Corby man donates table tennis equipment to school in memory of dad

Richard Smith with his son James and daughter Natalie.
Richard Smith with his son James and daughter Natalie.

A Corby man has donated money for new table tennis tables to the school his children attended in memory of his father.

Richard Smith heard an appeal for equipment from Exeter Primary School in Corby on Corby Radio.

And, with the second anniversary of his father’s death coming up, he decided he wanted to do something his dad would have done.

He got in contact with the school and bought them two tables – and it’s proved so popular that he’s going to buy two more.

Mr Smith said: “I really wanted to do something for my dad and the idea came to me like a ton of bricks.

“Dad would have done exactly the same, he was that kind of guy and I’m a believer in good karma.

“It’s been so popular, with more than 60 kids joining their club, that I’m going to get them a couple more.

“It doesn’t cost that much money really, and I get as much pleasure out of it as the kids do by playing.”

Upon receiving the donation the school’s PE teacher Joe Reilly decided to name the club the David Smith Memorial Club in honour of Richard’s father.

And Richard says the decision means a lot to him.

He added: “I never even thought of the idea, I’m over the moon.

“It really means a lot to me and the kids enjoy it.

“When I was younger we were always out on our bikes, not sitting inside on computers like they do now.

“I had the easy part by buying the tables - Joe’s definitely got the hard part running the club.”

PE teacher Joe Reilly says Richard’s generosity took him by surprise.

He said: “A week after we ran the appeal Richard phoned up and it caught me off guard a bit.

“He said that his dad would have stepped up if he was around and it obviously meant a lot to him.

“Without Richard we wouldn’t have a club but we’ve now got more than 60 children attending.

“It’s now the most popular sport in the school.”

The club is set to expand and hopes to have a breakfast club in place by January.

Joe added: “It’s really good for those kids who normally don’t play sport, quite often the kids who are good at football take over.

“There’s also the social side to it, and it gets kids thinking.

“It’s great for their co-ordination and we’ve been pushing for it for about a year but we’ve never had the money.

“We’ve literally gone from having nothing to potentially four or five tables.”