Cippenham Table Tennis Club celebrated the twenty-first anniversary of the opening
of the purpose-built table tennis centre with a party and awards presentation this
week. The evening was presided over by Charles Mitchell who began by presenting chocolate
gifts to the Club’s many volunteers.
The first of the main presentations of the evening was for the Junior Player of the
Year, an award that perpetuates the names of Allan Farral and Terry Boxall, former
coaches at the Club who have since sadly passed on. For the third year running, the
recipient of the award was Shae Thakker. Shae first represented the GP Para team
about two years ago and has since gone on to represent his country on more occasions.
The pinnacle of his achievements so far came in March, winning the Class 10 Junior
Men’s Singles at the Romanian Open. Then aged 13, Shae was giving away as many as
10 years in that under-23 event. Later in the same week Shae went on to win the bronze
medal in the Men’s Class 9/10 team event.
Last season, Shae made his debut in the Senior British League for Cippenham and excelled
in winning 13 of his 19 individual matches. Last season also saw Shae playing for
Cippenham in both the National Junior League and National Cadet Leagues and he finished
with the impressive win averages of 100% and 94% respectively.
The second presentation was for the Senior Player of the Year award and this went
to Igor Liiko. Igor only joined Cippenham Table Tennis Club a year ago and became
part of the Cippenham Titans team that won the Maidenhead League Division 3. Igor
lost just once in his twenty-eight individual matches to top the divisional averages.
As a result of these exploits, Igor has been rewarded with a place in one of Cippenham’s
two teams operating in the top division of the Maidenhead League for this season.
The main event on such an evening is the presentation of the Karen Mitchell Outstanding
Contribution Award. This award marks outstanding contributions from rank and file
members of the Club outside of the list of Officers. It is dedicated to those individuals
who have given outstanding service to the Club and whose contributions might otherwise
This year the award was presented to Sunjay Thakker who is one of those people whom
any amateur sports club has a desperate need of – someone who is always around to
help day to day at events, a willing pair of hands who will help with anything he
is asked to do. First and foremost, Sunjay is a parent to Shae Thakker, one of Cippenham’s
bright young cadets, and so is around at Cippenham a lot while his son is training.
When at the Club, Sunjay is always available to lend a hand, whether it be helping
with umpiring, booking entrants in when Cippenham holds its prestigious Junior 4-Star
Open, helping to organise events, setting up and setting down at either end of an
event, organising the kids in attendance and controlling their behaviour! Perhaps,
also just putting out the rubbish at the end of a day’s tournament or helping to
fix the photocopier!
Sunjay also deputises as Duty Officer for the Club’s twice-weekly open training sessions
when either of the officially appointed Duty Officers is unavailable. Sunjay is also
a great help with events away from Cippenham, making travel and accommodation arrangements
and driving teams and players to venues.