After an absence of 20 years, former Boundary Table Tennis Club member, Marie Lakay’s return to the sport has been nothing short of remarkable.
Lakay, 37, qualified for the SA Open Championship, in KwaZulu-Natal later this year and finished third at Duinefontein’s senior men’s and women’s championships, held at Fairview Primary School, in Grassy Park. The competition is part of the Duinefontein’s Championships Series to commemorate the club’s 10th anniversary.
The once promising junior has been playing since she was 6 years old and made the Western Province team in the late 1990s. However, she packed away her table tennis paddle at age 17, following the death of her mother.
“I couldn’t focus and blamed everyone and everything. I got rebellious and went through a tough phase of my life. I returned to make my mom in heaven proud,” she said.
“My dream was to make the provincial team and then the national team. So, after 20 years, I’m back in it,” she said.
Former Boundary coach, Gregory Naik, says he’s known Lakay as a dedicated player, always willing to give her best.
“Marie played for Boundary in 1998, when the club was established,” he said. ”In fact, she was one of the first players who made the school team as well as the provincial team. It’s great to have her back in the game after 20 years,“ he said.
At the weekend, the proverbial comeback kid was made to sweat in the semi-finals, finishing third behind silver medallist, Boundary’s Lee-Ché De Bruyn, and eventual winner, host club Duinefontein’s Roschica Sonday, from Lavender Hill.