Annual Report for 2014
The Club enjoyed another astonishingly successful year for its first full year in operation which included awards, recognition, successful grant funding applications, a first attempt in league competition, a satellite club at DCBC, having boy and girl junior champions of the Sunderland & District TT Association, purchasing additional tables and a robot, and ended with offering four sessions per week from the Large Hall of Brandon Community Hall as follows:-
Monday 7 to 9 pm (League matches only)
Thursday 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Saturday 10 am until noon
Sunday 10 am until noon
With the exception of Monday evenings which are reserved exclusively for the playing of league matches, the other three sessions are for players of all ages and abilities. The cost to participants is £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children and coaching is available to all and included in the price. Junior players are encouraged to attend the Saturday morning coaching sessions which have been designated for this purpose. Being directly affiliated to Table Tennis England (ETTA), the sport’s national governing body, the club uses only the services of ETTA licensed coaches.
Club Management Committee and Relationship with Brandon Community Association
Paula, Erin and Keith Harrison left the Club early in the year and Welfare Officer Chris Leishman temporarily took over Paula’s role as Treasurer. However, with four Club officials being elected to the General Committee of Brandon Community Association at its AGM on 9th September 2014, Lynn Reilly ended the year as Club Treasurer. Chris became Chairman of the Association with Tom Sharples Vice-Chairman, Tony Taylor Secretary and Martin Knopf another trustee. This representation will ensure that the club has a strong voice on the Community Hall’s ruling body.
Northumbria and Sunderland Leagues
The club’s first attempt at competitive league play was very successful with its only team finishing in a creditable third position in Division 4 of the Northumbria Summer League 2014. Two teams were entered in Division 3 of the Sunderland League and one team in Division 4 of the Northumbria League for season 2014/15, and at the half-way stage of the season two of the teams lead their respective divisions and are already favourites to achieve promotion. Please see the websites ‘www.tabletennis365.com/northumbria’ and ‘www.tabletennis365.com/sunderland’ for match score cards, league tables, players’ averages, fixtures and further details.
County Durham Intergenerational Network Awards 2014
The club won an Age UK County Durham award in the category of ‘Intergenerational Organisation’ at an Awards Ceremony which was held at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club on Thursday, 3rd April 2014. This was in recognition of the work done at the club across all age groups with coaching sessions being held for primary school children and for adults and senior citizens. In addition to this formal award, the club has received a number of unsolicited comments from new members and visitors alike about how friendly and welcoming it is. This is a growing reputation we are proud of.
Improvements to Community Hall premises
Thanks to generous grant funding received from County Durham Community Foundation, Mid-Durham Area Action Partnership, the Co-operative Bank Community Fund and Brandon Residents Association, not only were we able to purchase new tables, surrounds, and a training aid ‘robot’ for our club, but we have also contributed towards the Community Association’s painting and decorating, and sound-proofing measures, as well as purchasing new lightweight chairs and agreeing to contribute towards the cost of providing new vertical blinds in the Large Hall. In addition, following an exhibition match on Thursday, 20th March featuring England’s Karina LeFevre and Mike Marsden of Wales (which was played in the Hall’s sub-standard lighting) a very generous gift of about £2,000 worth of light fittings was received from Thorn Lighting, Spennymoor (24 on 5th April and a further 21 on 16th August) and fitted throughout the entire Community Hall. The improvement to the lighting has been a great benefit to all user groups.
Grant Funding – Mid Durham Area Action Partnership.
A further AAP Small Grant award of £400 allowed us to organise a table tennis festival for local primary schools in Brandon Community Hall on Thursday, 5th June 2014. Club Coach Paul Henderson prepared a programme of exercises and led the day’s activities, assisted by club volunteers Lynn Reilly and Angela Crane. The event was enjoyed by all participants.
‘Move into Sport’ Programme
The club is a delivery partner of County Durham Sport for its ‘Move into Sport’ programme which aims to provide exercise and fun activities for inactive adults who are at risk of cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes. We accept referrals from local GP’s surgeries and other NHS professionals, and have delivered a number of these courses already, with further planned for early in 2015. Attendance for only one hour per week entitles participants who attend for 75% or more of the course to receive a FREE incentive (IPP kit or bat) which it is hoped will encourage them to continue with the exercise and hopefully stay with the club. Further details about the programme can be found on the County Durham Sport website.
Club Coach Paul Henderson continues to provide weekly coaching sessions at Browney Academy and other local primary schools. It is hoped that these coaching activities at local schools, together with festivals and tournaments held at our club premises will encourage more junior players to attend our coaching sessions at the club in Brandon Community Hall on a Saturday morning.
Paul Henderson delivered his first session at our ‘satellite club’ at Durham Community Business College, Ushaw Moor, on Tuesday, 3rd June. Two old tables from our club were transported to DCBC to supplement the two they have at the College. The programme is due to run for one year, and will be deemed a success if 24 young people are playing regularly at the end, with 3 making the transition to the hub club at Brandon. However, our ambitious aim is to encourage DCBC to be hosting its own community table tennis ‘hub’ club by the end of the programme.
2015 and Beyond
At our current rate of development, the club is well ‘on track’ to achieve the ambitious increase in membership figures and the number of talented individuals competing for County level honours identified in the Club Development Plan.
Brandon & Byshottles TT Club
31st December 2014.