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Annual awards and festive evening - 19 December 2023

Christmas was celebrated at Cippenham on Tuesday with a "Festive Evening" for members and their families. The evening included the presentation of the annual awards and a friendly hard-bat competition for those who simply can't stop playing just because it's Christmas.

The event, which since the success of the inaugural staging last year, has now become our main annual get-together and was well supported There was mulled wine, mince pies and plenty of other tasty stuff to eat and drink. There were Christmas-related quizzes also and the whole evening was set-up and organised by Martin Adams, to whom we extend our grateful thanks.

The first event of the evening was the presentation of our annual awards, presided over by Club Secretary Graham Trimming. For very many years this has been a highlight of the year with our junior and senior players of the year honoured and the prestigious award for outstanding contribution made to our most valued volunteer of the year.

The first presentation was for the Junior Player of the Year, won by Sai Prasanna Kumar. Sai, astonishingly, is only nine years old and is the current England number one in his age group. During the past year he has become one of the top players in both the National Junior League and National Cadet League for the Club and is destined for a great future. The Senior Player of the Year award went to Maciej Dlugozima who has won virtually everything in sight locally for the past few years. Last season Maciej went through the entire Maidenhead League season unbeaten and also won both events at the Maidenhead Closed. The highlight is always the presentation of the Karen Mitchell Outstanding Contribution Award. This year the award went to Tim Kiteley who, as a qualified coach, has been outstanding in his support of the junior coaching scheme for the past few years and also helps out at weekend events.

Of course, we could not let the evening go by without a little table tennis. Twenty-nine players took to the tables for a friendly hard-bat competition. The players were organised into eight groups with the group winners progressing into the quarter-finals. At that stage, Jamie Woodford eliminated Shae Thakker, Maciej Dlugozima ended the hopes of Marek Kik, Sai Prasanna Kumar fended off the challenge of William Saint and Michal Garski beat Troy Williams. Sai reached the final with a convincing win over Maciej and Jamie beat Michal 15-13 in the deciding game. Sensationally, in a draw which included three of the Club's Senior British League players plus the top three from the Maidenhead League, it was nine-years-old Sai who won the top prize. What an evening that boy had!

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