Brentwood & District Table Tennis League Annual Dinner
by Rick Paris
On the 28th May 2016, the Bentley Golf Club hosted our annual awards dinner and exactly 60 people from nearly every club in the league were in attendance. Our Guest of Honour was Sandra Deaton, the Chair of Table Tennis England, who graciously accepted our invite to present the trophies on the evening.
The evening commenced with a welcome speech from our League Chair, Sue Hickman, who thanked everybody for such a great turnout and welcomed our Guest of Honour, Sandra Deaton, to our event. Sandra came all the way from Nottinghamshire to be with us. Sue also welcomed Stuart Gibbs, the President of Essex County who also accepted our invitation.
Once the welcome speeches were over, an excellent 3 course meal was served by the waiting staff at the Bentley. As far as I can tell from the many compliments that were made on the night, the food was very well received and I passed my thanks on to the kitchen staff.
There was a quiz set-out on each of the tables; this was a light-hearted “ice breaker” and helped to create a nice atmosphere. I tried to get everybody together on the appropriate tables and I think that most people were reasonably happy.
As the food courses disappeared and the raffle tickets were sold, it was time for the awards themselves. As is normal at most club events, one or two teams or a few individuals dominated the evening, almost wearing out the carpet as they made their way back and forth to the trophy table.
The winners of the various awards are listed below but a special mention has to be made for one of the stand- out achievements of the season. The committee had great pleasure in voting Matthew Brown as the winner of the Fred Foster award. This award is for services to table tennis in our league. Matt does so much for our league that this award was very well deserved for his hard work throughout the season and it got a huge cheer on the night. Well done Matt and all the other winners and runners up.
Sandra Deaton presented the awards to the winners and runners up, photos and handshakes all around. Sandra then gave a talk on her role at Table Tennis England.
She spoke about her time in table tennis through the years, about her appointment as the first woman Chairman of the organisation. She also regaled us with a recent overseas trip she attended with the English table tennis team, giving us her nail biting first hand report. Her excitement and enthusiasm gripped the room as she described the various wins and losses that occurred and the ultimate heart breaking loss to a superior team. She also spoke about her forthcoming trip to the Rio Olympics with the team. I think I can say without too much contradiction that Sandra was a delightful guest and we very much enjoyed her company.
The raffle was a huge success; many thanks for the generous support to everybody that brought prizes. Without you all, the prize table would have been very empty. As it was, there was a huge selection, from garden wheel barrows to bottles of wine and rounds of golf. In fact so many prizes that there was almost something for everybody, although I went home empty handed. The raffle raised over £200 which goes some way to help pay for the trophies presented on the evening.
The final award of the evening was presented by Essex County President Stuart Gibbs. The award in question was for a "lifetime achievement" and it was presented to Ted Knight for his long service to table tennis in Essex. Stuart spoke very movingly of Ted's many years of service to Essex Table Tennis, holding many roles down the years, including as a coach to Stuart himself as a youngster. Unfortunately Ted could not be with us to accept his award on the evening due to recent poor health but Sue Hickman accepted the award on his behalf. I spoke to Ted a few days later, after Sue had been round to present the award to him at his home. He was both delighted and thrilled at being presented the award and stressed how much he had wanted to be at the awards dinner. He was truly humbled that Essex Table Tennis had thought so highly of him. He was truly touched by it.
The evening finished at around 11pm and I hope everybody that attended enjoyed themselves. I hope to see you all next year after another season of battle. If you didn't make it this year, you missed a "good-un".
Further photographs of the event will be posted at the bottom of the page.
I have photos of all winners and runners up,
if you would like a copy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will send you the image.
PREMIER DIVISION WINNERS: BILLERICAY SPORTS TTC ‘A’
RUNNERS UP: SELEX SSC
1ST DIVISION WINNERS: BUTTSBURY YTTC ‘B’
RUNNERS UP: MOUNTNESSING TTC ‘A’
2ND DIVISION WINNERS: BRENTWOOD HARD TTC
RUNNERS UP: HUTTON TTC ‘A’
PREMIER K/O CUP WINNERS: BILLERICAY SPORTS TTC ‘A’
RUNNERS UP: BILLERICAY SPORTS TTC ‘B’
1ST DIV K/O CUP WINNERS: BUTTSBURY YTTC ‘B’
RUNNERS UP: BILLERICAY SPORTS TTC ‘C’
2ND DIV K/O CUP WINNERS: BRENTWOOD HARD TTC
RUNNERS UP: HUTTON TTC ‘A’
HANDICAP CUP WINNERS: BUTTSBURY YTTC ‘D’
RUNNERS UP: BUTTSBURY YTTC ‘B’
GRAHAM MOON MEMORIAL AWARD: NATHAN FRY
(Junior player, highest league average)
INSERCO AWARD: FRANCES HUTT
(Lady player, highest league average)
BILL MURRAY AWARD: KEITH ADAMS
(Male player, highest league average)
FRED FOSTER MEMORIAL AWARD: MATTHEW BROWN
(Services to table tennis in the league)