Table tennis player Peter Cowburn is not just a dab hand with a bat, he also sets a fine example to young players in Worksop.
Now his efforts at being a role model have led to Andy Lee, chairman of Worksop Table Tennis League, nominating the 18-year-old for the Bakkavor Desserts Young People of the Year (YOPEY) competition in Notts.
Andy describes Peter, of Abingdon View in Gateford, as one of the best players in the league.
But it is his other work that prompted him to nominate Peter.
“Peter acts to make sure there are no tantrums at the table from the 40 junior players, instead showing them, good behaviour and sportsmanship,” he said.
“He has given advice freely on his experiences and on how to respect the adult players and umpires in the Worksop League.
He has also advised players on how to develop and improve their own abilities.”
“If players are feeling down because they have not played to the best of their ability he will encourage them and cheer them up.”
Peter took his commitment one step further when he volunteered to help junior players gain their Table Tennis England Junior Umpire Awards.
A qualified local league umpire, he volunteered to help junior players gain their Table Tennis England Junior Umpire Awards.
This included providing the juniors with the correct information required to take their test.
He organised the dates of the assessment and independently assessed each of four juniors who all passed the recommended standard.
In addition, Peter put himself through courses for sports leadership, Level
1 coaching for football as well as table tennis, child welfare and first-aid so that he could work with young sports people.
Andy concluded: “Peter is a role model to the 40 junior players but is equally respected by the older players for the example that he sets.”
Peter has been playing table tennis for seven years.
He first played on a family holiday in France then continued at it at Elizabethan High School in Retford and never looked back.
He trains with, coaches, and plays for Redlands.
He can train twice a week, and then play twice a week as well in the season.
“It’s a large part of my time and I put a lot of effort into it. I enjoy it and feel I get a lot out of it as well,” he said.
As for coaching, he added: “It was great to see young people develop their skills and grow in the game, and showing them how to behave is also important.”
“It’s not just about how to play the sport but how to conduct yourself properly,² he said.
But Peter’s time at the tables in Worksop is going to be rationed as he is off to Imperial College, London, to study physics.
Peter, who also plays football for Worksop Boys Club, intends to play table tennis and other sports at university.
He has three weeks to play of the season before heading south, but will practice and do other work in holidays.
YOPEY is backed by the leaders of the three main political parties at Westminster and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Baroness Sue Campbell of Loughborough, who chairs the Youth Sport Trust, could have been thinking of Peter when she commented: “Sport is a powerful vehicle though which young people can lead others and volunteer their time.
“Through leading and volunteering in sport not only do young people support other young people’s participation in sport they, themselves, also grow as confident, responsible and contributing citizens.”
Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year?
To nominate logon to yopey.org or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for a paper entry form.
Entries close on 15th September.
The awards will be presented in October.