Andy Bray from Haworth Hawks Table Tennis Club became a worthy recipient of a prestigious Torch Trophy Award last week.
The award was presented to him by HRH The Earl of Wessex at The British Olympic Association.
The Torch Trophy Trust was established in 1962 to support and recognise the outstanding achievements of volunteers in sport and currently has Sir Bobby Charlton as its president.
Andy was nominated by Sally Shutt, Table Tennis England Development Officer. Her citation read:
“Andy has been the driving force behind the creation of a highly successful Table tennis facility in Keighley, West Yorkshire.”
In 2007 aged just 17 Andy secured an Awards for All grant to establish Haworth Hawks Table Tennis Club. Initially run in a community centre in Haworth he quickly increased the membership and the thriving club now boasts 12 teams in the local league and a membership of over 80 players.
Andy also developed a keen interest in junior coaching and development and invested his own time and funds to progress to a UKCC Level 3 coach. He volunteers his time to coach juniors on a regular basis and also accompanies them to local competitions.
As the club outgrew their venue in Haworth, Andy was the main instigator in finding a new home for the club in nearby Keighley. On a budget of less than £25k sourced from local authority grants, he led a group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to convert an old textile mill into a superb dedicated facility which is now enjoyed by over 150 users weekly.
Andy has continued to expand the club by recruiting a team of 12 coaches and a fully functioning committee that regularly organises club events and activities.