Alf Perry (left) and Charles Usher, who won silver in the men's Over-85 doubles

Members of the VETTS (Veterans English Table Tennis Society) returned home with a collection of medals from the recent World Veterans Championships in New Zealand.

The 50-strong VETTS contingent were among 1,600 players from 60 countries who competed in age categories from Over-40 to Over-85.


Geof Bax, currently No 2 in England’s Over-80s, added a doubles MD80 gold to the gold he has won in the singles in the 2012 World Championships in Sweden with German partner Gunter Kraus.

Irish eyes were smiling when Teresa Devaney took gold in the Women’s doubles O/60 with Russian partner Larissa Andreeva. The Ireland/Russian combination had a comparatively easy 3-0 final against a German pairing, which was welcome relief after a nailbiting semi-final against two Chinese players when three of the five sets were decided on deuce.


All-English pairing of VETTS regulars Jan Johns and Helen Shields took silver in the women’s doubles O/50s, losing in the final 3-1 to a Japanese pairing having put out a strong Korean combination in the semis.

Jan Johns and Helen Shields

The silver medals for Helen and Jan were all the more special given that Jan’s participation in the event was in doubt after she broke her wrist in a fall at the VETTS National Championships a month earlier and only had the cast removed a few days before competing.

Alf Perry returned with a brace of medals, partnering Charles Usher for silver in the Men’s Doubles O/85s and collecting a bronze in the Men’s Singles O/85s.

Brian Hill, who is top 20 in the VETTS O/50s and top five in the VETTS O/60s, competed in the World’s O/70s, where he was runner-up to take the silver.


Sue Collier, England’s top women’s veteran, took bronze in the O/40s doubles with Sarah Sandley, ex-England representative who now lives in New Zealand. However, it was not without an early hiccup when the pairing qualified through the group stages after a countback which relied on points scored.

Geoff Bax added to his growing collection of World Championship medals with a bronze in the Men’s Singles O/80.

England was also represented by Lynda Reid and Harry Jutle as umpires.

Full results are available here:

by Susie Hughes
(May 21, 2014)