Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Veteran table tennis player Pam Butcher, from Meopham, nominated for a Brave Britons Award

Veteran table tennis gran Pam Butcher has been shortlisted in a national competition for elderly people.

The 88-year-old globetrotting sportswoman, from Meopham, has reached the final 10 in the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2020 Active Agers category.

Pam Butcher in action in 2016
Pam Butcher in action in 2016

Pam Butcher, of Denesway, started playing the game in her 20s having earlier been a county level tennis player.

The retired Dartford council housing allocation officer won the Veterans' European Championships in 1995 and has been awarded an MBE for her services to the sport.

She reached the selection stage of the Amplifon Awards out of about 50 nominations in the category chosen by the public from around the UK.

Four finalists will be selected in each category and the winner will be announced in October.

Falklands War hero Simon Weston chairs the judging panel.

Pam Butcher was awarded an MBE for her service to table tennis
Pam Butcher was awarded an MBE for her service to table tennis

Pam has won 13 gold medals in veterans' singles and doubles competitions since the 1980s.

Back in her 20s, Pam was playing tennis at AEI tennis club, Kings Farm, Gravesend, when one day she was invited to take part in a game of ping-pong.

She joined a team until she put her paddle down to start a family.

At the age of 35, she took up the sport again at her then workplace, North West College, where she was an administrative officer.

Since then she has travelled the world competing and winning European and international titles.

Pam, who plays at Meopham Table Tennis Club, has owned the same paddle for 40 years.

After receiving the MBE from Prince Charles, she said: "He was very charming. He said to me 'are you still playing' and I said yes and he said 'fantastic', but I don't think I will take you on."

Pam has been an ambassador to promote the sport to young and old alike.

She said: "All the time I have been playing, I have been trying to encourage others to play the sport.

"I have always enjoyed hitting a ball about. If you do a good shot you just feel good.

"I don't know how long I can keep playing; it's been a great life."

The awards recognise members of the public, community and charity champions, members of the armed forces and emergency services who have shown remarkable courage but The Active Agers award recognises an individual aged 60 or over whose attitude and approach to ageing is an inspiration to others.

Amplifon is a leading global hearing specialist with 200 clinics across the UK and southern Ireland.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More