Chairman’s Message – March 2017
I hope many of you had the opportunity to watch the superb table tennis at our recent PG Mutual National Championships at the University of Nottingham. The live internet streaming and coverage of games allowed us to continue to develop these opportunities for using new – as well as existing – forms of media to promote our sport to a wider audience.
Over the weekend, the standard of play was excellent and the presentation of our premier event continues to improve and surpass expectations. We also combined this with the Pride of Table Tennis Awards which recognise the work done by some of our volunteers around the country. Their commitment and dedication is to be commended and my thanks and congratulations to all the winners, and to the many, many unnamed volunteers who are doing the same work in their Clubs and Leagues aropund the country.
Many congratulations to all our National Champions and my thanks to our players, coaches, supporters, Table Tennis England staff, sponsors, guests, officials and volunteers who helped make it such a success.
Several of our newly-crowned Champions were performing for England a few days later in the European Team Qualifiers. Our men’s team had a superb night, overcoming the Netherlands 3-0 at home and the women’s team won 3-2 in Slovenia.
As we enter the new round of funding for our sport, it should be remembered that our finances awarded by Sport England are allocated to very specific areas or projects within our table tennis framework.
However, we do know that the development and continued support of our core membership – our competitive players in Clubs and Leagues around the country – will be one of our priorities going forward.
The reality is that Table Tennis England cannot ‘do it all’ and we will continue to rely on and be grateful for the ongoing support and dedication of our volunteer network. However, what we can do is to provide resources and opportunities to help you to help yourselves and to help each other.
One of these intitiatives is the Clubs and Volunteer Conferences. We have already held two events – one in the North East and the other in the East Midlands – where we have invited local Clubs to come in, meet and talk with Table Tennis England senior staff and Board members, and share their knowledge and experiences with us and with each other.
We hope from these events, best practice will become common practice as we learn from each other and identify what we can do to help you.
Following on from the success of the two pilot conferences, Table Tennis England will be rolling out a nationwide programme over the next cycle.
Details will be released shortly and I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend and represent your Clubs. It is important that we keep in regular contact with the people who are delivering our sport throughout the country, week in and week out.