A man who dedicated himself to the development of disability table tennis has been nominated for one of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.
George Keith, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 77, went to the 1984 Paralympics in New York and played until the end, but his work in the grassroots game was just as impressive.
So much so he has been put forward for the Lifetime Achievement prize.
George’s coaching encompassed Triangle and Powis Table Tennis Clubs, Active Schools, Grampian Disability Sport, the Special Olympics Grampian Association – where he also served as team manager – and other groups.
The nomination says he “paved the way” to the table tennis opportunities which insist for disabled people in the area now.
Aberdeen and District Table Tennis Association said: “George contributed hugely to table tennis in Aberdeen over many years.
“As well as his playing and coaching ability, he brought the sport to many people who would otherwise never have had the opportunity to participate competitively.
“He was also a stalwart of Triangle Table Tennis Club, both as treasurer and player/team secretary. We shall all miss him greatly.”
George was a champion for disabled people and also served as a councillor for Tillydrone in the 1970s.
His work within the sport required him to organise kit and travel to competitions on top of his coaching.
He won the Aberdeen Lord Provost’s Award in 2010 and was made an honorary life member of Table Tennis Scotland in 2016.
When he was given this honour, Table Tennis Scotland said: “George is an exceptional player himself but has brought the sport across the region for anyone to get involved in table tennis regardless of their ability.
“He enhances their skills in a safe, secure environment, building their confidence.
“Many players have developed well and are now able to compete and play in the mainstream environment. He has also supported athletes to transition into coaching allowing the structure he set up more than 30 years ago to be sustainable.
“He also runs a league for players across Scotland with a disability so they get competitive opportunities outwith their club environment on a regular basis.
“George has also been the driver behind getting a disability section into the North-East Table Tennis Competition held at Aberdeen Sports Village each year, thus allowing players to develop further and gain competitive opportunities at the next level.
“George, who has a disability himself and is a former Paralympian, travels the length and breadth of the country with his athletes allowing them to get out of the sport what he has for many years.
“George knows what his sport can bring to athletes and knows first hand the long-term benefits sport can bring to athletes with a disability and wants others to have this opportunity.”
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
Visit aberdeenssportsawards.co.uk to nominate a community partner, individual or club.
Nominations close on August 4.