Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Golden Girls paddle the competition in pingpong tournaments

Margo Lindsay, 72, of Clearwater returns a serve while playing table tennis at the Long Center in Clearwater last week. She says the game is “good for the brain.”


Margo Lindsay, 72, of Clearwater returns a serve while playing table tennis at the Long Center in Clearwater last week. She says the game is “good for the brain.”


Margo "the Magnificent'' Lindsay held the tiny orange ball in her hand and served a scorcher to Sari "Dutch Chopping Woman'' Kisbany. • Kisbany returned it hard over the 6-inch net to Al Palumbo, who smashed it to Nahed "Queen of the Nile'' Williams. She swung and missed as the plastic ball bounced away one day last week at the Long Center. • This was no friendly game of pingpong. It was serious table tennis by three-quarters of the Florida Golden Girls, a group of competitors who won 15 medals — five gold, six silver and four bronze — at the 2008 Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, last month.

Lindsay, 72, Kisbany, 78, and Williams, 66, are members of the Sunrise Table Tennis Club, which plays at the Long Center and four other facilities in Pinellas County. The players trained at least four days a week in preparation for the World Senior Games. • The fourth Golden Girl, Sadako Tobias, 76, lives in Ocala and could not make the practice at the Long Center.

"They're named the Golden Girls because whenever they go to the World Games, they come back with medals,'' said Palumbo, the Sunrise Table Tennis Club's program director. "They're the ones to beat.''

Players who want to be Golden Girls must first win gold at the local, state and national levels.

"You must have fast reactions,'' Kisbany said.

Though based in Clearwater, the Golden Girls truly are an international group: Williams is from Egypt, Kisbany is from the Netherlands, Lindsay is from the United States and Tobias is from Japan.

"Table tennis is actually bigger in other countries,'' Lindsay said.

Indeed. While she started at 60, other members began playing the game seriously much earlier, Kisbany at 16 and Williams at 10.

"I love the speed of it and the coordination,'' said Williams, who was a champion in Egypt.

The game is "also good for the brain,'' Lindsay said.

Kisbany is so good at table tennis as well as golf that she was named 2006 Florida Senior Female Athlete of the Year and was invited to Tallahassee to receive her award and meet Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Golden Girls' next tournament will be the 2008 Florida State Senior Games, scheduled for Dec. 6-14 in Cape Coral.

"I think we'll win gold,'' Lindsay said.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at or (727) 445-4153.

Fast facts

About the club

The Sunrise Table Tennis Club is a nonprofit organization that, together with the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, offers a number of low-cost programs and tournaments for all ages.

For more information, visit

Florida Golden Girls paddle the competition in pingpong tournaments 11/14/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 15, 2008 7:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.