Jim Clegg wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Well done Jim for your fantastic work and committment to Table Tennis within the North West

Well done Jim for your fantastic work and committment to Table Tennis within the North West

 

Jim Clegg has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the recent Preston Sports Awards 2011. Please see below written by fellow coach Tony Rigby the contributions Jim has made to table tennis:

 

I have known Jim for over 45 years. We started playing table tennis around the same time for the local Post Office Team.

 

After 45 years involved in Table Tennis, Jim has not only become an institution in the Preston League, but a well respected National Level 4 Coach, educator of coaches and successful organiser of International matches. This year he added another string to his already large repertoire, by helping with the organisation of the English Open, whereby  most of the top players in the World competed. (26th / 30th Jan 2011)

 

Jim was not content on just being a player. Initially, in his 20’s, he became an active member of the Preston Table Tennis Committee as well as also getting involved in coaching. Jim was the first person to bring organised coaching to Preston.

 

In 1972/3 he was also part of the 1st Preston Men’s Team to win the Lancashire and Cheshire League.

He represented Preston Men’s Team on numerous occasions during the 70s and also became Men’s Singles Champion in 1970.

 

Around this time he started to run the Preston coaching sessions himself, before being promoted to the ETTA NW Centre of Excellence which he ran from 1978 to 1988.  During his time at the C of E,  Jim produced a number of top players from Preston: Joy Grundy, Jean Parker, Don Parker, Philip Huggon and Paul Rainford etc. Some of them went on to play for England and it was at this time that John Hilton, a member of the squad, won the European Championships. The last Englishman to do so. Preston’s Don Parker, a former International and ex Director of Coaching for the ETTA, would, without doubt, point to Jim as one the greatest influences to his career.

 

During the 80’s Jim had to curtail some of his activities due to work commitments. Although in 1982  he  found time to coach both the Preston Men’s and Ladies’ teams to win the National Team finals.

He also continued to run the Centre of Excellence, and help coach the Isle of Man TT squad. I

 

From 1990, Jim was able to give more time to table tennis. It was then that he and I had the vision of our own Table Tennis Centre. In order to achieve this, Jim took over as Chairman of the League and later as Treasurer as well.  He helped to implement coaching on a larger scale as it had run down for a number years due to lack of facilities. He built up the League financially and put together a hard working and motivational committee. Once he was happy the League was on a firm footing, he started looking for partnerships to maintain table tennis in Preston. Luckily the City Sports and Leisure liked Jim’s drive and commitment and from there the seeds for a Table Tennis Centre were sown.

 

When the facility at St Augustine’s came up, Jim was asked to put together a plan for a TT Centre. He initiated a Development Team and a plan was drawn up and implemented in August 2005. The result of which is the successful Preston Table Tennis Club, a well run, 12 table venue as good as any in the country.

 

The Preston League may have folded like so many in the NW if it wasn’t for Jim’s dedication and hard work in developing the Centre.  I could go on about the Centre but there’s more about Jim.

 

Jim, not satisfied with his previous efforts, has gone on to successfully stage an India v England International at the Guild Hall to which over 3000 people attended. He followed that with a joint Israel Men’s and Poland Ladies’ European League match, again at the Guild Hall. This December he staged 2 more European League matches at St Augustine’s Centre. Again these were also well received.

 

His latest venture is being involved with staging the English Open in Sheffield.  He was asked by the ETTA to help organise the event due to his expertise in running the previously mentioned International matches. The Open features all the World’s best players and runs for 5 days at the end of January.

 

Jim is a truly remarkable character, he is driven, and self motivated. A perfectionist to say the least.  He truly deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication, not only to Preston Table Tennis but the Sport in general.

 

 He is also a Proud Prestonian. He has been a mentor, role model and an inspiration to so many. He has also upset a few as well and he is not afraid to speak his mind.

 

Jim has been and still is a main player in helping Preston Table Tennis to be in the forefront of English Table Tennis. He still coaches every Monday at the TT Centre and runs the community sessions on Friday evenings. He is a Tutor, teaching players to become coaches and teaching coaches to be better coaches. You can even find him on YOUTUBE showing how to play table tennis properly!

 

He also still finds time (how I don’t know) to play golf and play lead guitar in a “pop” group.

He has a wife Jean, son Tim, and a daughter Julie, son in law Joe and granddaughter Natalie

(probably his wife deserves an award as well!).

 

Well Done Jim!

 

Andrea Holt
March 30, 2011