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Chairman highlights league's development of its junior players

Lee Hellwing (2481881)
Lee Hellwing (2481881)

The Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League held its annual meeting and presentation at Burghley Park Golf Club.

The meeting heard reports from committee officials before finishing with the presentation of trophies by Cedric Phillips, former treasurer of the league and its most senior player.

The meeting began with a promotional video for the league created by match secretary Nick McDowall.

Introduced as ‘a thriving league for all ages’, it took the guests on a tour of venues and villages around Stamford and Rutland as well as providing snippets of action from the end-of-season tournaments.

Chairman Richard Henry’s overview of the season also highlighted the development of its junior players and the greater numbers of both juniors and seniors playing and succeeding in Lincolnshire county tournaments.

A highlight was the junior trio of Long Ly, Ryan Chung and Joe Cox travelling to Lincoln and securing the Butcher Cup with remarkable ease.

With Denise Jacobi winning the Veteran Ladies and Dave Needham the Over 60s Open at the Lincolnshire Closed Championships, the league enjoyed recognition on the county stage.

County representative Bob Hulka announced that Long and Dave both earned county badges for representing Lincolnshire with success.

In the end-of-season tournaments, Ly and Needham dominated, with Joe Cox earning Division Two singles and doubles success to go with his other honours.

Ly and Cox each remained unbeaten following the split into two divisions at Christmas, earning them the averages trophies - the first occasion when both winners have been juniors.

Stamford School regained the Division One title and also won the President’s Cup but they were defeated by Bourne B in the final of the Ketco Cup, denying them the treble.

In the closest Division Two season for many years, Tallington held off the challenge of Bourne C.

Many young players have enjoyed table tennis at the sports camps hosted by Stamford School and some of these youngsters competed in their own competition, organised by the league, and were present at the annual meeting to receive their trophies.

The chairman concluded the meeting by recalling past junior county tournaments held at Stamford School which involved players who are now ranked in the top 20 nationally.

He observed that, after one year of competition, Long Ly is rated 40 in the Table Tennis England list for junior boys. The league will follow his progress with interest in future years as he rises up the rankings.

The league would welcome new players and teams for next season. The promotional video can be watched on the Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League website at www.tabletennis365.com/StamfordAndRutland

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