Glasgow Lives, Terry, 63, Drumchapel, Chairman of Table Tennis Scotland

Posted on the 19th of March, 2022.

Terry is the founder of Drumchapel Table Tennis Club which started in 1989 with one table, which has grown to 160. Terry was Sport Scotland Coach of the Year in 1996 and was awarded an MBE for his contribution to Sport in the Community in 2010.

I started playing table tennis 47 years ago, I’m from Dennistoun originally but was brought up in Drumchapel and one of my pals suggested we join the local youth club which had five table tennis tables in a row, I’d never seen so many.

As soon as I picked up a bat for the first time, I really enjoyed it and a coach, Charlie Brown, helped me, he encouraged us to improve and play competitively, and he now works with me here at Drumchapel Table Tennis Club.

At 18, the youth club told me I had to leave as it was for under 18s and the only way that I could continue to be a member was to be a youth leader and do all the courses, which I did, and I’ve never looked back.

I’m a do-er, I get things done, and through table tennis, which was first my hobby, it’s become my life. It’s led to jobs, volunteering, supporting kids in schools, adults, people with disabilities, and most recently Parkinson’s sessions.

I’ve coached in clubs all over the country and visited clubs on Orkney, Shetland, and Barra. From visiting my auntie with our family of seven every year in Stevenson, up until the age of 25, now table tennis has taken me to almost 40 countries.

You can feel the atmosphere as soon as you walk in the door of a table tennis club - it’s welcoming and sociable. Plus, it’s a phenomenal, all-inclusive sport and is growing in popularity, especially with girls and the elderly.

One of our members, Davey Graham who I’ve played with for many, many years developed Parkinson’s. We’ve raised almost £5000 for Parkinson’s and have helped set up sessions twice a week at Drumchapel for people with Parkinson’s. We thought 3 or 4 people might come when we first set it up, we had 14.

In partnership with Glasgow Life, we’ve got classes across Glasgow - Scotstoun, Castlemilk, Bellahouston, Easterhouse and Springburn. When we first started, sometimes no one would turn up but one lady in particular, Janet, who is 93, came every week and we went from 1 person to 300 people per week before the pandemic. We hope to start up the classes again soon.

I’m not being big-headed but I’m good at what I do. I persevere and have patience and love helping people with Parkinson’s or physical disabilities, or those who have had a stroke.

We operate as a charity and we’re happy with our wee hall, and if anyone is interested in helping us, then come and see us. Glasgow Life and Sport Scotland support us but we’re always open to more help, there’s a feel-good factor with helping people.

The people at this club really love it, I put music on, loads of tunes from the 70s, and there’s great vibes, the kids love it too, especially with the music. 100 people come through these doors each week and I look forward to seeing every single one of them.

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