Veterans World Table Tennis Championships in Oman – January 2023
We are always interested to hear about the interesting past times and hobbies of our contractors. We place a spotlight on our contractor ‘Kevin Anderson’. Kev is 52 and a British national living and working in Houston’s, Texas in the energy sector for Worley as Completions Manager on BP’s Mad Dog 2 project. Kev has been an Orion contractor since 2019. Recently Kev travelled to Muscat, Oman to take part in the ‘Veterans World Table Tennis Championship’ We followed him on his journey and chart his experience.
The Veterans World Table Tennis Championship was held from the 15th January to the 21st January in the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.Consisting of several age categories and 51 World Titles, the World Veterans Championships saw 1,600 participants from all over the world.
We caught up with Kev to ask him some questions about his chosen sport and how he approaches competitions.
Q: From what age have you been playing and competing at table tennis?
A: I started playing when I was 12 but stopped playing when I was 16 when I started my apprenticeship! I started playing again 2014
Q: How did you get into the sport and what motivated you?
A: I got into table tennis when my dad worked at the paper-mills. They had a table tennis team and I used to go and watch and then ended up playing for the team. I just loved the speed and different styles and different spins.
Q: What other sports do you love other than the one in which you already are a professional?
A: I also love playing golf.
Q: What is your work regime and is it hard to balance that with training?
A: As I am in Houston working on ‘Mad Dog 2’ and my family are home in the UK it is very easy to train with my coach after work – usually 3 times a week plus league on a Sunday night
Q: Are you required to keep in shape, and do you have a training regime?
A: Yes, I train at the gym at the BP office every lunch time.
Q: Does a fast sport like table tennis get harder as you get older?
A: As I have been improving it feels easier on my body and as long as I stretch before and after I play, I am ok. If I have worked a 12-hour day, it is hard to stay focused and stop my mind from wondering while I train.
Q: What emotions do you feel when you play well?
A: Wow all sorts! Frustration when your opponent gets a lucky net or an edge. Highs when you win a long rally or just play a great shot. Highs and low depending on the outcome of a match whether it is singes or as a team.
Q: Do crowds watching you perform make a difference?
A: At 1st it does so in the 1st set! But you soon forget about people watching as you are concentrating on every point you play.
Q: How does being an athlete make you a better person?
A: Not sure how to answer this. I feel good when I train so mentally it makes me better.
Q: What is the one thing you always do after a good performance?
A: Text my wife and message my coach
Q: What do you do to calm your butterflies while you compete?
A: Usually get to the event early and have a good warm up.
Q: What is your favourite place to compete?
A: HITTA (Houston International Table Tennis Association) Mason Rd Houston
Q: What do you give up playing table tennis?
A: While I am overseas working, I give up nothing really. Maybe socialising at weekends as I train at night. At home when I am on my time off, I would train through the day, so I still have family time at night.
Q: What mental tool do you use under pressure, do you have a mantra?
A: Pressure is for tyres 😊 I try not to put too much on myself I just want to stay relaxed and stay positive.
Q: Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?
A: Yes definitely!
Q: How do you cope with mental pressure faced during tournament?
A: I just try and focus on the training I have done prior to a tournament and always stay positive. One point at a time and 1 match at a time.
The whole experience was out of this world after I got over the jetlag on day 1.Lesson learned will be travel 24 hours earlier in the future!
I played single to qualify for the top 32 which never went well as I mentioned jetlag. So that meant day 3 I played the consolation single which was from 33 to 138 players in total in a knockout. I made it through to the quarter finals and was beaten by a chap from the Czech Republic who ended up losing in the final. I was very happy and won some great matches to get to the quarter final.
Click here to watch Kev Anderson video
In the doubles I was paired with a chap from Germany called Matthias Pries. We played great together and qualified from our group before losing on day 4 in the main draw quarter finals in a very close match to a doubles team from Lebanon (They played doubles regularly)
Onto Rome 2024 😊
If you are an Orion contractor, and like Kev have an interesting past time, pursuit or hobby, we would love to hear from you. Please do let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org