It’s been an amazingly busy period at the club over the past couple of months and we would like to thank everybody connected with all of the events many have participated in and helped successfully run over the past few months.
As most of you were probably aware in December the club was shortlisted in the Plymouth Herald Sports Personality of the year awards for “Community Club of the Year”.
At the very high profile event held at the Plymouth Pavilions recently celebrities Sharon Davies and Kevin Keegan announced we were the winners of the 2015 Community Club of the year and duly presented the award to our club volunteers who attended the event. It was richly deserved for the amount of hard work all our volunteers and members are putting in to the club. Well done to you all.
We have also had players playing competitively all over the country in National Competitions. The juniors have attended various tournaments and at the recent East Midland 4 Star tournament there were some notable successes. On the team front our Junior teams have competed in the British League events held in Derby with our junior boys finishing in joint 1st place and National league events held in Plymouth again with some outstanding performances from JOOLA Plymouth players. Thanks to Paul Whiting for his efforts and all the assistant coaches and sparrers who help out covering sessions when a lot of the players and coaches are away at weekends.
Our seniors and veterans also continue to compete nationally and a few are attending this year’s World Veteran Championships being held in Alicante in May. With 4,600 entries Good Luck !
Last weekend saw us hosting the inaugural Regional under 11-13-15 championships where 80 children attended. After 392 matches played in a day Leon Zacharkiw was the stand out club performer of the day winning the boys under 15 event with Uther Kingdom finishing a creditable 4th place.
Gemma Kerr, now ranked number 3 under 13 girl in England not able to compete in her age group, and Emily Haskell came 2nd and 3rd in the under 15 girls event with Mari Baldwin & Angharad Beman both finishing in the top 3 of the girls under 13. Luke Bennett finished 3rd in the under 13 boys event and Ptolemy Beman qualified in the top 3 of the under 11 boys category. In the under 11 girls Erin Richards qualified in 2nd place and most of the above will represent the South West Regional team in May. Well done to you all.
On the same day 12-year-old Holly Smithson was selected to play in the Under 12 National Cup in Bristol formerly known as the Under 12 Masters. Now ranked 8th in the country she took the final place available in the competition which involved all the top 8 players playing each other over the two days. Holly performed admirably winning two matches against the England number 4 Amy Marriott and England number 6 Jasmine Williams. Very well done Holly.
March will be an equally busy month with another Junior 2 Star tournament being held at Eggbuckland on 20th March followed by the full England Youth Squad returning after such a successful training camp last year to train from 29th March – 1st April. We will also be holding training days for the juniors as well in between sessions. Spectators will be welcome to come along and watch.
On the 31st March we will also be hosting the Table Tennis England annual coaches conference. Spaces are still available and is free to any current coaches. On the same evening we will also be hosting some staged matches which proved so popular last time with some of our local players challenging some of England’s very best young players. This is a repeat of last year’s popular matches when nearly 200 spectators attended and is not to be missed. More details will follow.
We are still desperate for some volunteers on tournament days to assist with umpiring, setting up etc. etc. If anybody can offer any time then please do not hesitate to ask us any help is greatly appreciated.
Finally, many congratulations to Debbie Whiting who has been awarded the runners up spot in the Table Tennis England’s national awards for “Volunteer of the Year” and Roger Bowkett also runner up in the “Unsung Hero” category. Very well done and well deserved.
The club itself was also nominated and shortlisted in the Table Tennis England “Club of the Year” category which I am delighted to announce that JOOLA Plymouth have been awarded 2nd Place. All these awards will be presented at the National Senior Championships in Hatfield on 19th March.
Every single one of the awards, nominations and tournament successes are well deserved, keep up the good work and a massive thanks to you all.