By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Table tennis has hit a new era of silver service at Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre.
The activities club has scored a $1200 appliance that automatically serves ping pong balls with varying slice and spin, and also catches the returns of serve.
With a 64-program repertoire of serves, it is akin to what was used by the English and Swedish teams to prepare for the 2016 Olympics, says player David McKay.
Mr McKay said the sport was great for honing the motor skills of young and old. For senior players, it was an effective barrier to dementia; for the young, it is a fun, non-contact sport.
At the community house, Mr McKay and other players take part in over-50s social matches. They have also been tutoring Beaconsfield Primary School students in the game.
The machine, as well as an extra table, bats and balls, were funded by Cardinia Council and Cardinia Park Hotel.
Details: Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre, 8768 4400.