Alice Kennedy has actively avoided becoming too competitive at table tennis, even though sheâ€™s been playing provincially for years against her fellow seniors.
The member of the Mellow Yellow table tennis squad has several medals from various B.C. Seniors Games events held over the years, including bronze, silver, and a gold.
Sheâ€™ll be back this year competing in Langley.
Her love of the sport goes back decades. She and her late husband George installed a ping pong table in their basement.
â€œWe could play all year,â€ said the retired teacher, who spent 24 years of her career at Langleyâ€™s Simonds Elementary. â€œWinter came, you could still play.â€
Playing with family and friends evolved to playing with her fellow seniors with Mellow Yellow 10 years ago.
The team members usually play doubles because they want to maximize the use of their tables.
However, at the Seniors Games, there are singles competitions, doubles, and mixed doubles, all broken up into multiple age categories for players from their 50s to those approaching the century mark. Kennedy has played in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles over the years.
Aside from the age categories, there are two major groupings: recreational and competitive.
Kennedy has always wanted to stay in the recreational side of play, where she says the event is all about having fun.
You have to move up to competitive if you win a gold medal in recreational, which Kennedy did several years ago. However, she then took a few years away from the Games, and was allowed to return to the rec side of things when she came back.
While she isnâ€™t planning to become highly competitive, she isnâ€™t going to give any opponents an easy time.
â€œIâ€™m not aggressive, really,â€ said Kennedy. â€œBut I play to win.â€
In addition to playing, Kennedy is hoping to do some volunteering with the Seniors Games now that theyâ€™re here in her hometown.
Named a Langley Senior of the Year a few years ago, sheâ€™s active volunteering for groups like the Langley Seniors Resource Centre.
â€œItâ€™s important to stay active as a senior, itâ€™s important to be a part of your community,â€ Kennedy said.