Veteran saves club

By Michael Roberts | posted on March 15, 2020

IT WOULD be hard to find someone who’s given as much of their life to table tennis as Albany’s Peter Muller.

Since moving to the Great Southern in 1994, Muller almost single-handedly saved the Albany Table Tennis Club from going under.

As he tells it, there were only about eight players left, the club didn’t have a committee or any money and there were bills to pay.

Fast-forward 26 years and he’s managed a remarkable turnaround, with the club’s Friday social league hosting about 60-70 players each week.

“When I took over the club it was almost extinct, but since then it has grown and grown,” Muller said.

“Now we have 14 tables going.”

Muller has been President of the Albany Table Tennis Club for more than 25 years – a feat recently recognised and celebrated at the club’s AGM.

Even before his time in Albany, the sports fanatic ran his own table tennis club in Perth, where he coached young players and resided as president for 26 years.

But according to Muller, nothing beats the feel of a community sports club in a regional area like Albany where volunteers are more than willing to help out.

“Country people are different; you couldn’t have something like this in the city,” he said.

“It’s like a big family here, everyone gets on well.

“There’s no cliqueness in the club.

“A lot of people say it’s the best club they’ve ever been involved in. There are always new people coming along.”

Muller’s passion for the game goes beyond managerial duties.

The spritely 81-year-old competes in the Over 70s State Championships every year, as well as the Country Championships.

And while he obviously still loves to play table tennis, Muller said he was hopeful someone would eventually step up to the president role.

“I’ve given table tennis my life,” he said.

“I’ve been trying to step down for the last five years, but no one would take the job.

“I am training a vice-president and hopefully he will take over.”