Major Events Strategy
Exciting progress is being made as we move towards establishing a long term plan to stage international table tennis in England.
Our detailed bid to stage the World Team Table Tennis Championships 2026 in London is now with the ITTF and we await confirmation of an inspection visit in the coming weeks ahead of the formal presentation to the Member Associations on 24 August during the ITTF Summit.
We have also presented our bid to UK Sport to secure public funding and await the outcome of their Board consideration early in August.
Surrounding the Worlds bid, is an exciting scheduled of international events hosted up and down the country and I am very hopeful of making an announcement on the staging of the first WTT event to be held in this country soon.
But these events are not just about delivering great tournaments. They are about increasing the awareness and visibility of table tennis – more eyeballs, more broadcast, more people talking about table tennis. It is also about inspiring a new generation of players, workforce and fans and securing partnerships and investment that can help develop table tennis at all levels.
National Competition Review
Phase III of the review was paused for 6 months in order to consider some additional proposals from National Council. That process has now concluded, but has unavoidably changed the timeframe for Board’s decision on Phase III from March ’23 to September ’23. Consequently, there is no expectation that any changes arising from the Competition Review will now be implemented in Season 23/24.
Work has now begun in earnest on Phase III – which will include adding detail to each of the proposed competition formats, working-up the resource/ regulatory/ budget implications, and establishing clear implementation timeframes for Board to consider further in September.
Area Network progress
The Area Manager team have been working hard behind the scenes finalising their Area mapping and profiling which is a crucial piece of work that will help inform the Local Delivery Plan and consider focus areas for 2023/2024 and beyond. They will be working with the Area Chairs to start to develop those plans over the summer and we should start to see the first plans released in autumn. Thanks to the 298 clubs across the
country who contributed to these by completing the club audit and also to the 131 coaches who contributed to the coach audit.
The Area Manager team in the last 3 months have been in contact and engaged with 38 Counties, 215 clubs and 77 leagues much of which has helped towards the profiling work. They will continue to engage with the table tennis community over the coming weeks, months and years.
A good example of the impact the Area Manager team have made to date includes supporting funding applications for clubs and in the first 3 months have secured £11,800 of external funding into the sport.
Another example is the delivery of a Girls Only festival in London organised with Jack Petchey Foundation that saw 75 girls playing local competitive table tennis.
Work has also started to develop on the TT Kidz programme for 2023/24. If your club wishes to grow and enhance their junior section, particularly focussing on bringing more Under 9s into the game and develop more links with local schools, please get in touch with your Area Manager.
Local Organising Groups
We have completed interviews with a number of candidates across England and can announce that we have appointed the following as Area Chairs for the respective Areas:
▪ Graeme Barella – North East
▪ Martin Clayton – West
▪ Russell Bates – South East
▪ Chris Price – South West
We are delighted to welcome them aboard and their first task will be to work with their Area Manager to understand the profiling and mapping that has been undertaken, which will be used to inform the Local Delivery Plans.
We will be starting our search for proactive individuals to join the Local Organising Groups for the above Areas and this will be made public in the coming weeks. There will be a range of opportunities to join these Groups and help shape and deliver your Area and make a real difference locally in helping achieve the Pledges in Table Tennis United.
We will also shortly be going out to recruit the final three Areas – North West, East and London. If this is something you would potentially be interested in please feel free to contact our Head of Development, Andrew Wilesmith or look out for the role on our website, social media and newsletters.
I am delighted to announce another step forward in our strategy towards our intent to achieve world class medal success.
The Pathway Development centre application process begun on 3rd July with applications closing on 11th August. This is an opportunity for clubs to join us on an exciting journey that is all about nurturing young talent, who wish to take their first step on our talent pathway.
PDC’s will also be hubs of coach development which will be critical to future success.
I am also pleased to announce John Murphy commenced his role with Table Tennis England on 20 June.
John flew straight to South America with Sophie Earley and Anna Hursey who are both in our GB Potential squad. They had two fantastic competitions competing in the WTT Peru Star Contender and Brazil Youth Contender coming back with one Silver medal and six bronze medals!
LA 2028 Investment
Time flies as it doesn’t seem that long ago that sports were planning for Paris 2024 but we are delighted to have started the planning with UK Sport for LA 2028.
Gavin Evans and I have attended the UK Sport briefing and work will get underway this side of the Paris Games before concluding shortly after.
I will keep you updated as we seek to secure investment to support to continue to build the GB performance system into one that can realise our Olympic ambitions.
As the /Board was not able to secure the appointment of its new Chair, a process to continue the search has now begun and the Information Pack will shortly be available on our website and shared across a number of external recruitment search platforms.
As the Board works through the process, I will keep Members updated within the boundaries of confidentiality to the candidates.
Congratulations to Sally Hughes who was successful in the recent elections for the Member Elected Director Sally’s details can be found here.
The final stages of the Appointed Director vacancy are nearing completion and an announcement will be made as soon as it is confirmed.
The closing date to appoint your National Councillor finished on the 20 June and to date only 28 out of 39 have confirmed so if you haven’t sent in your appointment form it can be located here
We were delighted to welcome Company Members to the Table Tennis England Annual General Meeting on 8 July.
The day began with three ‘deep dive’ presentations of some of the work we are doing to bring Table Tennis United to life and to then receive the Annual Review 2022/23 which celebrates the progress achieved in the last year and starts to look ahead to 2023/24. The Open Forum concluded with a general Q & A session.
Following the formal business of the AGM, time was set aside to provide Company Members with the opportunity to discuss the recruitment of the Chair.
I would like to thank all Company Members who attended the Open Forum and / or the AGM and also for the discussions that followed.
I remain fully committed to ensuring we have opportunities for open and frank discussion and debate, and in addition to the open forum that takes place at the AGM, the Board will be hosting two further meetings with members: 3pm on Wednesday 15 November 2023 and 10am on 4 Thursday 4 April 2024.
We were sorry to say goodbye to Kevin Taylor who left us on 5 June when his fixed term contract supporting the Commonwealth Games expired.
I will be sad to see Chris Turner, Area Manager for Table Tennis East, leave us on Friday 14 July to embark on an exciting travel adventure.
I would like to thank both Kevin and Chris for their outstanding support to table tennis.
I was delighted to welcome John Murphy to Table Tennis England on 20 June, in the position of National Coach – John was previously with Table Tennis Australia in a senior performance position.
We are also delighted to welcome Emma Sutherland to the newly created role of Head of People. Emma started with us on 3 July.