BEV’S DEDICATION REWARDED BY ROYALTY
New Milton Table Tennis Club’s General Secretary Bev Scott-Johns was honoured with a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Service to Sport, presented by HRH the Duke of Gloucester.
In presenting the awards, the Duke of Gloucester said “Volunteering is the lifeblood of the United Kingdom and it’s an honour to reward people who give up so much of their time and their energy for others. I hope that they act as an inspiration to those people around them”.
The awards were presented at the 55th Annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, and Bev was accompanied by Club Treasurer & Press Officer Malcolm Floyd who had nominated him, Club Development Officer Shaun Newcomb and fellow team member Simon Golding who kindly arranged the transport.
The Torch Trophy Trust is a charity that rewards and supports volunteers in sport and recreation, and recognises the achievements of some of the UK’s most outstanding volunteers in the annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards, presented by a member of the Royal Family. This year, the Trust recognised 21 outstanding volunteers across sport, so Bev was amongst a very select few.
England “great” Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, President of the Trust was also on hand at the ceremony and had much praise for the prize-winners. Bev’s citation was read out by West Ham and England legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE who had chatted aimiably to the various groups before the ceremony. Shaun and Malcolm ventured to ask the man himself how he thought the Hammers would do against Saints at the end of the month. Bev’s abridged citation read:-
“In all, Bev has served New Milton Table Tennis Club and the sport faithfully for over 30 years. During his tenure as General Secretary, Bev has seen the club nearly double its membership from 35 to 65 members. Bev is also Volunteer Co-ordinator, Fixtures Secretary, Tournament Organiser, Team Captain, Team Player and General Factotum. Bev has also put in stints as Minutes Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. Bev has also been instrumental in nurturing youngsters and it is no exaggeration to say that he has dedicated a goodly part of his life to the sport.
Bev continued to work tirelessly for the club, even after losing devoted wife Valerie to a long and debilitating illness. In fact, he made it clear that continuing to involve himself was a welcome distraction.
Bev is a qualified First-Aider, Table Tennis England Tournament Organiser and County Umpire. In addition to captaining and playing in the local Bournemouth and District League, Bev plays in the Poole Pairs, Merton Summer Pairs, Ringwood Summer League, Annual Individual Tournaments and plays socially at the Wednesday Morning Club at Merton.
Bev is the face of New Milton Table Tennis Club, and it has often been said that they would need at least three different people to replace him, if he were ever to give up”. Sir Trevor chuckled as he read out that bit, which was echoed warmly by those present.
After the ceremony, Bev said “I felt quite honoured and proud and it was a wonderful evening which went very well”. Then it was quickly back to the grindstone the following day to organise the Club’s Annual Tournaments.