David Simpson Tribute

David Simpson made a voluntary commitment to the development of Table Tennis in Wymondham and the surrounding villages for around 60 years. David sadly passed away in June 2020, but his relentless dedication to Table Tennis and in particular the Wymondham League for some 6 decades has not only been inspirational, but has brought opportunity, enjoyment and success to so many table tennis players both young and old. Without David’s passion for all things table tennis, it is probably true to say that there wouldn’t be a Wymondham Table Tennis today.

David’s introduction to table tennis took place while he was completing his National Service on the Isle of Wight.  On returning home he immediately became an active member of his local league joining the League Committee whilst continuing to also enjoy playing in a number of other local Leagues.

Having started playing table tennis in his early twenties, he trained hard and thoroughly enjoyed the competitiveness of the game. He was equally passionate about the pub and the camaraderie that followed in the post match debate and get together. He enjoyed success as a player but it was his passion and drive for development of the league and the players, particularly the younger ones that made him stand out. No one could escape David’s table tennis mission ‘thou shall play table tennis’, both young and old were encouraged and guided to the most appropriate local club. David’s personality and persistence never wavered over all the years right until he passed away.

Committee Service

For well over 50 years David held many roles on the Committee, ranging from Vice President, League Secretary, Minute Secretary, Press Secretary, Tournament Organiser,  League Development Officer, Junior Affairs Secretary and on two occasions, Chairman. He also served on the Norfolk County Table Tennis Association for a number of years too.

In the 90’s David was the driving force behind a successful application and monetary award for the launch of a new Table Tennis club in Watton Community Centre, Norfolk which still thrives today (from their new home at Garvestone Village Hall), supplying many of the league’s best players.

Table Tennis and Player Development in the Community

David’s knowledge of the game was truly unique and his skill lay in not only developing an individuals interest but nurturing and fine tuning their skills. David had great self awareness and balance of knowing what he could do and what was not a personal strength. He was always keen to learn and expert in judging when players needed to move on to more qualified coaches when their standard necessitated this. He was always thoughtful of the player and selflessly facilitated the most appropriate talent pathway for them. Equally important though, David encouraged players of all standards, making them feel special so they really enjoyed the game.

David organised and established a program of table tennis coaching in 8 local schools and clubs not previously engaged in Table Tennis. Always volunteering with an infectious level of enthusiasm and resourcefulness David was able to motivate people to follow him and support him in many initiatives to develop the sport over the decades. David’s mission for table tennis transformed the local table tennis landscape and laid the bedrock of the thriving local club and league structure that is in place today.

There are many players today that are indebted to the tireless development and input that David contributed to the local club and school table tennis setup and his presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.

The Wymondham League under David’s leadership as Chairman has even, in challenged times, provided repeated funding for many players, clubs and coaches. The Table Tennis England UKCCI level 3 Head Coach is a relatively new highly prestigious award. However, Wymondham Table Tennis league has fully supported Sam Rock (England young coach of year 2017) and Stuart Laws, on their journey to achieve Head Coach status and go on to run their own clubs.

Summary

It is impossible to summarise all his achievements over six decades but many players David has introduced to the game have gone on to enjoy success playing at County level.

Just as important are the many more players David has “given a game for life” that continue to play in our local Leagues – some serving on Committees so future generations can continue to participate in our sport.

It is a testament to the character and hard work of David that the foundation and structure that has been developed in Wymondham will for a long time to come be a living memory and legacy of him. We do hope that you would like to be a part of this legacy.