Under Table Tennis England’s new strategy to increase participation within the sport. ‘Table Tennis United’ has identified certain areas of growth that need to be reached, part of that involves finding target areas within the new area system for development:

Various means of data collection have been used to outline certain development opportunities.

–  Site visit from the new Area Manager has provided the membership 1 : 1 opportunities to express their concerns and opportunities with in their area. This provided a more of a person and individual response.

– Club surveys were sent out to all clubs with questions to be answer from the club perspective and what the clubs were succeeded with or needed assistance with.

– Coaches surveys were sent out to all licensed coaches to better understand our map of local coaches, their abilities, and their availability.

Using the gathered information. the Southwest Area Manager and Area Chair have worked on a Local Delivery Plan to meet these needs and this project forms part of this plan.

With the overall vision of increasing player participation across the spectrum, the Southwest Local Delivery Plan has focussed on the collaborative workings of clubs, leagues, county associations, the National Governing Body and outside partners.

Area priorities:

Through the development of our LDP we have identified four main priorities within the area, specifically our target areas.

  1. TT Kidz with in our target areas, ending with a festival day. This then would follow up with a potential 1*
  2. Club coaching and coaching workforce.
  3. 1* competitions. Provide more opportunities within the area for competition.
  4. League development. Through the first three steps, league development will have a natural increase as we introduce more individuals to table tennis.
Coaching Workforce and Development

Through the surveys it became clear that although there are small pockets of excellent local coaches, the area itself is lacking. Data shows there are 85 licensed coaches within the Southwest area, but with very few active and only willing to coach with in their club.

Somerset, Avon, and Devon all have excellent representation in coaches, which will provide the support needed in running TT Kidz within the target areas.

Through discussion with the Area Chair, coach development became a high priority and running a Level 1 coaching course in every county was discussed, this would increase the base number of coaches and with the development of ‘Coaches Conferences’ keep them engaged into further qualification and opportunities.

After reflection it was decided instead of every county holding a level 1 course, counties would share a course together. Devon and Cornwall, Dorset and Wiltshire, Gloucestshire, Avon and Somerset. It will be important to emphasise with such a large area, that individuals should book on to courses closest to them and not be deterred by the county specifics.

This issue has highlighted that there are currently not sufficient qualified Tutors to deliver coaching courses in this part of the country.

Growing a grassroots workforce

Running several Level 1 courses across the network will increase the coaching workforce. With the establishment of ‘Coaches Conferences’ this will help keep new and existing coaches engaged with TTE and the wider coaches network but also help increase coaching quality across the area

Additional courses aimed to increase Umpires & Referees as well as Tournament Organisers form part of the objectives that will grow the volunteer workforce.

Participation with a Purpose

The target areas chosen have a high population of under 9’s.  The overall aim of the projects is to increase coaching offers and provide a signposted playing experience from beginner at school, into club activity, into junior league, into 1* competitions.

Working in Partnership

This area plan has been created in cohesion with the membership, clubs, leagues and Area Chair. This proving that at the centre of this plan is the need for collaboration and commitment.  The projects are designed to require not only school and club links to be developed for sustainability, but also local leagues and county associations to be heavily involved in the delivery of aspects of the plan.