Club stal­warts’ life mem­ber­ship

Piako Post - - OUT & ABOUT - SPORT

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.

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