Peter White, Chairman of the Clacton & District League, has been presented with the ‘Unsung Hero Award’ by the Tendring District Council at their 2016 Sports Personality Awards Evening, held on Tuesday 1st November at Clacton Town Hall.

It was well-deserved recognition for a loyal servant of the League who, this year, celebrates a 40-year association with local table tennis.

In all but the first two years, Peter has been closely involved with the League’s organisation, having been a member of the League’s Management Committee continuously since 1978.

In that year, Peter became the League’s first-ever Tournament Officer. He continued to do the job with quiet efficiency – two words which sum up his approach to any task he does – for 32 years until 2012.

Although his role as Tournament Officer has been paramount, it’s only part of his involvement with table tennis in the Clacton and District League.

In 2000, Peter set up the League’s first website which quickly became a focus for local table tennis players and supporters. Peter then took on the unofficial role of the League’s webmaster, a job he continues to do.

In 1988, Peter was elected League’s Vice-Chairman, a post he held for 26 years, supporting long-time Chairman Brian Rowlen. Brian was a central figure in the League and, when he died in 2014, it left an immense gap in the League.

Taking over the position from a long-established person is one of the hardest jobs – but this is where Peter has shown strength, commitment and dedication over the last two years.

He took on the mantle, first as acting-League Chairman and then League Chairman, leading the Management Committee with quiet authority. Although the League obviously misses Brian’s knowledge and experience, the transition has been almost seamless, a large part of which is due to Peter’s diligent and calm approach.

In addition to his work for the League, Peter has always been closely involved with the Brotherhood Club where he spent most of his playing career. For many years, he was the club’s Treasurer. After Brian’s death in 2014, Peter and another senior colleague stepped up and took over the reins of running the Club.

Among the highlights of his association with local tennis was his involvement in a major national event when the English Table Tennis Association held its National Top 12 Table Tennis Championships at the newly-built Clacton Leisure Centre in January 1989. Peter was a member of the Management Committee for the event and took on the role of Assistant Tournament Organiser.

The Clacton League recognised Peter’s commitment in 1991 when he was awarded the Bob Phillips Trophy for services to the League, and then in 2012 when he was made a League Vice-President. Peter has also been recognised nationally, being awarded the Maurice Goldstein Merit Award by the English Table Tennis Association.

Whether as Tournament Officer, webmaster, Brotherhood Club stalwart, Vice-Chairman or Chairman, Peter has served the Clacton and District League with distinction for nearly 40 years. His calm, easy-going and non-confrontational approach has served the League well. A true unsung hero.