YOUNG table tennis player Lynda Flaws won her first Scottish girls’ under-18 title at the weekend.
This completes a hat-trick of Scottish titles for the 15-year-old from Quendale, who won the under-12 and under-14 titles in previous years. Lynda has now won all possible age group titles – the next challenge will be the women’s title.
Winning the under-18 title was her “toughest game” as she had to beat her rival Rhian Williams from Lockerbie, who had beaten her in March.
In last Sunday’s tournament, which was played at St Matthews Academy in Saltcoats, Lynda started the competition off strongly, winning her first two matches 3-0.
Her success continued when she won a keenly-fought third match 3-2. By now she was finding her strokes and using her powerful forehand to fight off her opponents.
She won the following two games 3-1, before comfortably winning her final game, also by 3-1, to win the tournament.
Lynda said: “I was quite happy to win. I wasn’t sure how I’d get on but it was fine to win.”
Lynda started playing table tennis at the age of five and has been playing competitively since she was eight. Coached by Chris Graham (and when she was younger by Joan Smith and later Craig Christie), Lynda practises with a partner once or twice a week and goes to Clickimin to play every Monday. She also has a robot in her garage that fires balls at her and gives her endless practice. Her ambition now is to “retain my title and play a few games in the women’s [game]”.
Lynda has been a table tennis sensation for many years. Her mother said: “She just loves it. She’s very calm and takes it all in her stride and doesn’t want any fuss.”
As a primary pupil she reached the final of the British Primary School championship.
When she was only 12 she became a triple medal winner in the Island Games, held that year in Shetland, clinching a silver and two bronze medals. She followed that success by winning a silver in the 2007 Island Games in Rhodes.
Lynda is also involved in women’s football. She plays for Whitedale and is also in the Shetland Women’s A team which recently trounced Orkney in an inter-county match.
Other activities include playing the accordion and school work – this year will be busy as she will be taking her Standard Grades – but somehow she manages to do it all.