CIPPENHAM Table Tennis Club celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the opening of its purpose-built centre with an awards presentation.

The evening was presided over by Club Chairman, Ken Phillips, and Secretary, Graham Trimming, who begun by presenting chocolate gifts to the club volunteers.

Phillips then addressed the gathering, extolling the virtues of the strong volunteer force at the club at present, and praising the recent upgrading of the lounge area.

On the playing front, the junior section is also very buoyant at the moment. Phillips travels the country with the junior players and often hears kinds remarks about Cippenham and its premises as being one of the best.

The first of the main presentations was for the Junior Player of the Year, an award the perpetuates the names of Alan Farral and Terry Boxall, former coaches at the club who have since passed on. This year, the award went to highly-promising young player, Rachel Iles.

The 12-year-old has made such good progress in the past year that she surpassed expectations when finishing as runner-up in the National Under 12s Cup last season against all the best that England has to offer. Iles is one of a group of girls at Cippenham with a bright future in the game.

The second presentation was for the Senior Player of the Year. This year, the winner was Lucie Bouron.

The 24-year-old is an established member of the Great Britain para-team where she displays her immense skills from the confines of a wheelchair. She also assists with the elite coaching sessions, using her speed to help with the most promising younger girls.

The main event was the presentation of the Karen Mitchell Outstanding Contribution Award. This awards marks outstanding contributions from rank and file members of the club outside of the list of officers. It is dedicated to those individuals who have given outstanding service to the club and whose contributions might otherwise remain unrecognised.

This year, the award was presented to Steve Piercey. He is one of a number of parents who are becoming increasingly helpful in a number of ways around the club. He is often seen at weekend events, assisting the organisers in various capacities, and is a mainstay of the group of people who meet on a Friday evening to set up for the weekend events.