Standing Down

Many of our members will have seen my announcement that I will be stepping down from my role as Chief Executive at the end of the year.

As the announcement states, my reasons are extremely personal and during the months ahead I will continue to love my role, the amazing people I work with every day and the ambitions we have set for English and British table tennis.

I hope to see many of you before I step down and will pay my respects nearer the time but wanted to take this opportunity to thank those who have contacted me with their kind words.

The Board is in the process of scoping the role and person specification and also appointing a recruitment company to conduct the search – more news of this will be available publicly soon.

Major Events

We have taken another step forward in our plans to organise further WTT events in this country and the World Team Table Tennis Championships 2026 by submitting our interest to host WTT events in 2025. We await confirmation of the events and dates from WTT and discussions with potential city hosts continue to be very positive. I hope to be able to make further event announcements soon.

We have also held the first meetings of the new company, TT International Events, and the Event Delivery Board for the World Team Table Tennis Championships 2026 – we are on our way!

So much achieved . . . much still to do

At this time of year, we busily prepare our Annual Report ahead of publication at the Annual General Meeting.

In the next few weeks, you will get a chance to read our reflections of the extraordinary progress being made across the table tennis community to grow our sport. Every Pledge that we committed to in the Table Tennis United strategy is well under way and we have created a solid platform to continue to build and develop upon over the months and years ahead.

We have just completed the first full year of implementation and I couldn’t be prouder of the work achieved by our team of staff and volunteers across the country.

I hope you will enjoy reading our progress when the Annual Report is published.

Table tennis will be a thriving community – a sport for everyone with no barriers to taking part

The above heading may be familiar as it’s the first Pledge of our strategy, Table Tennis United. Our strategy to grow table tennis also talks about Connecting Across the Table Tennis Community, Working in Partnership and Staging Fantastic Events.

All of the above can be illustrated by the outstanding example of the Ping Hub established in Manchester, because of the WTT Feeder event that was staged in the city in February, and following the principle to ensure every major event is intrinsically linked to increasing grassroots participation.

The WTT Feeder enabled a number of opportunities to engage the local population of Manchester in table tennis, where we were starting from a low base. The presence of table tennis, despite the large Chinese population, is relatively low, with no established Premier clubs in the city and only two affiliated clubs. There was very little in the way of organised social activity and no Ping activity. Much of the organised and semi-formal activity takes place outside the city in the surrounding boroughs.

Since the start of February, the staging of the WTT Feeder Manchester has provided the focus and energy to start building links with local communities to increase activity and table tennis participation using Ping as the vehicle. Through the Ping Hub established at the Great Northern Warehouse, we have established a destination across the local community for free play, coached activity, women and girls activity and competitions.

The Ping Hub has seen throughput growing each month. Between the start of February and end of April, the Ping Hub has seen 3,500 people visit. Of those, 1,000 have engaged in one or more of our delivered coached and led activities. Of those, 35% are female and 87% have either not played table tennis before or are very low-level social players, so we know it is engaging a new audience.

We estimate that 50% of participants are from a diverse background (mainly Chinese, Hong Kong or South Asian). We have had over 4,000 visits to the Ping Hub website in two months and over 5,500 searches for it on Google. This demonstrates the growing reach of the Hub. Our relationship with the Great Northern Warehouse is also strong with their Director extending the Hub until the end of 2024 and businesses commenting they have seen an uplift in trade and footfall because of the Hub.

As a result of the increased levels of engagement and participation, 47 players have become members of Table Tennis England and the Ping Hub has played host to two Manchester varsity matches, our International Women’s Day national event and a number of local pop-up activities with local community groups.

There is now a local Hong Kong group who use the Hub as their base each week, having never engaged outside their community before, with the group leader becoming a Ping Hub Activator. We are also working with a local Ukrainian group. We have 17 schools actively engaged with our U11 programme offer and five schools visit the Hub for PE lessons and have coached table tennis at the venue (75 students are attending).

Outside of the Hub we have also been working, in conjunction with MCRactive, with Bruntwood and will be placing tables into two of their buildings and building a Corporate Table Tennis event with their tenant companies. We are also now engaged with the leisure operator, GLL, and have placed new tables into East Manchester Leisure Centre and Abraham Moss Leisure Centre where a new table tennis programme is being established in their centre to help grow the capacity of their popular youth club, including the training of their staff.

Finally, we now have good and strong connections into the Chinese community through the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester and were invited to promote the Ping Hub and our work at Chinese New Year where 2,500 leaflets were disseminated and a noticeable increase in the number of Chinese playing at the Ping Hub. We are now building on these relationships to commence activity and support within that community.

