For certain, there is more to sport than just playing it! Like so many other things in life, a number of things have to be done or put in place before there can be participation. And in sport, so often a whole team is needed before any 1 person can play.
A couple of things recently have brought home just how much time and effort is put in by so many people to make it possible for individuals to participate in sport.
For example, although not able to play table tennis at the moment as a result of a serious hand injury, team captain Mark Benson was able to join with Club Secretary, Graham Turner, and catch up with the latest table tennis news and developments at the Table Tennis England National Conference. More than 100 volunteers in the sport were able to share ideas, listen to up to date presentations, find out what's happening in English table tennis, and witness some Pride of Table Tennis awards to volunteers who had made significant contributions to the sport. They were also able to join with and support other representatives of the Liverpool League, as the League had been nominated for a 'League of the Year' award as a result of its development of a new junior development league and introducing for the first time a summer league. Mark was even able to get his photo taken with England Head Coach Alan Cooke and England Programme Manager Alan Stanforth! What the event showed was the extent to which sport depended on the volunteers who make it happen. And just how many volunteers are involved.
One of the presentations at the conference concerned facilities. It's a fact that table tennis can be played more or less anywhere and with the minimum of facilities; but there is still a need for a table (of some sort), a net, some bats and a ball; and even that needs organisation. But talking of facilities introduces the plight that our own club currently faces! Our present club room will permanently close on the 29 April this year! But like the phoenix, we are determined it will rise again. That however, won't happen without a massive effort from a whole team of people, including our current landlords Marine FC who are making a new site available to us on which we hope to place a new club room. We can offer you here a first glimpse of the structure as work on bringing it into existence gets underway. We will bring you more pictures as things progress. The job is in the hands of 'Dave the Doer', you might spot his ladder in the pictures! It even has his name on it!
So, whether it is paid employees or the army of volunteers the fact is that there is far more to sport than just playing it! It is this army of people behind the scenes who make it possible for us to all enjoy playing! Today, we pay tribute to the army of volunteers who make it possible for us to enjoy table tennis at Bath Street Marine Table Tennis Club.