagers

BTTA has swung behind a new spin on our sport. Keen-Agers is a brand of recreational table tennis tailored for players aged from about 50 and up. Keen-Agers is strictly a social and stress free enviroment with no pennant structure, the emphasis is on an informal social game with a low cost of $3.00.

The Game promotes good health through Aerobic, balance, flexibility and coordination elements as well as exercising the mind.This is a good opportunity to come along and make new friends with people of similar age and interests. The Keen-Agers program boasts recuperative benefits after surgery, illness or injury. Sessions run for about two hours and envolve 20 to 40players, both women and men with a range of skills. Most matches are doubles with time-out for a courtside cuppa and chat.

Keen-Agers is growing in poputarity with more than 20 clubs allready opperating in Victoria and Ballarat has a wounderfull group who always look forward to seeing new faces joining them. BTTA's Keen-Agers is played at Ballarat Table Tennis Centre on Dowling st North in Wendouree. The session is played on Fridays starting at 1:00 pm and going through to about 3:00 pm. Dont hesitate to call the stadium for more details on (03) 5339 2680 or just show up on friday and join in.

The History of Keenagers Table Tennis

John Gale was the driving force behind Keenagers, a regular table tennis player for several years in Mornington, he moved to Bairnsdale in July 2001. Four months later the local branch of Keenagers was up and running.

Keenagers is for older residents and retirees in local communities and is promoted as an enjoyable physical activity in a friendly social setting.

News of the success has spread. The State Government is interested in the programme, along with peak Victorian agencies that support older adults. While John was the energetic whirlwind behind Keenagers, he said the project would not have succeeded without the support of key stakeholders and a skilled management committee.

There are over twenty Keenagers groups throughout the state, with more in the pipeline. Support from the Vic Health Life Be In It programme has enabled this to grow from its humble beginnings in Bairnsdale.

Groups involved in falls prevention, cardio rehabilitation and other health services, for example, have become fertile recruiting grounds – professionals recognise the benefits of encouraging people to attend their local Keenagers.

Many people who attend Keenagers have experienced the benefits of getting involved in regular physical activity. For wider development John has deliberately engaged local government and regional sports assemblies because they have networks and can offer support.

Taking the time to identify key stakeholders and develop good working relationships with these groups and organisations has been essential to the successful development of Keenagers. While these groups and organisations can help provide players, contacts and the all-important media coverage, it is the stadiums where the table tennis sessions are held that, in many respects, are the life force or the death knell of the project. They are also often the hardest to lock in.