Portishead's Grounsell 'truly honoured and humbled' as club's first lifetime member

PUBLISHED: 11:13 01 October 2019

Dave Grounsell with his teammates Edgar Sarfs and Derek Connop

Dave Grounsell with his teammates Edgar Sarfs and Derek Connop

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Portishead Table Tennis Club member Dave Grounsell says he is 'truly honoured and humbled' to be the first lifetime member in the history of the club.

After completing his first coaching course in October 2014, Grounsell set up a weekly training session in a one-table venue on a Friday night in an attempt to encourage new players of all ages to try out table tennis.

In March 2015, his training sessions became so popular he had to move to a bigger venue at Gordano School's sports hall and now runs three training sessions a week on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays with an average of 20 players in attendance.

"I was truly honoured and humbled to be given an honorary life membership of the club," said Grounsell, who plays for the Portishead Destroyers team in the Bristol League Division Two, after receiving the honour.

Portishead club general secretary Steve Knight, who was one of the first people to attend Grounsell's coaching sessions, added: "He has played a part in literally saving my life.

"I had just been diagnosed with the triple whammy of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

"My doctor made it pretty clear that if I didn't change my lifestyle and get some exercise, I would be in big trouble.

"Table Tennis seemed like one possible solution and Dave welcomed me to his coaching sessions and got me playing again after a break of more than 50 years to the point where I now compete regularly in the Bristol League - and also became my good friend.

"I am now five stones lighter and absolutely loving my new life. Dave helped make all that possible and I can't thank him enough.

"It's not just me, though. Dave's coaching sessions have attracted all sorts of new people and the many youngsters, in particular, are now forming the backbone of the club as we field more sides than ever before.

"His award - the first in the club's history - is very well deserved."

For more information about the club see tabletennis365.com/Portishead or contact Stephen Knight on 01275 871925 or steve@knighttrain.co.uk.

Club Development officer Derek Connop can be contacted on 07779 118936 or by emailing derek.connop@hotmail.co.uk.

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