Farsley 70-year-old achieves dreams of becoming national table tennis champion

A 70-year-old from Farsley has achieved her dream of becoming a national champion for the first time after defeating a host of rivals - almost 40 years since she started the sport.

By Daniel Sheridan
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 4:45 am

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Sandra Rider, who is a member of Pudsey Table Tennis Club, started playing the sport as a teenager.

However, she gave it up for a period before taking it seriously in her early 30s.

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A 70-year-old from Farsley can now say she is the best senior table tennis player in the country after defeating a host of rivals in the national championships.

She has now spent nearly 40 years competing - before finally achieving her dreams of becoming the best in England for her age.

Sandra headed to Wolverhampton on May 14 and 15 to take part in the national veterans table tennis championships, playing in the over 70s category.

Astonishingly, she took home the prize in both the singles and doubles championship - winning a trophy for her efforts in each.

Speaking to the YEP following her victory, Sandra said: "I started playing at the age of 13 and stopped at 18 then started again at 32 and haven’t stopped since.

A 70-year-old from Farsley can now say she is the best senior table tennis player in the country after defeating a host of rivals in the national championships.

"I played in a group of four on the Saturday in the singles and then on the Sunday I played three more people to take the title.

"I have never won the National singles title before, but have been trying for 30 years!"

Sandra reached England Number Two in the Veterans ranking list at the age of 41.

She has taken her sporting prowess around the globe.

"I have won a World Bronze medal in Las Vegas and a European Gold in Courmeyer Italy plus two European bronze medals in Bremen and have won competitions in many other different countries", Sandra added.

She now offers coaching for over 50s, based at Armley Leisure Centre two days a week under the Age Friendly scheme.

To learn more, search tabletennisplus.

"I still can’t believe I won it", Sandra said.