Braintree Table Tennis League Club Netts, based in Earls Colne, marked a new stage in their development with a lighting lift-off day to celebrate the installation of new lights in their hall.
The ceremonial turning-on, in front of local councillors and representatives of Table Tennis England and the Braintree League, was the culmination of nearly a year’s work by the club in raising the funds.
It started with a successful bid to Table Tennis England for £10,000, but this was subject to matching funding. This was then secured with grants from the Braintree League, Essex Table Tennis Association, Braintree District Council, Earls Colne Parish Council, Earls Colne Recreation Centre, the Richard Edwards Group, De Vere Travel and Netts themselves.
An Olympic standard lighting scheme was installed in early April. Phase 2 of the project is new club equipment, due to arrive in the next month..
The Lift Off event included an open day and four mini Top 12 tournaments.
In the junior section Ella Doddington (Colchester) scored a surprise win over No 1 seed Ben Malin from Southend with Netts’ own Mia Charles in third place.
Netts players were to the fore in the B section, which was won by Max Plumridge with a victory over Black Notley’s Patrice Elonge in the final. Netts’ Joe Belsom, who knocked out the seeded Kelly Yuenyongpknan, finished third.
In the A section a mixture of Netts, Braintree, Colchester and Chelmsford players were going for the title and it was Colchester’s Martyn Green who emerged victorious with a win over the top seed Trevor Collin in the final.
The premier event included the current Braintree champion Brandon Crouchman and former Chelmsford champions Alex Abbott and Rik James but it was Netts’ Andy Holmes who sprang a surprise by removing Abbott in three straight games in the semi-final. James, however, was in a class of his own and comfortably took the title.
The next event at Netts is their summer league, which begins this week.