Table Tennis volunteers Paul Bovett and John Mullis are to receive a royal seal of approval for their years of dedication.

They are among this year’s recipients of the Torch Trophy Trust Awards, which recognise outstanding achievement by hardworking volunteers in sport.

They will both be presented with their honours by the Countess of Wessex at a ceremony later this month.

Paul Bovett, who is 76, has promoted table tennis for decades in the Sedgemoor area in Somerset. He particularly helps schools, running coaching sessions at lunchtimes and after school, and also runs a local league team. He has inspired numerous people who were once coached by him to take up coaching themselves in adult life.

John, aged 75, has been secretary of the Croydon League for 29 years and is vice chairman of the Surrey TTA. On top of the many duties this entails, John has worked to integrate a team of deaf players into the league.

A total of 18 volunteers from across the country will receive their awards at the Army and Navy Club on February 24 to honour their outstanding contributions to grassroots sport.

The awards were instigated in 1962 and day-to-day support has been provided by the Sport and Recreation Alliance since 1999.

As well as commemorating achievements, it offers bursaries to individuals to enable them to develop their skills.

Further details can be found on the trust’s website by clicking here