GLITTERING NIGHT FOR NEW MILTON TABLE TENNIS CLUB
Members and guests of the New Milton Table Tennis Club attended the recent Annual Presentation Evening of the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis Association, and witnessed a procession of club members going to the front to collect their trophies.
The presentations were made by Guest of Honour Tony Clayton, who is President of the Dorset Table Tennis Association and former England International. One of Tony’s great claims to fame was being in the England team which visited China during the so-called “Ping Pong Diplomacy” episode in 1971.
First up for New Milton, Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns collected the League Division 5 team runners-up trophies on behalf of Mike Melaniphy’s L team, none of whom were able to attend the event.
Next up were Terry Jenvey (captain) and Rob Fagan from the G team to pick up their Division 3 league runners-up trophies. The Gees led the way for most of the season, but were pipped to the post by one point by winners Bournemouth Sports K. It wasn’t long before Jenvey had to return to the front to pick up his Division 3 Individuals runner-up trophy.
Stuart Burton (captain) and Taki Hall were there to represent the M team who came runners-up in the Times and Directory Handicap Plate, and the J team’s Mike Roberts (captain), John Parkhouse, Plamen Petrov and Adam Titcombe were on hand to collect their Times & Directory Handicap Cup winners tophies.
Taki Hall had to return to the front to collect her Division 5 Individuals winners trophy from her first ever appearance in the tournaments, and 15 year old Jack Trafford picked up the Under 15s winners trophy for the second year running.
Club Veteran Brian Bickell (pictured below with Tony Clayton) improved on last year’s haul of the Vets 60+ and Vets 70+ titles by adding the Vets 40+ and Vets 50+ titles to his belt, the first time that all four Vets titles have been won by one individual. To spare our hero’s legs, he was told to stay at the front rather than make three return trips.
People were scratching their heads as to whether or not any player had won the David Woodcock Trophy for Most Improved Player on more than one occasion, but this distinction certainly fell to 17 year old Kai Major, who previously won it in the 2014/2015 season. Kai (pictured below) returned to table tennis after courageously battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, for which he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Southampton Paediatric Oncology Unit. He was classed as being in remission in January 2017 and has made an enthusiastic and successful return to the sport, gaining a 50% winning average in his first season in the Premier, winning a couple of hat-tricks in the process.
New Milton Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns continued to receive plaudits after receiving a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Service to Sport back in March. This accolade had pride of place in the Bournemouth Association’s newsletter which was available at the presentation dinner. Bev was very proud to receive the award from HRH the Duke of Gloucester at the 55th Annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, his citation having been read out by West Ham and England football legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE.