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98-year-old table tennis player impresses at Simcoe Seniors Center


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Margaret Gretel Hansel from Simcoe, a lithe 98-year-old table tennis player for her age, says she has been playing the sport for some time at the Simcoe Seniors Centre.

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And she plans to keep playing as long as she can.

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“I can't say in advance,” she smiled after the session on Thursday morning with nine table tennis friends. As long as someone wants to play with me

Hansel remembers first trying the sport at the senior center after suffering a wrist injury.

I had a broken wrist and I needed practice to move it, and that's when I started.

“I was younger then,” she added, laughing.

Someone who is 98 years old and plays as well as she does was really impressed, nodded Bill Leng, table tennis leader at the senior center. We have to take it easy, we can't destroy it, but Gretel is very good.

The average age of the center's table tennis players is about 75, he noted.

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Skillful with the table tennis bat, Hansel's hand-eye coordination is immediately noticeable. She doesn't win much, she admits, but sometimes she does.

I'm just trying.

Staying active is very important, she says.

You have to do something. You know, if you sit still, that's the end. You have to be busy and you have a reason to live. I'm looking forward to coming here to play twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Hansel, who enjoyed birthday cake with her table tennis friends at the Simcoe Seniors Center on Thursday, officially celebrated her 98th birthday.e birthday Saturday February 10 with family in London.

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