Jack Petchey has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours.

The newly-titled Sir Jack receives the honour from the Queen for services to young people in east London and Essex through the Jack Petchey Foundation, which is a principal partner of Table Tennis England.

The Foundation was established in 1999 with a mission to support the aspirations and ambitions of young people and to encourage them to take full advantage of every opportunity that is available to them. Since then, it has awarded grants of around £100 million to programmes and projects that exist to benefit young people aged between 11 and 25.

One of the grants Jack Petchey awards is for the London Schools Table Tennis Programme, which is co-ordinated by Table Tennis England. The programme provides tables, equipment, training and support to schools as well as a progressive individual and team competition to help more schools and colleges deliver more table tennis activity to more young people.

Well over 20,000 young people have directly benefited from the London Schools Table Tennis Programme, with some 700 indoor tables and 145 outdoor tables placed in around 200 schools and colleges.

Sir Jack, aged 90, said: “It is such an honour to receive this knighthood.

“What I am proudest of is the recognition it gives to the Jack Petchey Foundation and the young people we support.

“I always say ‘If you think you can, you can’ whatever your background. Being recognised with this honour proves just that to the youngsters we work with.”

Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe said: “All of us at Table Tennis England would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Sir Jack.

“His commitment to and support of young people has been inspirational, through table tennis and the countless other schemes the Foundation has supported over many years. This is a richly deserved accolade.”