The next generation keep up table tennis tradition

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The Bennetts are making it a family affair in table tennis as sons Jack and Josh will compete in the National Schools’ Finals.

Each son won their regional schools tournament age category at St Leonards academy and will represent the county in the nationals on April 20th. The brothers will compete in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

The Bennett family from Wannock who are all successful table tennis players. February 19th 2013 E08114P' (L to R):  Jack Bennett, Joelle Bennett, Josh Bennett and Teresa Bennett.

The Bennett family from Wannock who are all successful table tennis players. February 19th 2013 E08114P' (L to R): Jack Bennett, Joelle Bennett, Josh Bennett and Teresa Bennett.

The pair are also part of the Sussex County junior side and Jack Bennett has already made his debut for the senior team aged just 16.

Jack said, “Playing against seniors is a different style but I try to play the same. Other older players don’t like playing against me because of my age.” Jack is balancing his sport with his studies as he is completing his GCSEs this year at Willingdon Community School. He added, “I try to get my homework done first and in between table tennis.”

It is a case of history repeating itself for the Bennett family in table tennis.

Mum Teresa was part of a successful siblings act in 1976 where they achieved similar triumphs. Spookily, it was one daughter and two sons in that generation too.

The Bennett family from Wannock who are all successful table tennis players. February 19th 2013 E08112P' (L to R): Joelle Bennett, Jack Bennett, Josh Bennett and Teresa Bennett.

The Bennett family from Wannock who are all successful table tennis players. February 19th 2013 E08112P' (L to R): Joelle Bennett, Jack Bennett, Josh Bennett and Teresa Bennett.

This time around the three children - Jack, Josh and Joelle – have positive ambitions at a young age. Jack and Josh already have eyes on representing England, whereas Joelle, 11, is focused on winning a few matches first.

Mum Teresa said, “I am chuffed they have carried on the family tradition. I do see a bit of me and my brothers in these three at times when I watch them. I’d love to get them up to all-England standard.”

The three have plenty of coaching to ensure this ambition could become a reality. The boys currently train together four times each week across Sussex as well as playing at school. Joelle regularly joins them when possible.

Teresa added, “I am very proud of them. I’m always telling them that they were born with a bat in their hand and naturally they have plenty of ability.”