Table tennis club shortlisted for national awards
Portishead Table Tennis Club has a lot to shout about after receiving some top accolades as part of the national Pride of Table Tennis Awards.
The club’s development officer Derek Connop was named as the South West region’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ while the club was named as the South West’s ‘Table Tennis Club of the Year’.
As winners of the two regional awards, Derek and the club have been shortlisted for Table Tennis England’s National Pride of Table Tennis Awards, where the winners will be announced in Leicester on March 30.
Commenting on his award, Derek said: “Without the constant support and participation of all the players, coaches, administrators and parents of our junior members, none of this would have happened”.
He also dedicated his award to Deon Riley, who tragically died while playing a game for the club last year. Derek added: “Deon represented everything that was good and right about the sport and his loss is still felt deeply from within the club and the wider table tennis community.”
South West regional chairman, Jos Kelly, who made the presentation at Gordano School, said: “Portishead Table Tennis Club seems to have burst on to the scene in a big way.
“The club’s drive and energy to promote the sport, and also bring its many benefits to the local community, has seen it grow at a tremendous rate and attract new players from all age groups.
“It is very fitting that it should be recognised as the South West Table Tennis Club of the Year. It is doubly fitting, however, that Derek Connop should separately be awarded with the Pride of Table Tennis Award for the South West Volunteer of the Year for the contribution he has made to the success of the Club.
“There are hundreds of volunteers devoting much time and energy into the sport but, this year, Derek has stood out for what he has achieved as an organiser, a coach, a player and a motivator, and he is a very worthy recipient of the award.”
Club member Steve Pratt, who nominated Derek for the award said: “After enjoying a fairly stable base for the last 50 years, the club has absolutely taken off since he became involved. A great deal of this progress has been directly down to his efforts.”
Photo: Derek (right) receives his award from South West Region chairman Jos Kelly at Gordano School