By Michael Doran
On the 10th of March 2009 at the Yarra Centre,13 people played the first games of the Yarra Junction Keenagers Table Tennis Group, but only 11 paid the twenty cent surcharge for coffee and biscuits.
When asked how it started, group organiser Egon Fink reached for his notebook, where he has every detail recorded for the last 10 years, including who has and hasn’t paid for the biscuits.
“I was doing water aerobics and one of the people from the centre came up with the idea and asked me to run it,” he said. “I had nothing in mind or any plans but the word spread and more people turned up.
“We has two tables on the first day but they were not great. I knocked on the door of all the businesses in Yarra Junction and asked for money, only two didn’t give us something.
“We spent the money on balls and later on we asked the Bendigo Bank for some sponsorship. They gave us a grant to get new tables and they have helped us a bit since then.”
The group now has eight tables and plenty of balls for the 30 or so players that come to the sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9am.
“Whoever gets here first starts setting up the tables and that’s a great thing about the group. Everybody just jumps in and does whatever needs to be done without asking, we are all working together to help each other have a good time.”
Egon said that the group is all about friendship, having fun and keeping fit. “It’s a really happy place to be and we would love to see more people come and join in, all they have to do is turn up and we will welcome them.”
With the help of Yarra Ranges council, the group is having a ‘10th Birthday and Open House’ on Tuesday 5 March from 9am to 2pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and have a game and enquiries to Egon Fink on 0412 400 007.