Message from Andrew Williams PTTA Chairman.
"This is our 2nd Club of the Year award and is proper and due recognition of the efforts of many people supporting Preston table tennis in many different ways over a considerable number of years. Congratulations to all."
Below is the evidence submitted by Andrew to support our nomination. We do a lot more than run a very efficient winter league. If you want to help your league continue to be one of the most respected clubs in Preston across all sports, please contact any committee member. We all should be proud to be members of such a successful club. Contact details can be found in our websites "Contacts" section.
Andrews nomination form:
"Preston Table Tennis Club
Deserving of the Award.
2016 has again been another very special year for Preston Table Tennis Club with success and progress both on and off the tables.
Following the 10th anniversary events held last year to commemorate a decade of operation at the purpose-built St Augustine’s Table Tennis Centre in Avenham, the 2016 focus for the Preston Table Tennis Club has been centred on further improving the quality of experience and opportunity for all of Preston’s Table Tennis players and volunteers.
We offered all year round Table Tennis operating 5 nights per week, September to March and 2 nights per week April to August from our purpose built St Augustine’s Table Tennis Centre facility at Cardinal Newman College in Preston. Weekday evenings are for coaching, practice and league matches with a specific ‘community’ session on Friday evenings. Both winter league and cup competitions and summer leagues are available to players with our Preston Annual Championships staged in March.
Preston TT Club prides itself on providing high quality and affordable coaching to all members of the community. Under the guidance of Tony Rigby and Jim Clegg, our experienced coaching team and volunteers have organised coaching and community sessions throughout 2016. All our coaches are Table Tennis England (TTE) qualified and ‘CRB’ checked. We are continuing to seek new coaches and have provided financial support to individuals to assist their development and accreditation. Our coaching programme covers a wide spectrum of ages (8 – 70 years +) and all abilities including junior beginner, intermediate, advanced and a session for adults.
We now use video analysis to enhance player performance and have introduced inter club competitions, bringing together other clubs from across the North West. This has established opportunities for our junior players to develop to high level tournament play.
We have consistently provided suitable entry routes, pathways and competition for all of our players starting locally, through to city, county, regional and national opportunities. We have continued to provide financial support to the North West Regional TT Development Centre to support advanced coaching for talented younger players.
Since the Preston TT Centre at Avenham opened in 2005, we have always offered the community of people in Preston the opportunity to play and enjoy table tennis, irrespective of their age, race, ability or disability. Friday offers a more social and community night with the emphasis on bringing together all sections of our local community. This is so successful that we have 14 tables set up to cater for the number of people. Coaching is also available, though on a more informal basis and in a more relaxed environment. We have had teachers bring pupils for ‘after school club’ sessions, along with Church and Cub & Scout groups attending on special event nights. These are the sessions that bond our club together. Our club has members from all faiths and we have developed positive relationships with local leaders that have enabled closer integration of all sections of the community in our activities. We do not tolerate any prejudice and our club operates in the correct manner required by the demands of modern sport, but critically also operates in the friendliest of environments that our sport requires. We are well known in Preston for our fairness to all.
In summary, we believe that we are now reaping the rewards for all the hard work that we have put in to support Table Tennis in Preston over many years, and even though we previously won the Sports Awards ‘Club of the Year’ back in 2009, and were Highly Commended last year, we are convinced that, given the progress we have made over the past few years, we should be again considered for this award in 2016.
2016 has been a very successful and rewarding year for our club!
During the year, in co-operation with UCLAN, we arranged a Women’s International European League TT match between England and Germany and supported the hosting of the England Under-10 to Under-13 National Championships at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre. These were high quality table tennis events staged in Preston providing the opportunity for the public, members and particularly younger players to attend - a notable achievement.
During 2016, we invested almost £3000 towards enhancing the TT Centre facility, working in partnership with the College, to replace and significantly upgrade the lighting to provide increased illuminance levels over the match play tables. This effectively moves the Centre from a Table Tennis England (TTE) Grade 2 to a Grade 4 facility, meeting the lighting requirements for 4* and 5* tournaments and British League matches - an excellent asset for Preston.
In 2016, the Club maintained its Table Tennis England Premier Club status and its Clubmark Accreditation. This is Sport England’s ‘sign of a quality club’ and we are a Table Tennis England (TTE) Premier Club accredited at Advanced Level. Recently we have twice won this award at the National Table Tennis England awards.
The performance of the various Preston teams participating regionally at Junior/ Cadet Level has been outstanding. Look at the successes of our junior players in 2016; we now have the singles champion, Matthew Howarth, and the team winners Cardinal Newman College from the 2016 North West Colleges Tournament - all players from our junior coaching group. We also had the team winners in the Lancashire Schools Under -17’s, with our players representing Broughton High School.
We also have the singles champions from the Lancashire Schools Tournament, Arkansha Tripathi, Tommy Kennedy, Toby and Bethany Ellis. Bethany is now ranked at no 1 in the England Under-10 ranking list with Toby ranked at no 11 in the Under-11s. Toby has also recently been selected to represent England in a forthcoming International Primary schools Competition.
In the recent Preston Table Tennis Association’s annual divisional competition, all three singles winners came from our junior coaching group - Matthew Howarth (Premier), Danny Johnson (Div 1) and Ogy Kostov (Div 2). The Preston league is very strong from a playing viewpoint and for three of our young players to win is outstanding and is due recognition of the success of our coaching activities.
Areas where difficulty has been overcome
Significant administrative effort has been expended to secure the Preston League financially. We are now in our 11th year in our own centre at St Augustine’s New Avenham Centre, Cardinal Newman College, - the club is now extremely well organised.
Preston has managed to maintain and indeed expand in 2016 – with a team from UCLAN entering the league for the first time - what is a very well organised competitive league structure that is indeed highly regarded regionally, with many players travelling significant distances to play here.
Fundamentally through the efforts of our volunteers over many years, we have overcome the decline in numbers playing Table Tennis that has typically been witnessed in other cities.
The Association has 260 Members at this current time spread across cadet, junior, senior and veteran age groups with around 30 - 40 young players regularly attending weekly coaching sessions. Other players who are not formal members attend the weekly community evening practice sessions.
We recently worked in partnership with the Preston City Sports Development Team supporting the Get Preston Active campaign which resulted in us increasing our membership with 27 new associate members.
Chairman, on behalf of the Preston Table Tennis Association"