Charles Mitchell with Sunjay Thakker

Thakkers keep Cippenham awards in the family

Author:
Graham Trimming

Publish date:

Cippenham Table Tennis Club celebrated the 21st anniversary of the opening of the purpose-built table tennis centre with a party and awards presentation.

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 GB 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.

Shae Thakker with his award

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 28 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.

Award winner Igor Liiko

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 remain unrecognised.

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.

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.

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