Helen Elliott Hamilton
Honorary President of the Scottish Table Tennis Association
20 January 1927 – 12 January 2013
From 1948 to 1957 Helen Elliott Hamilton won several medals in doubles events in the World Table Tennis Championships.
Born in Edinburgh, Helen did not take up table tennis until she was 16 when she played for Dalry First Aid Post before moving on to Murrayfield. She then had a long association along with Bert KERR at the Gambit Club.
Only three years after taking up the sport, 1946 was the year everything took off when she won her first of 13 consecutive Women’s Singles Titles at the Scottish Open. She also won the Irish Open Women’s Singles Title in 1946. Helen gained her first Scottish cap in 1947 appearing in the World Championships in Paris where to her credit she reached the quarter finals of the women’s singles. In the 1948 World Championships held at Wembley in London, Helen again reached the quarter finals in the women’s singles.
Incredibly, partnered by Dora BEREGI of England, she also reached the final of the women’s doubles only to lose to Mrs V. THOMAS and Miss M. FRANKS of England. In Stockholm, Sweden, in 1949 Helen had a new experienced partner at the 16th World Championships in Gizelle FARKAS of Hungary. Helen became the first Scot to win a world title as she and Gizelle took the World Women’s Doubles Title (W.J. Pope Trophy). Again Helen made it to the quarter finals of the singles.
In 1950 Helen travelled to Budapest, Hungary and played with previous partner Dora BEREGI and retained her World Doubles Title. Helen also reached the quarter finals of the singles for the 4th consecutive year. The World University Games in 1955 took place in Warsaw, Poland where Helen teamed up with another World Champion Angelica ROZEANU to win the Women’s Doubles Title. Both Helen and Angelica contested the Women’s Singles final with 6 times World Champion Angelica coming out as the winner.
Thirteen is said to be unlucky for some but not for Helen in 1958 as she won her 13th consecutive Scottish Open Women’s Singles Title. During her playing career Helen coached at Butlins Holiday Camps during the summer months alongside Johnny LEACH. Skegness, Pithelli, Clacton, Bognor and Ayr were the holiday camps where they unearthed future table tennis talent between 1955 and 1973.
Helen passed away on 12th January 2013, sadly eight days before what would have been her 86th birthday.
Out Thanks to www.ettu.org for this information
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