AMONG those present at Celbridge Mill to greet Senator Eamon Coghlan on 28 March was talented table tennis player, Sadbh McLaughlin and her father, Philip.
The pair entertained part of the crowd with a demonstration of her skills.
Sadbh started playing table tennis on the McLaughlin kitchen table when she was five after watching her brother, Art.
Art was last season’s Leinster Boys U.10 champion, and says, Philip who taught both to play, Sadbh looks set to following in his footsteps.
The 7 year old progressed fast through Leixlip Table Tennis Club, and now plays for Club Donic in Lucan. She trains for around an hour most days each week under the watchful eye of Tommy Fitzgerald.
Sadbh, who will start competitions in September, attend Griffeen Valley Educate Together National School, along with her brother.
The school has just started an after school table tennis club. Her other interests are swimming and dancing with Dance LA in Leixlip.
Philip, who played table tennis in primary school and took up the sport again in later life, has completed the ITTA Level 1 coaching course. HeI now play for Leixlip Table Tennis Club and coaches in Club Donic, Lucan,Griffeen Valley Educate Together School, Lucan, North Kildare Educate Together, Celbridge, The Mill, Celbridge and Salesian College, Celbridge
Said Philip:”I feel that table tennis is a fantastic sport which does not get enough recognition in Ireland. At advanced levels it involves high concentration, speed, accuracy. It is very physically demanding but it can also be just a great fun that all ages and genders can participate in.”