Club stalwarts’ life membership
Two people who have worked behind the scenes to propel the Manawaru Table Tennis Club for over 20 years were recognised recently.
The club awarded Ragvir Singh and Heather Stringer with life membership at a special end of season function.
Club spokeswoman Armindeep Singh, in her speech at the function, said Heather had been a member of the club for 22 years.
Armindeep’s father, Ragvir Singh, had been president of the club for 31 years, and a member for 37 years.
Armindeep said Heather started playing table tennis when she was 16, when her father bought a table for the family.
‘‘She played a lot with her brother and friends, and said the boys didn’t like being beaten by a girl so she got plenty of practice.
‘‘She then continued to play at university and one year she made the representative team for her university.’’
Heather began teaching in Paeroa and joined a table tennis club there. Later in life she found the club at Manawaru.
‘‘We think she joined the club around 1996. Heather has enjoyed playing here every night since she started and barely misses a night.
‘‘She has also made a big contribution to help run the club.’’
Heather helps prepare and organise the club’s programme for the year, takes on administration work and activities right through to prizegiving.
Armindeep said Ragvir was introduced to table tennis by a friend.
‘‘When he left school, he wanted to play a winter sport. He thought about rugby but thought if he got injured it could potentially affect his farming career, so a good friend of his, Kevin Koch, encouraged him to go down and play table tennis.
‘‘Ragvir became president in 1986 taking over from Brian Dickey. He barley misses a night of table tennis.’’
Ragvir helped to run the nights and had arranged a number of key interclub competitions in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions for the Manawaru club.
‘‘He helps to put together all the championship and prize night draws. If there is an odd number of players, you will notice he will sit himself out or will put himself down a table. Also when not calving, he aims to get to the club early to help set up the tables. When he has been busy calving, he has come down during the day to set up the tables ready to go for the night.’’
Ragvir was excellent at promoting the club and organised its main fundraiser, the Matamata Opportunity Shop.
Ragvir and Heather will join seven other life members including Jack MacArther, Alan Ward, George Cowley, Pam Oliver, John McRobbie and Trevor and Dawn Harrison.
The season recommences April 1, 2018.