Six weeks ago, the Table Tennis England Area Network launched, and we are excited to share what we have been up to since the announcement on February 1.  

In our launch article, we shared that “The Area Manager network will work to build a seamless and integrated environment that achieves stronger clubs, leagues and schools at the heart of our community, attracting more people to play table tennis more often, enabling and creating a range of opportunities that are not just fit for today, but for the future of our sport and growing and developing a world-class workforce.    

“Leading the development of table tennis across their geographic area, and focusing efforts on priority locations, Area Managers will support participation for all, strengthen clubs and leagues, coach and volunteer learning, competition planning and pathway development. There will also be a focus on supporting participation in schools and local community environments.” 

A little over a month on, and the Area Manager (AM) team is prioritising getting to know their geographical areas – including existing activity, ambitions of the locality, and opportunities for growth and support.  

Between February 1 and March 10, the team have been in contact, via call or visit, with more than 70 Clubs and 25 County or League Administrators. As a result of these conversations, Area Managers are starting to support organisers with various activities including; funding bids, organising training courses locally, and using the TT Clubs platform.  

In addition, the AMs have been making introductions to local partners – gaining knowledge about the opportunities available to progress against our aim to ensure ‘participation with a purpose’, moving forward against the pledges outlined in the Table Tennis United strategy. Members of the team have attended This Girl Can Launch Events, the Youth Sport Trust Conference and several events organised by the Active Partnership Network.  

The consultation and introductory work outlined above has started to draw out several themes across the areas. Alan Lane, AM for the South East says: “What has become apparent, as well as the quality of volunteer we have, is there are pressure points on clubs around facilities, volunteer recruitment and access to courses to upskill their workforce. 

“Gaining funding is inconsistent, with some clubs extremely well versed in being a “fundable” organisation, whilst others struggle to access potential pots of money.”

The emerging themes and opportunities will be used to help inform Area Delivery Plans over the next six to 12 months.  

Some of the visits made by our team can be seen below.

This Girl Can launch event
Leicester Junior League
Ping in the Community at Poulton Le Fylde
Coaching at Banbury TTL

This week, we also welcome Stephen Bourke to the team in the role of Area Manager for the South West. Stephen will begin reaching out to contacts in the South West over the coming weeks.  

Over the coming weeks we will release the key priorities for the Area Managers for 2023/2024, linked to Table Tennis United and which will set the key work areas for the team. 

Diaries for March and April include further Club, League and Partner visits from Norwich to Wiltshire, and Blackpool to Portsmouth.  

The team will be attending several events and activities, including the Stowmarket National Cadet League, Jack Petchey London Schools Individual Finals, as well as the Pride of Table Tennis Awards and Senior Nationals in Nottingham from March 24 to 26.  

We look forward to seeing many more of you over the course of the next couple of months and beyond!  

Area Managers can be contacted via the following email addresses:  

Areas and Managers  

Table Tennis East – Chris Turner 
[email protected]   

Table Tennis London – Johnathon Driscoll  
[email protected]   

Table Tennis North East – Lauren Evans  
[email protected]   

Table Tennis North West – Martin Ireland  
[email protected]   

Table Tennis South East – Alan Lane  
[email protected]   

Table Tennis South West – Stephen Bourke 
[email protected]  

Table Tennis West – Chris Newton  
[email protected]