Around Ealing April / May 2019 - Page 22

LOVE YOUR PLACE A Northolt resident is using his sporting prowess as a platform for helping others, reports Quinton Drawbridge. His table tennis coaching is proving a big hit. SERVING OTHERS N icko Anderson, 23, reached the heady heights of a world ranking of 38th in Paralympic table tennis. But as well as being a very talented sportsman, Nicko has also taken the time to get involved in his community by offering free table tennis classes for local people. “I started playing table tennis when I was 11,” Nicko said. “It’s like playing chess but at 100 miles per hour. I played at a high level for 10 years, including representing Great Britain. “I started playing just as a hobby to get some exercise, but the opportunities the sport has given me are astounding – it opened a lot of doors for me. I got to travel all over the country and abroad.” 22 around ealing    April/May 2019 Nicko was a winner at Ealing Council’s recent ROAR Awards, which recognises residents who have gone above and beyond with volunteering in their community. Nicko used his prize money to buy more table tennis equipment for his classes, which are growing in size all the time. He explained: “I took a table tennis coaching course and volunteered with a coaching company to pick up more experience. When I saw a poster about community activities in Ealing, I offered to start a table tennis club. The first session was in last summer’s school holidays, and the classes have been very popular. “Table tennis has given me so much and I want other people to be able to access those same benefits.” Councillor Bassam Mahfouz is Ealing Council’s lead member for finance and leisure. He said: “Helping people to find activities where they can Get Moving is one of the council’s priorities and there are so many great opportunities to not only improve your health by becoming more active – but also, as in this case, to find a new hobby, too. “Nicko has done a great job building enthusiasm for table tennis locally and, having played a game with him, I can testify to his impressive talents! People like Nicko should be commended for getting young people involved in sport and for being such an active part of his community.” Read the full story at features/nicko MORE INFO Visit the Do Something Good website at for opportunities to get involved in your community or to promote your own community project.     Councillor Mahfouz joins in at one of the sessions