Everyone at Table Tennis England would like to thank our international partners and friends for their kind gifts presented at our Centenary Gala Dinner.
The International Table Tennis Federation, European Table Tennis Union and Butterfly/Tees Sport all presented wonderful mementoes to us at the celebration.
Hundreds of guests met for the dinner after the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, including former European champions Jill Hammersley-Parker and John Hilton, and other legends including Desmond Douglas, Mary Wright and Paul Day.
ITTF President Petra Sorling, who was also a guest of honour at the dinner, presented our Chairperson Sandra Deaton with a lovely commemorative salver (pictured above).
Petra said: “I would like to send my warm congratulations to Table Tennis England. With endless passion, hard work and dedication, England has nurtured many table tennis legends, and its contribution to our sport is immense. Table Tennis England is a frontrunner within the ITTF family.”
Acting President of the ETTU, Pedro Moura, brought with him a salver on behalf of the organisation, and also a plaque from the Portuguese federation, his home nation.
Alan Ransome OBE, Managing Director of Tees Sport and Butterfly UK, made a presentation on behalf of Butterfly Japan, which was a limited edition bat mounted in a presentation case, itself commission to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Butterfly Japan.
Alan said: “Over a lot of those 70 years, Table Tennis England or ETTA has been a major partner with ourselves and Butterfly.
“I have kept them informed about the Centenary and also sent them copies of the Table Tennis England Centenary Book and I was very pleased to be able to present this gift on their behalf.”
Sandra Deaton said: “We were thrilled to welcome Petra, Pedro, Alan and so many other honoured guests to join our celebration.
“We have a very special relationship with the ITTF which confirms the bond that our sport creates, uniting people across the globe in shared passion for table tennis – and long may that continue.
“2026 will see the ITTF centenary and we are hoping London will play a central part in that celebration, as it did in 1926 when it hosted the first world championships.
“Thanks also to Pedro for coming to support us and showing the importance of our friendship and shared bonds.
“It’s important to have that strong relationship with the ETTU as well because the continental events are the first step on the performance ladder for so many young athletes.
“And last but not least, thanks to Butterfly and Tees Sport, who have underpinned so many of the events – domestic and international – on our calendar over very many years.”
Here is a close-up view of the gifts, as shown by Table Tennis England staff: