BUDDING Moray table tennis players will be able to learn skills in the sport from Scotland’s new national team coach.
Sessions at Moray Table Tennis Club resume on Monday, September 4 at Elgin Academy led by former Welsh international Stephen Gertsen.
A sports lecturer at Moray College, he was recently appointed as Scotland’s national table tennis team coach, having previously coached the Wales and England teams.
His vast experience in the sport could benefit young players in Moray or anyone looking to take up table tennis for the first time. Gertsen started up the club last year along with international umpire Ken Kennedy, and is aiming to attract more people for the second season.
“We managed consistent numbers last year, not amazing but the club is still very much in its early stages,” he said. “We are looking to push on this year and keep it growing. Some of our members have come on loads, youngsters who couldn’t even hold a bat before. They were the ones who had never tried it before, they gave it a go and are now going to Aberdeen for training days and are looking to maybe enter their first competition this season.”
Moray Table Tennis Club holds Monday sessions between 5.30 and 6.30pm for junior players aged between eight and 18, led by Gertsen. But any blossoming young talents who want to get extra practice may be able to join adult sessions led by Ken Kennedy at the same venue between 7 and 9pm on Mondays.
Gertsen was delighted to land the Scotland coaching position while continuing to do lecturing with the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness and Elgin, where he coaches his sport as well.
“I’m still doing the Moray club because I’m lecturing in Elgin on the Monday, but I’ve taken on a part-time role as head of the national squad of Scotland,” he said.
“I go down to Glasgow once a month for weekend training camps and residential camps. A lot of the players in the international squads are coming from Glasgow, Edinburgh and a few from Aberdeen but we are looking at the Elgin and Inverness areas because there’s not any players from that area.
“It would be great to get someone from Moray to international level in the future. If they keep training hard and we keep building the club, I would love to see someone from here to one day be representing Scotland at these events with me.”
For more information on Moray Table Tennis Club sessions and how to join, email: email@example.com.