John Jenkins

Table Tennis Paralympian John Jenkins says he is “thrilled to bits and very proud” to have received an MBE for services to disability sport.

Jenkins, who represented Great Britain at the Paralympics in 1984, was a founder member of the British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities (BTTAD).

Mr Jenkins, who competed on the international stage until 1987, helped to set up the BTTAD in order to pull together several groups representing different disabilities under one umbrella organisation.

He said: “There was a clear need for those groups to come together, so I got together with Philip Lewis and three or four others representing the other disability groups and we worked together to form one organisation, the BTTAD.

“We would develop the game and bring disability table tennis together. It took a lot of battle along the way, but we got that recognition and set ourselves up as the governing body in 1993.”

John Jenkins during his playing career

Mr Jenkins was the original vice-chairman of BTTAD and was made a vice-president after standing down in the early years of this century.

He was vice chair and retired about 10 years later and became a Vice-President.

He is currently president of SportsAble, a charity which provides sporting opportunities to disabled people – he has been a stalwart of the club since it began in 1975.

Of his MBE, he said: “It came totally out of leftfield – I opened a letter at the end of November from the Cabinet Office and it was this news that the Prime Minister had made the recommendation to the Queen that I should receive the MBE. It just blew me apart, really.

“It’s wonderful, I’m thrilled to bits and very proud – for my family and for SportsAble as well.

“All I’ve done is just have fun with friends – this reflects what the club has done for me and is doing for hundreds of others now.”

Paul Stimpson
January 7, 2015