The Darlington Table tennis Academy is committed to working with schools in the Darlington area to bring about an increase in participation in table tennis and to develop young players to represent teams in the Local, Regional and National leagues.
In the past 10 months we have carried out taster sessions and coaching at Education Village and Longfield Academy and because of the close proximity of DTTA to the Main Sports Hall at Longfield Academy we started taster’s sessions in October 2013 covering year 7 and 8 introducing over 400 students to table tennis.
This has been very successful and the DTTA is now running an After School Club at Longfield with an average attendance of 35 students per week. This has had a beneficial effect to DTTA where youngsters who have experienced and enjoyed the sport, are becoming members of the club to gain further coaching and development.
As part of our commitment to working with schools we have agreed an initial 10 week after school club with Polam, Hummersknott and Carmel Academies in September 2014. Our aim is to continue these sessions beyond the 10 weeks and develop an inter school league with the four Academies. This would require funding and support and DTTA will be discussing this initiative with the Darlington Sports Development Team in the coming weeks.
Our objective for 2015/2016 is to involve more Academies and also include primary schools as a means of increasing participation and interest in the sport.
DTTA relies heavily on the commitment and hard work of our coaches and volunteers and because these sessions will be carried out during the day there are only a limited number of resources to cover these sessions therefore the programme will be scheduled and planned taking account of that situation.