TWO brothers from Trillick were at the forefront of a successful world record attempt at Ormeau Table Tennis Club on Thursday night of last week.
Keith and Gervis Knox, who formed the club with another brother, Trevor, and Phil Jamison four years ago, decided in order to help lift the profile of the sport and to raise funds for the Mary Peters Trust that they would attempt to beat the world record for the most consecutive opponents in a table tennis rally.
“We met up with the Trust months ago to come up with an idea to promote the club and the Trust, and initially we thought about running a celebrity tournament, but we weren’t sure if that would appeal to enough people,” Gervis explained.
“Then the idea for a world record was floated and we needed to do some research because most of them are quite long and aren’t that interesting.
“When we found out about this record and because we have around 200 members we thought it was achievable so it evolved from there.”
The previous record of 108 was achieved by Stephen Gertsen and the Ipswich and District Table Tennis League, but on Thursday night, Keith, who like his brother is a former member of Clogher Table Tennis Club, faced 112 opponents to pass that mark.
After the 113th player failed to get the ball back to him, the Ireland and Northern Ireland player jumped on top of the table to celebrate their success before receiving a celebratory hug from a delighted Dame Mary.
“We thought we could do it but to actually go out and do it is absolutely amazing,” a relieved Keith said afterwards.
“We couldn’t have done it without the Mary Peters Trust, who have been exceptional in the organisation of it and to gain some money for the Trust is amazing.
“I was getting nervous. I’ve played a lot of matches in my day and this is definitely on a par with the amount of pressure you get in a match. It’s a great feeling to get the world record.”
FULL STORY IN YESTERDAY’S ULSTER HERALD…