Members at BATTS TTC in Harlow could be forgiven for thinking they are seeing double as no fewer than four young sets of twins are learning the sport at the club.
The four pairs of non-identical twins – all boys and aged within 16 months of each other – have started playing as beginners in the past 18 months.
Ethan and Jack Willis are the ‘veterans’ of the group, having joined in March of last year. Ethan has already attended more than 100 training sessions and had his first tournament success in April, reaching the semi-finals of the BATTS U13 Super Series (Band 2).
Sam Taylor was the next to arrive at BATTS, when still 10, in September 2016 and is now training three times a week as well as starting to compete in tournaments. His twin brother Woody often came to watch and decided this summer that he also wanted to play.
He now has his sights firmly set on catching up with Sam, who recently became the first of the twins to reach the national ranking list.
Toby and Xander Petch appeared on the scene in October 2016 and have reached the intermediate squad and have begun entering competitions.
The fourth set of twins, Panos and Stavros Apostolidis, signed up in May 2017 for regular coaching after a series of visits by a group from their primary school, Kingsmoor Academy. They have made a very enthusiastic start – and even breaking his right arm playing football did not stop Stavros from playing his table tennis as he switched to his left hand for the early part of the summer!
BATTS coaching co-ordinator Graham Frankel said: “It’s remarkable to have so many sets of twins at the club and they are all enthusiastic and developing as players.
“The coaching team is delighted to see how well the twins have settled in, mixing well with each other as well as the rest of the players.
“It will be fascinating to follow their progress over the coming years. Above all, we hope they will continue to enjoy playing.
“We’d be delighted to welcome more sets of twins, maybe some girls to even things up a bit, or perhaps we can find a set of triplets!”