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State Representation    


Table Tennis Victoria is the governing organisation for the sport of table tennis in Victoria. The body is affiliated with the national body (Table Tennis Australia), which in turn is affiliated with the international body (International Table Tennis Federation). 


The state body can trace its humble beginnings back to 1925; however, the body was not officially known as the Victorian Table Tennis Association until 1930.


Table tennis had been introduced to Australia prior to 1925 – historical records show that the sport was played before the 1900s, primarily under the control of the YMCA. Indeed, early records show that a Ping Pong Championships were held in Adelaide, South Australia in 1898 and “The Brisbane Courier” published an article on 6 June 1902 highlighting the holding of a local YMCA table tennis tournament held in Brisbane which attracted over 170 entries.


Whilst the game was played in many of the major cities in the early 1900s, it was a temporary craze that subsided after several years.


On 11 July 1925, “The Age” newspaper records the momentous inception of the Victorian state body in the following article:



The indoor game of ping pong, or table tennis, is coming into popular favour again, and some city firms and institutions have had tables erected, and are making the game a feature of their social programmes. At a meeting of delegates held at the Y.M.C.A. this week, it was decided to form a ping-pong association. Fourteen teams have entered. These have been divided into two grades and will compete in a pennant competition of home and away matches, to be played every Wednesday evening. Two more teams will be admitted to B grade should their applications be received immediately. The draw for the first round is as under:- A Grade: North British v. Harbour Trust, Commonwealth Bank v. Y.M.C.A., National Mutual v. Brighton Tennis, James Hardie and Co. v. Broken Hill Pty Ltd.  B Grade:- Broken Hill Pty. Ltd. v. St. Stephen’s, Y.M.C.A. v. Camberwell, Commonwealth Bank v. Trustees & Executors. On tables of first-named clubs.


By 1928, the state body ran under the banner of the Melbourne Table Tennis Association which is evidenced by an article published by “The Argus” newspaper on 14 October 1927:



The Melbourne Table Association will hold its third annual championships at the Y.M.C.A., Prince’s Bridge, commencing October 21.

Whilst there are no reliable historical records describing the governance structure of the new body, several newspaper articles record Mr A. W. Champion as the first honorary secretary.


By 1930, the body had adopted the name of the Victorian Table Tennis Association and “The Age” newspaper on 15 October 1930 carried this advertisement for the Victorian Open:



Commencing on Tuesday, 28th inst., the Victorian Table Tennis Association will inaugurate its fifth annual open tournament. The contests will take place at the Y.M.C.A., Prince’s Bridge, and play will commence at 7 p.m. The tournament will be confined to four evenings, viz., 28th, 29th and 31st October and 3 November.  Entries will be received up to 6 p.m. on 21st inst.


The body published its first annual report in 1930, which described the election of Mr A Williams to the office of President as “a move in the right direction”. The services provided by Mr Williams to the state association were described as invaluable – and it is fitting to note that the first President of V.T.T.A. went onto become the longest-serving President spanning the period 1930 to 1947 (activities being suspended between 1942 – 1945 due to World War 2) and was inducted as a Life Member in 1949.


The Australian Board of Control (later known as Table Tennis Australia) was formed in 1933. In the same year, the first Australian Championships were played at Melbourne, with teams from Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia participating, and only men players competed. Affiliation with the lTTF occurred in 1936, and in the same year, the second national championship meeting was held, with events for women added to the program.


In 1961 Australia was granted the option to hold the World Championships in Melbourne 1967. However, in 1966, the ITTF took the championships away from Australia because the Australian Government advised that it could not guarantee the provision of entry visas to any players from North Vietnam, and the championships were re-allocated to Stockholm.


Pennant completion was now regularly played in Victoria with many metropolitan and country affiliates holding their own local competitions. The State Pennant came to be dominated by a number of teams, particularly St Kilda Cricket, Coburg, Albert Park, and in the early 2000s by Dandenong.


The state body has been conducting the annual Victorian Open tournament since 1925 – and with many champions over the years, three players stand out from the rest. Suzy Javor won the Ladies Singles title from 1957 to 1967 – an astonishing 11 consecutive times. This was matched by Jian Fang Lay – in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. This record has only been recently matched by Simon Gerada who has won the Men's Singles title on 11 occasions – 1999 to 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2015.


Returning to state body governance, there have been many persons who have sat on the Board as a committee or executive member – and indeed, there are 29 persons inducted as Life Members. However, it would be remiss not to note the outstanding services provided to the state body by Ronald Jones who was Secretary from 1936 to 1951 – a period of some 16 years interrupted only by the outbreak of World War 2. And, turning to financial matters, the service provided to the state body by Eric Leder as Treasurer from 1962 until his sudden death in 1986 – a period of some 24 years – is unlikely to be ever matched again.


The state body maintains honour rolls for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer. Further, the state body maintains honour rolls for Victorian Open Singles Champion, Victorian Closed Singles Champion and Victorian Country Teams & Singles Champion.


The state body has also established a Hall of Fame – with 5 divisions – Seniors, Juniors, Veterans, Paras & Country. There are currently 30 players inducted into the Senior Division, 40 players inducted into the Junior Division, 32 players inducted into the Veterans Division, 10 players inducted into the Para Division and 14 players inducted into the Country Division.


TTV also presents the following annual awards –

  • French Award for Senior Player of the Year;
  • Coburg Award for Senior Player of the Year;
  • Sokolowski Award for Veteran Player of the Year
  • Rosario Award for Para Player of the Year;
  • President’s Award for Distinguished Service;
  • Guggenheim Award for Volunteer of the Year
  • Javor Award for Coach of the Year.
  • Singer Award for Official of the Year
  • St Kilda Cricket TTC Award for Affiliate of the Year


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