Shed skills come to table tennis rescue

National coach Eva Jeler and Ted Smith from Hobson Bay Men's Shed with some of the specialised equipment. (Damjan Janevski) 255727_03

Benjamin Millar

When the nation’s elite table tennis players perform on the world stage, Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed will be looking on knowing they have played their part in the journey.

Shed participants came to the rescue when Table Tennis Australia put out a call for specialised equipment to assist in the training of Australian table tennis athletes including Olympic and Commonwealth Games squads.

Whilst widely available in Europe, the equipment is not generally available in Australia.

Armed with advice on the specifications and designs from Olympic and Commonwealth Games coach Eve Jeler, Men’s Shed member Ted Smith swung into action and built the equipment, making it available via Sunshine West-based table tennis centre LOOPS.

Jeler – a highly respected world class coach – said the equipment has helped in training the country’s top players.

“The athletes have enjoyed using this equipment and it has considerably benefitted the training program outcomes,” she said.

LOOPS general manager and head coach Joe Gerada said the centre has supported the national squad over the past 18 months with many training aids including gym equipment and items like the specialized equipment delivered by the Men’s Shed.

“We at LOOPS are overwhelmed by the dedication and the example shown by the national squad and the innovation of the national coaches like Eva,” he said.

Mr Smith said that the equipment delivery has needed to be phased in between several of the 2021 Covid 19 lockdowns.

“Thanks very much to the generous assistance provided to the Men’s Shed by Hobsons Bay Council in conjunction with our material and tooling suppliers for this project, Newport Timber, Get Woodworking Altona and Urban Salvage Spotswood,” he said.