Applications are now open for the England Youth Squad, which has undergone an overhaul ahead of the 2018/19 season, with a deadline of August 7.
The programme will have a more international focus, with overseas training camps and access to competitions abroad forming the key components for athletes selected to be part of the squad.
** Update: Entries are now open for the Croatia Junior & Cadet Open from September 12-16, which will NOT be part of the EYS programme as it falls before the induction camp. Click here to download an entry form.
They will all be given individualised programmes to help them develop their physical, technical, mental and tactical skills, which will be assessed at up to six domestic training camps.
Those athletes who show they are making progress will be able to access the international element of the EYS, which includes training and development opportunities such as sparring and targeted pre-competition preparation, plus invitations to compete in specific international events.
Athletes who are not considered ready for the international element will be supported to continue to work towards that level.
The overhaul will provide athletes with greater clarity, planning and support on their journeys towards becoming top-level international competitors.
It also sees a significant reduction in core costs for families of the selected athletes, compared with previous seasons.
Simon Mills, Director of Sport at Table Tennis England, said: “Responding to feedback from athletes and their families, the minimum amount required to access the programme is much lower and the programme allows much greater flexibility for individuals to plan their own journeys towards being the best that they can be, while still receiving our support.
“Individuals and their families can invest more in their journeys by self-funding additional components of the programme, as has always been the case. We will continue to work with families to find additional funding sources where we can.”
Table Tennis England Performance Manager Ceri Davies said: “The programme will give the athletes the best chance to discover what they are capable of by setting clear standards and ensuring they turn up ready to learn and fit for the job at every session or competition.
“The ultimate aim is to provide more comprehensive support to help our young athletes become strong professionals who can contribute to senior England teams at major competitions in the future and who will be desirable team members at major European clubs.”
A full presentation on the EYS programme for 2018/19 can be downloaded below, as can the Selection Policy.