Sylvia Worth with her BBC trophy

BBC honours for table tennis Unsung Heroes

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Two local heroes who have helped get people into table tennis have been honoured by the BBC.

Sylvia Worth has been named BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, while Viv Woodcock-Downey wins the same award for the South East.

Qualified coach Sylvia has volunteered her time to run table tennis sessions for the over-50s at her local village hall in Sancton, near Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, twice a week.

She has built the club up from nothing – buying the first table herself – to catering for dozens of people.

Sylvia said: “It started off as just something to fill the days in and now we’re getting very popular in the local village and surrounding villages.

“I just love table tennis and I never expected any awards – most coaches don’t, you do it for the love of the game.”

Click here to watch the BBC video about Sylvia.

Viv has doubled the membership of Brighton’s LGBT sport society – BLAGSS – since she joined, with more than 400 people now taking part in a variety of sports, including table tennis, boosting their confidence and expanding their social network.

She said: “One of the things that I’ve been really passionate about is trying to get more women involved, because women are often a bit diffident about getting sweaty, so we’ve been working hard to get more women involved.”

Click here to watch the BBC video about Viv.

The regional winners were decided by local judging panels based on nominations made by the public. Both Sylvia and Viv have received a trophy and an invitation to the Sports Personality of the Year night in Birmingham on Sunday, when the national Unsung Hero will be revealed.

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