UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

If you thought that Racketlon was a sport for the youngsters (i.e. those aged 64 or less) - then think again, Wilf Jessop makes the impassioned plea for the older generations to come out in force.

Ask yourself:
- Can you stand at a table-tennis table without having to lean on it for support...??
- Can you bend and pick up a badminton shuttle from the floor without getting dizzy when you straighten up...??
- Can you hit a squash ball at the front wall hard enough that it actually reaches the back wall...??
- Can you hit your big first serve at tennis, then get your second wind in time to play the next shot...??
Seriously though, it's increasingly being recognised that sportsmen of, shall we say, more mature years still retain the desire to play and compete - and ideally with their contemporaries, i.e. players of a similar age to themselves. For this very reason, the FIR (the governing body of world Racketlon) recently voted to introduce a "+70" age category into the sport. This age-group will feature for the first time in the World Singles Championships, later this year in Germany.
Here in the UK, although we probably aren't quite geared up for that just yet (the Scandinavians got a bit of a head start on us by inventing Racketlon before we were really ready), we HAVE made a significant breakthrough this year: for the first time in domestically-inaugurated competitions, both the ENGLISH OPEN and the NATIONAL BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS will feature a "Over 65s" age category!! This is in addition, of course, to the existing "Over 45s" and "Over 55s" age-groups - something for everyone!
So now there's no excuse for you sporting Dads (and Grandads!). Take the plunge into Super-Seniors Racketlon! The more of us that give it a go, the more enjoyable and successful these two tournaments will be.