Brighton Table Tennis Club’s Tim Holtam has been nominated for a prestigious National Lottery Award.
Tim (pictured above), one of the club’s founders in 2007, has been shortlisted in the sport category.
The annual awards recognise the incredible difference Lottery-funded projects have made to people, places and communities all across the UK. They also celebrate the talent, hard work and amazing dedication of the people involved in running them.
Tim told Brighton and Hove News: “It’s a real honour to be nominated for a National Lottery Award and a bit of a shock, if I’m honest!
“Sport can be used to engage people from all walks of life. It can truly transform and enhance their world – bringing everyone together.
“That’s what we try to achieve every day at the club. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how old you are, the common ground is just to have fun and play table tennis. It’s about feeling a sense of belonging, through sport.”
Tim co-founded the club originally to give working-class kids from deprived suburbs something to do, but it has grown into something much bigger.
Nowadays, the club has its own full-time centre in Kemptown and works with all sectors of the community, including refugees, prisoners and people with learning difficulties. It is also a Senior British League, Premier Division club.
Tim added: “Support from the National Lottery has been invaluable. It has enabled us to massively expand our reach and impact working with people who would otherwise not be able to afford to access the best coaching and all of the opportunities that come with it.
“It has also given us the tools to be able to share with others how to build grassroots community clubs from the ground up.
“More people should be doing things like this. Without the help from organisations like the National Lottery, it’s a long and very difficult road.”
National Lottery Awards are given across seven categories: Art, Education, Environment, Health, Heritage, Sport and Charity/Voluntary.
This year’s winners will be revealed in the Autumn and will each receive a £5,000 prize for their organisation, as well as a trophy.
Paralympic champion Will Bayley trains at Brighton and recently filmed a video at the club highlighting the impact the National Lottery has had on him.