Table Tennis England is to set up a Talent & Performance Athlete Panel from the 2022/23 season to ensure athletes’ voices are heard on important issues such as welfare, selection and training environments.

The Panel will be made up of a minimum of three and a maximum of five athletes, including a combination of men and women, from within the Senior and Under-19 England training squads.

It will be chaired by an experienced Senior athlete who is a current or former performance player and who will be supported by a dedicated member of the Talent & Performance Committee.

Applications will be invited from all eligible players and members will be able to serve for up to two consecutive two-year terms.

The Panel will allow athlete voices to be heard in a confidential manner at Board level and to represent the views of all athletes with the pathway.

It will keep the Board up to date on current athlete opinions and issues around matters including selection policies, competitions, training environments and managing table tennis with education, by periodically gathering feedback from athletes in the pathway.

Talent & Performance Committee member and former England Senior international Dr Emma Vickers said: “This is a significant step forward in our commitment to protect and enhance athlete welfare.

“Our athletes are at the heart of our talent & performance pathway, and it is essential we provide them with the opportunity to give their unique perspective and feedback on how decisions and issues impact them directly.

“By initiating this opportunity, we hope to optimise the experience of athletes in our pathways and ensure that their welfare is considered when making key decisions.”