All this has been achieved in the last four months. Without the WTT Feeder Manchester, we would not have invested resources into the city, the Ping Hub wouldn’t have been in place, and thousands of new players would not have been introduced to table tennis. This is a fabulous example of a major event reaching and engaging new audiences enabling the growth of grassroots table tennis.

London Area Chair role

Robert Kemp, the current London Area Chair, has recently stepped down from the role due to other personal commitments. We would like to thank him for the work and efforts in recent months whilst in the role and wish him all the best.

As a result, we will shortly be going out to open recruitment for a new London Area Chair. Please remember to opt in to receive our newsletters and also keep an eye on our social media pages and website.

This will be an exciting role as we start to prepare for the World Team Table Tennis Championships 2026 in London and will play a big role in supporting the wider social impact programme around the Championships.

Secondary Schools International 2024

We wish all those travelling to Isle of Man to represent England Schools in the annual Secondary Schools International the best of luck. It’s great to see us taking two teams in all age groups in the boys’ and girls’ categories and with many of them part of our blossoming pathway, we are excited to see how they get on. The full selection can be found here.

Olympic Games Paris 2024

We are delighted to see our 17-year-old GB athlete Anna Hursey from Wales winning a named place at the Olympic Games this summer. Anna qualified in Bosnia at the Olympic Singles Continental Qualification event where she beat numerous higher ranked players, showing an amazing display of the behaviours we want to see in our players and performance programmes.  

We expect Liam Pitchford to qualify by right from a world ranking spot. Liam Pitchford did not play the qualification event and is currently going through a programme of rehabilitation for a shoulder injury sustained in competition. Paris preparation will commence in our Elite Training Centre in Sheffield from 17th June right through to 21st of July when our athletes will head off to their preparation camp at the games.

Talent Pathway

We are continuing to build our performance infrastructure, with a particular focus on creating a girls’ talent pathway. Just last month we held a SHEplays Talent ID Day where 36 under-11 girls came for a day’s training, supported by our SHEcoaches cohort. It was wonderful to have the support of Anna Hursey who attended in her role as a female Ambassador to talk to the girls about her story and to provide inspiration to our champions of tomorrow.

This is only the start, keep your eyes peeled for the growth of this programme in your local areas. Our intention through our Area Network is to build out our pathway working closely with our Pathway Development Centres and connecting with our clubs to provide further opportunities for developing young players. We currently have four Pathway Development Centres in operation. Our expectations are by the end of the summer, we will have six. 

Coach Development and Learning

At their meeting on 5 June, the Board were presented with a high-level overview of our new Coach Learning and Development strategy. We are now on track to present the Implementation Plan at the next board meeting in the Autumn. We will share details of the strategy and Implementation Plan with the table tennis community this side of Christmas.

National Competition Review

Implementation of the National Competition Review is continuing to make ground in all key areas. Notable activity at the current time includes:

Some further member Q&As will take place in June, as part of an ongoing series, and details will be announced shortly.

Members can see all key information and resources in a ‘one-stop-shop’ on the website, and find everything they need to know about the new structure.


AGM and Resolutions

The AGM will be held on 20 July 2024 at 10am and will be fully virtual, further details will be distributed with the AGM Notice by the 28 June.

Resolutions were distributed to all Company Members and posted on the website on Wednesday 22 May and can be found here

National Council / County Administration

This is a reminder that as per the County Administration regulations, Counties need to elect their National Councillor and Deputy National Councillor for 2024/25 between 1 May and 15 June and submit the result by 20 June using the appointment form published on the elections and voting page of the Table Tennis England website. National Councillors also need to complete the National Councillor application form published on that page.

Please note that the period of office of your existing National Councillor and Deputy terminates at the end of the AGM. This means that if we do not receive your form by 20 June your County will not be represented after the AGM.

As with all Committees, Table Tennis England ask you to take positive action to encourage applications from under-represented groups.

Elected Director

Don Parker has been re-elected unopposed to the Table Tennis England Board of Directors – further information can be found here

Regulations Update

The Articles and Regulations Committee (ARC) reviewed four regulations this period that were approved by the Governance and Risk Committee at its May meeting.

These were thorough reviews of Right of Appeal in conjunction with the Appeals Panel, General Meeting to incorporate the standing orders for the meeting in line with the governance reforms and County Administration to add further clarity on process and it is recommended that Counties review their constitutions in line with these updates.

There was also a small adjustment to the Electoral Register and Elected Director to account for electronic voting. These can be viewed here

During the next period ARC will be reviewing the Competition Regulations ahead of the new season with the Competitions team.

Best wishes
Adrian Christy