Welcome to our new series of blogs by Table Tennis England Directors. It is a great privilege for me to be able to communicate with you by writing the first in this series.

What a difficult 16 months it has been for all of us, both personally and in relation to our sport. Although I am not a player, the love and passion I have for table tennis is enhanced by watching participation at any level and any age group. We have all been deprived of this and as a Board the focus has been on physically, materially and financially sustaining the sport during the pandemic.

The Extraordinary General Meeting called at the beginning of this year was another difficult time. However, it did highlight to the Board and the senior administration that although we are accountable and transparent to all our stakeholders, the message from the membership was: “What we impart and communicate is not sufficient.” We have listened to this with great concern.

It is our priority to be seen as open, transparent and accountable so we have sat down and discussed “what can we do to improve?” Going forward, the Board are committed to publishing the full minutes of Board meetings and summaries of the sub-groups on our website.

I believe the key to this debate is visibility, which of course as not been physically possible during the pandemic.

We have offered to attend league and county virtual AGMs and we have been invited to a few. Not enough though, so we are going to the repeat “Ask us Anything event” on July 20th, where five Board members will take questions from the membership on any subject. Please join us and feel free to ask your questions.

As I write this I am travelling to our Cadet and Junior National Championships. It is so pleasing to be back in the hall watching our inspiring young players compete for the titles. It also gives me the opportunity to meet some of membership again face to face (behind a mask, of course).

For me, this has always been the best means of engaging – but the pandemic has taught us we need to find additional ways of communicating our transparency and accountability. We are committed to this concept, so please watch for further blogs and other new ways of keeping you, our members, fully informed.

Thank you for being central to this wonderful sport and please stay safe.