Brian (left in the image above) was born in Wellington (1947). At the age of 12, with his father and two younger brothers, they started playing table tennis in their garage. Later at age 14 he started playing table tennis at the nearby Northland Community Centre (Wellington). The same year (1961) Brian played A Reserve Grade table tennis for the Northland Club ( with Pat Williams, Colin Brydon and Phil Tessier). The team finished 2nd in the grade with 26 points. Just 2 points behind the winner, Municipal. Brian was a right handed attacking and counter-attacking player. His main weapon was his forehand heavy loop topspin shot.
The next year the team was promoted to the Wellington A Grade. Brian was to be in a A Grade team until he retires at the end of the 1975 season. In A Grade Brian played for Northland (1962-3), Onslow (1964-66), Kilbirnie RSA (1967-73), Kilbirnie United Eagles (1974) and Kilbirnie United (1975). He won the club singles at the Northland and Kilbirnie RSA Club. Kilbirnie RSA won the A Grade in 1971 (Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust, John Woodcock) and 1973 (Richard Lee, Adrian Lust, Brian Kennedy, Lindsay Ward, Boris Halama). In 1974 Kilbirnie United Eagles (Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust, Lindsay Ward, Warren Mak) won the A Grade.
Kilbirnie RSA ( R Lee, A Lust, B Kennedy) won the inaugural Rothmans National Club Team Competition in 1973, beating Canterbury University in the final 8-3 at Newtown Stadium, Wellington.. The players invested the $100 prize into the Wellington Association new stadium fund.
Brian first represented Wellington as a junior (1962-65). His first match in 1962 was for the Under 16 Wellington Boys team (with Bruce Young, Ken McNatty, Neil Langley) against Hutt Valley (lost 5-7). In the Junior Boys he was ranked 5th (1963) and 1st (1965). There was no Junior Boys ranking in the 1964 Wellington Annual Report. His brother Paul was also ranked in the Wellington Junior Boys. 10th (1965), 9th (1966) 7th (1967) and 2nd (1968). Brian won the 1963 Wellington Open Under 16 Boys Singles. In 1964 he won the Wellington Open Under 18 Boys Doubles and the Wellington Senior Secondary Schools Boys Doubles (both with Brian Gregory).
Brian was ranked on the Wellington Men’s List 10th (1966), 9th (1968), 6th (1969), 5th (1970, 2nd (1971 & 1972), 3rd (1973) and 1st (1974 & 1975). He was in the Wellington Men’s Team to the NZ Teams Competition (1970-75). The 1970 team was 6th in A Grade and lost the promotion/relegaton match to Northland 2-6 to be relegated from A Grade. His Wellington Team won B Grade in 1971 and lost the promotion/relegation match to Hutt Valley 1-5. In 1972 the team won B Grade and won the promotion/relegation match against Otago 6-0 to regain A Grade status. The team was in A Grade for the next 3 years when Brian was in the team. He was in the Wellington Team the won the Croudis Shield against Hutt Valley (1972 and 1973) and the Clapshaw Shield against Canterbury (1975). He was also in the Wellington Team that won the Lower North Island Teams Tournament (Hawera) in 1973 and 1975.Continue reading “Player Profile: Brian Kennedy – All round sportsman”