Portishead Table Tennis Club made history this weekend by competing in the British League – the UK’s premier club competition.
It is the first time the club, formed before the Second World War, has ever entered a team at this level.
The team, which includes current Bristol League champion, Joe Ratajczak, are competing in Division A2 – two steps away from the Premier League. “The majority of players in our division will come from the top 100 players in the country,” explained Ratajczak.
Portishead were facing four matches this weekend, all taking place at the Cippenham Table Tennis Centre in Slough. The history-making first match was against Finsbury, with follow-up fixtures versus Brighton, Woodford Wells, and Milton Keynes.
“The division has eight teams and we all play each other over three weekends at Cippenham,” explained Ratajczak. “The top team is promoted to the championship.
“This is a massive step forward for the club and it would be a major success if we were able to avoid relegation. The idea is to learn from each game and try to grow 1% at a time, which will add up over the season.”
The Portishead club trains at Gordano School and has around 50 members. Currently, 11 teams play in the local Bristol Table Tennis League, with two more taking part in the Weston-super-Mare League.
“We also have two teams entering the Junior British League (JBL) this year and our aim for 2019/20 is to have two teams in the Senior British League, two in the in JBL and one in the Veterans British League,” said Ratajczak. “We are expanding our horizons nationally. More recognition and a greater impact on English table tennis means we can start to move towards our long-term goal of our own 24/7 home.”
The team playing this weekend is: Andy Smith (captain), Joe Ratajczak, James Rule, Alex Kearney and Moises Do Rozario.
For further information, contact:
Portishead Table Tennis Club