Lord Coe thanks hard-working table tennis coach

Kevin Bird
Kevin Bird

A hard-working volunteer recently crowned a Community Games ‘Shining Light’ received a VIP invitation to join Lord Coe on the anniversary of the 2012 Olympics.

Table tennis coach and county umpire Kevin Bird from Wellingborough received a special thank you from Lord Coe at the official opening of the Copper Box, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He was previously awarded Northamptonshire’s shining light as part of the Community Games Relay which started in Land’s End on May 19 and shone a spotlight on 70 areas last year’s Olympic Torch visited in the country.

All 70 shining lights came together to receive a thank you from Lord Coe at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on day 70 of the relay. On the day Lord Coe thanked Kevin for the role he had played in personally helping others to get involved in sport and cultural activities through Community Games.

Chris Holmes of Northamptonshire Sport said: “I am absolutely delighted Kevin was invited to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to receive a special thank you by Lord Coe.

“Kevin has been working tirelessly as a volunteer coach and chairman at Westfield Table Tennis Club.

“Through his dedication, enthusiasm and selfless commitment, he has transformed sport within their local area – giving new participants a chance to take part, encouraging youngsters to give the sport a go and helping those who want to become even better performers.”

Kevin, a father-of-two, coaches the intermediate squad at Westfield Table Tennis Club.

He also volunteers for the County Table Tennis Association and the East Midlands region, and as a player himself, he is ranked among the top 20 in the county.

Northampton MP Michael Ellis MP previously presented him the Shining Light award.

He said: ”Kevin has been absolutely instrumental in the success of Westfield Table Tennis Club in Wellingborough, having been chairman for the last four years.

“There is no part of the club he does not get involved with.

As well as the chairman’s role he acts as secretary for the club in addition to co-ordinating all the league teams, which is no mean feat with over 150 club members and six leagues being played in.

“Without Kevin doing so much volunteering as he does, much of the club’s work wouldn’t be possible and there wouldn’t be as many young people and adults benefiting from being a part of such a strong club.”