On Friday 7th February the ETTA launched the South West Talent Development Centre in Plymouth. The centre based at Eggbuckland Community College is open 7 days a week and will work with a squad of under 14 players who will receive at least 10 hours coaching per week. The squad will be led by Talent Development Coach Paul Whiting and his assistant coaches Marketa Myskova, Mike Hugh and Kevin Buddell.
The squad will also benefit from the support of regular sparring partners and a full competition program where they will be supported by the TDC coaching team. There will also be links made with Marjon university who will provide expert strength and conditioning support and a physical training program for all players.
The centre will also support the development of a ‘hope’ squad which will see the players initially start their training at various satellite clubs around the city before feeding into the main TDC set up. There has already been a program of taster days set up around the city’s primary schools, which will feed the next generation of TDC players into the satellite clubs. The centre began operation on the 5th January but was officially launched by representatives from the ETTA, Joola Plymouth TTC and Eggbuckland Community College last Friday’.
The Head Coach and Talent Development Manager at the English Table Tennis Association Nick Jarvis said: “The sport has recognised that development centres are the way forward, Sport England has given us the opportunity to bring this to life. Full time, part time and volunteers working on a daily basis with a squad of players puts us in a position to have a continuous supply of players capable of beating the best. Talent ID will help to develop feeder squads increasing the pool of talent within the area. The Joola Plymouth Academy has been recognised as somewhere that can achieve our goals for the program and we look forward to working closely with them in the future”.
The Director of PE & Sport Graham Pearson said: “Eggbuckland Community College is passionate about providing the best possible opportunities for both our local and the wider community of the City of Plymouth. For this reason the College has operated a community sports programme known as Activate for over nearly 20 years. Table tennis has played an integral part in that provision. The sport has been a curriculum activity for 23 years and has been enjoyed as an after school activity for this same period of time. The College has also been the host venue for the Devon Schools Table Tennis Association’s individual and team county championships and has hosted the area final of the national championships since I became Director of PE and Sport in 1990?.
He continued: “We have long supported the concept of the sports continuum and table tennis fits perfectly into a provision that is able to span a vast range of abilities and interests. The City-wide community will be given the opportunity, with our support, to experience table tennis through primary school coaching under the direction of the Plymouth Sports Partnership. The satellites that are being set up will provide the next point on the pathway and the Clubs operating as part of the Plymouth League will be able to provide access to life-long involvement in competitive play. The establishment of the Table Tennis Development Centre, however, will provide a further strand of provision now, enabling those young individuals with talent, passion and resilience to follow a route towards an elite playing experience that has not previously been available to them. Watch this space!”.
For further information on the Plymouth talent development centre, please contact Paul Whiting