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From broken hearts to breaking records… Table Tennis celebrates historic win

Team Captain Gabby (Year 12) is proud of her team's achievements

It’s been a record-breaking season for Wesley Table Tennis, winning the APS Firsts’ Table Tennis Premiership for the first time in history, sharing the title with fierce rivals Haileybury, who have dominated the competition since 2002.

This is an incredible achievement for Wesley’s only co-ed, multi-generational Firsts’ team, who used the disappointment of last year’s narrow loss as a ‘learning opportunity’ and ‘motivation to improve.’

‘Rather than viewing last year’s loss as a setback or a failure, we saw it as an opportunity to improve as a team and as individuals,’ said Team Captain, Gabby (Year 12). ‘We had to be resilient and stay focused. Our team hasn’t changed much in the past few years, and a lot of the younger players have really grown and improved in their abilities, which has been amazing to watch.’

When Gabby first joined the Firsts’, she was one of the only girls on the team. Now, female members, selected on merit, make up half the team most weekends, and more than hold their own in terms of ranking. ‘It has been incredible to see such an increase in the number of girls playing in the team,’ said Gabby.  ‘I feel very proud to be leading such a diverse group of people.’

Nelson (Year 9) has been part of the Firsts’ team since Year 7. ‘Being part of a multi-cultural, co-ed team with a female captain has been a really positive experience for me and shows how inclusive the environment is at Wesley,’ he said.

‘I used to think table tennis was just a simple fun game, but there’s so much more to the sport. It challenges me both physically and mentally, requiring quick decision-making and strategic gameplay. It has also helped to improve my emotional regulation and mental toughness, as the fast paced and competitive nature of the sport requires concentration, adaptability, and resilience.’

‘It’s super exciting to finally win the premiership,’ said Gabby. ‘We have been working towards this goal for a long time, so to be able to achieve it in my final year makes it even more special. But what will remain as my fondest memory from my experience as Captain is our team debrief sessions, usually over brownies, after every Saturday morning match.’

‘Gabby is such a knowledgeable and encouraging leader, bringing optimism and enthusiasm to every training session and match,’ said Nelson. ‘Simple things like bringing home-made baked goodies for the team to enjoy together after sport each Saturday is something we really enjoyed and appreciated. She has truly set the standard for our team and our team captain in the years to come.’

‘This historic premiership is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our players and coaches. Their application and commitment to the sport is second to none amongst the APS,’ said Head of Wesley Table Tennis, Luke Bertucci. ‘We now look forward to defending our Premiership as all dynasties begin with one win!’

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