The amazing Hans Soova has been featured in his local media as he continues to coach table tennis at the age of 88.
Hans (pictured above), who won the Contribution to Table Tennis category in the 2021 Pride of Table Tennis Awards, is the subject of an article run online and in print by the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.
The article covers his long career, which has seen him coach a number of players who have represented England at various levels, including the likes of Melody Ludi and Mike O’Driscoll.
The latest player to aim to follow in those illustrious footsteps is Isabella Crooks, 17, and the article also details how Hans has helped her to improve since she took up the sport at the age of eight – including playing outdoors during the pandemic lockdowns.
Estonian Hans, who came to England as a refugee in 1951, has been heavily involved with table tennis coaching for more than half a century. Starting his coaching journey in 1965 in Bradford, Hans became head coach at the centre of excellence in Leeds.
Through his tutelage 24 players went on to represent England internationally at senior, junior and cadet levels, with many more at schools’ internationals. That total of 24 is a record, according to ITTF research.
In 2012, Hans was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to table tennis. He shows no signs of slowing down and still coaches three times a week.