End of an Era at Chelsea Academy
A Tale of Two Volunteers…Jon Kaufmann – 28th September 2017
Two volunteers from West London Ping / London Academy have been put forward for the Table Tennis England’s Pride of Table Tennis Awards.
Eamon Brennan for Volunteer of the Year
Eamon has been working for the community section of the London Table Tennis Academy under the banner of West London Ping for the past five years. Eamon has many strings to his bow but it is fair to say that no task is too difficult and no task is considered below him. Eamon is the creator and webmaster of westlondonping.co.uk, the highly successful web site that aims to promote not only the activities of the LTTA and the community work of West London Ping, but all table tennis activities in the greater west London area. Eamon asks for no personal reward for this task other than the satisfaction of a job well done.
But that is not all. Eamon took it upon himself to buy and operate a robot for the Chelsea Community sessions. These sessions have proved highly popular with young and old, and the value to the coaching sessions is clear for all to see. These sessions have now expanded to include four tables; one for the robot, one for multi-ball, one for the bounce board and one for one-to-one coaching. All this is managed by Eamon week in week out, without fuss and without complaint. The young participants respond very well to Eamon’s friendly demeanour and general enthusiasm. And at the end of each session, there you will find Eamon putting away the tables and clearing up the litter.
But still there is more to Eamon’s volunteering. Over a quite pint in the local, Eamon will suggest and follow through with fund-raising initiatives and grant application avenues. One such recent initiative has just netted the LTTA/WLP sessions an extra £500 from the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local Small Grants Fund.
And when it comes to those all day Junior tournaments, there you will find Eamon once again, providing an experienced and enthusiastic adult pair of hands throughout the day. And that is the thing with Eamon; his enthusiasm is contagious. All in all, a worthy nomination for the Unsung Hero of the Year.
Albert Wood for Outstanding Contribution to Table Tennis
Albert Wood goes back a long way. Right back to the glory days of London Progress Table Tennis Club and beyond. But throughout those wonderful sporting years there has been one constant; Albert’s dedication to encouraging and mentoring young people. But it wasn’t just table tennis that benefitted from Albert’s dedication. Youth football and cricket teams also were in Albert’s remit. But as the years went by, it was table tennis that was to benefit most from Albert’s unflinching resolution to encourage young people to gain a solid footing via the world of sport.
As volunteers go, Albert has done everything. From junior coaching to junior and senior tournaments, from setting up to clearing up. From day to day administration to long term strategic planning. Albert has done it all and as the LTTA’s super Octogenarian, he continues to do it all.
But Albert’s real contribution to table tennis is more subtle than simply helping out. Albert has assumed the role at the London Table Tennis Academy as the right hand man to the Academy Head Coach, Bhavin Savjani. Anyone that has ever run a successful sports club will know of the immense pressures that can build up. To have an experienced and cool head to advise and to guide is priceless. So when the LTTA picks up its many trophies and awards, we should never forget the invaluable contribution made by that wise and cooled headed veteran, Mr Albert Wood.
Albert Wood has been priceless to table tennis over so many years and we are proud to nominate him for the TTE ‘outstanding contribution to table tennis’.