With the age profile of the league steadily rising new entrants are essential for the sport’s survival and coaches are key to this. There is an excellent coaching structure at the Farnborough Table Tennis Club with Colin Baggott lead coach. He recently organised a beginner’s tournament, in honour of his nephew, with the winners being awarded the Tim Gibson Trophy sponsored by TWG Automative from Camberley.
Tim’s family were thrilled to see so many youngsters enjoying sport in friendly but still competitive way. Tim died at age 30 following a heart transplant at 15. The years with a new heart allowed him to enjoy a range of sports that had been denied to him in his childhood. Fittingly he won a silver medal for table tennis at the 2009 UK Transplant Games and went on to represent the country in athletics at the 2011 World Transplant Games in Gothenburg as well as the World karting finals held in Italy the same year. Sport continued into his working life and after university he learnt his trade at local firms TRL and McLaren, following which his dream came true when as an engineer for Dunlop in the World Endurance Championship he played a leading role in the winning of the 2014 Le Mans 24 hour race. For Tim sport was work but it also provided friendship and many life lessons; most of all he always had a smile on his face because, above everything else, sport is fun.
The fight for the First Division title is going to be very intriguing. Tennis A are the favourites but they lost for the first time this week when they were edged out by Ash A, 6-4. Ross Saxby led the way for Ash with a full house in a match where every player won. Paul Shakespeare bagged a brace for Tennis. Saxby is not a regular player for Ash and this is the case for other teams in the division who can, occasionally call upon some better players. It has pushed up the standard in the league. Despite having just two players Bentley A beat Ash C 6-4 with Micky Lang winning all three and Trevors Spraggs supporting with a duo. Fleet A beat Tennis B 6-4 with Fallon Thompson leading the way with a full house. John Grant and Shaun Newbold both won twice for Tennis. Central beat Frimley A 7-3 with Phil Snelson grabbing a maximum. Paul Baker supported with a brace but he lost his 100% record to Frimley’s Sarah Horsnell who also won twice.
In a very competitive Second Division Bentley B moved back to the top of the table with a 6-4 success over bottom team, Frimley D. In yet another game where all the players won at least once Robin Street stood out with a maximum for Bentley. Kieran Daniel won a couple for Frimley. Cody A and Frimley B shared the points with no player unbeaten. There were braces for Kin Chan and Peter Anthony for Cody and David MacKinnon and John Wheeler for Frimley. Ash F beat Tennis E 7-3 with Robert Parkes and Frank Winnard both undefeated for Ash.