Several months ago, our President, Joe Hickey, made a proposal to the Board to introduce Honorary Life Membership Awards. This proposal was unanimously accepted and the following criteria was adopted.


This award is the highest distinction which can be given by the Irish Table Tennis Association and will never be lightly awarded. It should not be made for length of service alone but for outstanding service.

Nomination is restricted to those who have given outstanding service to the Irish Association at national or provincial levels.

A nominee must:

a. Be over the age of 65 years, but exceptions may be made.

b. Have served the Association credibly in a voluntary capacity either at Board or exceptionally at Branch level for a minimum period of 20 years; service may not necessarily have been continuous

c. Be in good standing with the Association

The nomination of persons for appointment as Honorary Life Members will be made by the President, Life President or Deputy Life President. Such nominees must be approved by a majority of the ITTA Board and the President and one of either the Life or Deputy Life President to receive the award of Honorary Life Membership

The Board subsequently approved the nominations of Ted Mahaffy from Belfast and Tommy Rowsome from Dublin to receive the first Honorary Life Memberships under this criteria.


Ted Mahaffy has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years in many roles which include holding various offices in the Ulster Branch in addition to being an Ulster Underage coach for a long period. He has been a long-time member of the ITTA Disciplinary panel. As well as being an active qualified ITTA Umpire, he has been a successful player, representing Ireland at both Over 60 and Over 70 levels with a Six Nations medal to attest to his ability. A recent description of Ted correctly describe him as being loved by the players he coaches and being a Friend of All and Loved by All. A terrific example of selfless commitment to the sport of Table Tennis.


Tommy Rowsome is another fully deserving of Honorary Life Membership. He coached in Dublin’s Glenalbyn Club and other clubs for more than 45 years mainly at schools and junior levels. He coached his 3 most well known junior players to be outstanding Irish Senior Champions and Senior international players. These are Colum Slevin, Anne Butler (née Leonard) and Kevin Keane. The hallmark of Tommy’s running any club has been his ability to make the training enjoyable by creating a good social atmosphere. His handicap tournaments were legendary advised Colum Slevin recently. Colum also advised that some of Tommy’s coaching methods were well ahead of the time, introducing multi ball in the club in the 1970s. Another fine example of selfless commitment to the sport.

“The contributions made by Ted and Tommy have enriched our sport and indeed the lives of all who have known them down through the years. They thoroughly deserve this award and, on behalf of the membership, I congratulate them on their election as Life Members” said ITTA President Joe Hickey.

The awards will be presented at the next Annual General Meeting on Saturday 13th June 2015.