Gorazd Vecko Honored as MBE for Para Table Tennis Achievements

Gorazd Vecko Awarded MBE for Outstanding Contribution to British Para Table Tennis

Gorazd Vecko, the Slovenia-born British Para Table Tennis (BPTT) performance director, has been awarded the prestigious title of Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by King Charles III. This honor recognizes Vecko’s outstanding contribution and service to the United Kingdom.

Vecko has served as the BPTT performance director since 2009, during which time British athletes have experienced remarkable success, securing 14 table tennis medals at the Paralympic Games. After a medal drought at the Beijing 2008 Games, Britain’s para table tennis team flourished, winning four medals at the London 2012 home Games and then clinching gold medals for Rob Davies and Will Bayley at Rio 2016.

The British team’s achievements continued, with seven medals earned at the delayed 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo and a further 10 medals at last year’s World Championships. Bayley and Ross Wilson have also been crowned world champions in their respective classes under Vecko’s guidance.

Prior to his role with BPTT, Vecko had a successful coaching career, leading Mateja Pintar to Slovenia’s first-ever table tennis gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004. Vecko also served as an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tournament director for para events from 2009 to 2015, and has held positions on the ITTF Para Committee Board and as the vice-president of Table Tennis England.

Vecko expressed his pride and gratitude upon receiving the MBE, stating, “This award means the world to me. It is really nice to be recognized, and as a non-British citizen, I am honored and proud to get an award like this.” He acknowledged that the award is a reflection of the collective effort of the BPTT organization and the athletes he has worked with, saying, “This award is not only for me but for British Para Table Tennis because if I didn’t have the athletes and staff around me, I would never have been nominated for something like this.

BPTT chair Karen Tonge praised Vecko for “changing the culture and structure of our world-class performance programme,” highlighting his instrumental role in the team’s remarkable success.

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