Most table tennis players at the Paris Olympics this summer will be in their mid-20s, but two members of a Suffolk club are proving that age is no barrier to playing the sport.

Indeed, Sam Shuster and his playing colleague Edwin Latham, aged 96 and 90 respectively, may well be the oldest in the UK to still be lifting a racquet as they ply their sporting trade with Woodbridge Table Tennis Club.

And Mr Shuster, who has played sports for most of his life, also plays tennis, while he used to play squash when he was younger and only gave up skiing at the age of 89 after being persuaded to stop by warnings that he could break a leg if he fell.

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The former medical researcher, who used to teach at Newcastle University, said: "I play it because I like it. I play table tennis, I play tennis, I play mental games.

"Table tennis is a good game for the older generations to take part because there is less movement involved."

Of his longevity, Mr Shuster said: "Longevity is three things. One is your genetics, the other is luck and the third is what you do and that includes mental, physical, food and all the rest of it."

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He said exercising and drinking alcohol in moderation were important, as was mental stimulation and Mr Shuster said he and his wife Bobbie, a 95-year-old artist, did a lot of mental games, while she is particularly good at crossword puzzles.

"When I was younger, 60 used to be old, but now it has all changed, marvellously. 

"The only thing is that we have got to look after our health because we have got more older people. 

"We have got to look after them and provide them with the means to be healthy, but we have also got to provide decent clubs for the kids to keep them healthy, such as judo, table tennis and boxing and spend more money on that."

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