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Brothers Dennis, left, and Conor Keaveney get the chance to compete at their first national table tennis championships together today at Citadel High in Halifax. Matt Veno - Truro Daily News

TRURO - Going to the national table tennis championships is nothing new for Salmon River's Dennis Keaveney.
But having his younger brother with him today at Citadel High for this year's event is something new the 15-year-old is looking forward to.
"It'll be nice to have Conor there this time," Dennis said during the team's final practice before today's event. "It will be great to see some of his matches and hopefully we can give each other some good support."
The two brothers are close and often play table tennis together at their home as well as at their CEC Table Tennis Club practices so Dennis said he felt a little out of place when he competed at nationals in 2004 and 2006 without Conor.
"My first nationals here in Truro was weird because I knew Conor could play but he had to sit and watch," Dennis said.
Their father Peter, who also coaches the pair at the CEC club, said getting the chance to compete at the event together should make it a better experience.
"They are close," he said. "They're typical brothers so it's great that they're on the same team competing against other people.
"It really is special to see them going together."
The brothers will be accompanied by six other Colchester County residents who are members of the club. They are Theresa Yuill, Danny Orozco, Lindsay Sibley, Dustin Yuill, Josh MacMillan and Josh MacGrath.
Even though its his first national tournament, Conor, 13, said he isn't nervous.
"Because I have my big brother with me," he said smiling, relishing the opportunity to embarrass his older sibling as he put his arm around Dennis' shoulder.
"I think Conor likes having his older brother there," Peter said. "He's been there a couple times and I think Conor looks up to him."
Conor said he hasn't been getting much advice from Dennis, but that's because his older brother feels he doesn't need it.
"He's going to do fine there," Dennis said.
Dennis will be competing in the under-15 boys singles division, while Conor will do battle in the under-13 boys singles category.
Dennis said he's aiming to finish in the middle of the 40-person division.
"I definitely feel like I'm mid-pack," he said. "But I just want to go a play as well as I can and have some fun."
Conor, on the other hand, is hoping to medal.
Peter said it could be a possibility as the pair have been working hard.
"I am proud of them," he said. "Since nationals were here four years ago they have been working really hard to try and make the team. They've been practicing a lot."
Not only will the pair have each other for support, but Peter, their mother Sherry and younger sister Eilish, nine, will also take in the event, which runs until Friday.
"We're making our vacation out of it," Peter said.
"We've been organizing our vacation around tennis and table tennis for years now and a lot of other families do it too."

sports@trurodaily.com

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