Table Tennis United
On 25 October, we were delighted to launch our new strategy – Table Tennis United, the new blueprint for table tennis in England.
Table Tennis United allows us to reset the organisation following the unprecedented period we have all experienced because of the pandemic and provides the focus for us to regroup and come together across the table tennis community, to play our respective part in the growth and future success of our great sport.
The strategy was approximately six months in development and included consultation with more than 200 individuals and organisations all of whom provided so much insight into their thinking and allowed for me to listen and learn so much about how we can progress table tennis in this country. If you were someone who contributed to the consultation, thank you.
Full details of the launch, and a copy of Table Tennis United, can be found here. I hope you enjoy it.
With Table Tennis United now launched, the next stage is to ensure we have the right structure in place to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.
I have looked carefully at our capacity and capability to deliver and where the spotlight of our support needs to shine.
We are working through that as we speak and I would expect to be able share more details about our revised operating structure, in the next two or three months.
Another key part of the restructure sits within our governance model. Table Tennis United talks to us ensuring that we engage more, and better, with the knowledge, skill, and passion to support the Board and Executive with its decision-making.
With that in mind, we plan to widen the composition of our advisory committees so please keep an eye on Over the Net, our website, or this Update for more details.
Membership Scheme Consultation
In my October update, I talked about the need for us to address the Membership Scheme and certainly the feedback from members on the value they perceive from the current scheme, is indifferent at best.
This is not surprising feedback; for some time, I have considered the membership schemes of a number of governing bodies to be outdated, and I include table tennis in that.
So we are listening to our members, and we will continue to listen through a series of consultation events over the next few weeks as we gather your thoughts.
All the details of the consultation process can be found here and you are strongly encouraged to take part – we would love to hear your views.
Cost of Living Crisis
None of us can turn on a news bulletin now and not be concerned about the cost of living and how it is affecting us all in our everyday lives.
Our participation in sport is not exempt and we are keen to understand the impact the current environment is having on the table tennis community.
Please also be assured that, along with other NGBs, we are working very closely with organisations like Sport England and UK Sport to get a sense of where the real pressure points are, and from there, how we might best respond.
- Following the Board update on the Competition Review in September, a number of additional member consultations have taken place, including MAG, National Council, and open Member Forums. This feedback will be fed-into the Steering Group’s ongoing deliberations before final proposals are considered by Board.
- National Leagues have started for the 22/23 season, with opening rounds of British League, County Championships, and National Cadet/ Junior Leagues – and all match results, league tables and player statistics now being supported via the TT Leagues platform.
- The Pride of Table Tennis Awards are now open for nominations. If you know an inspirational volunteer who is worthy of a Pride of Table Tennis Award, you are invited to nominate now! Nominations close at 11:59pm on Sunday 20th November. Find out more by clicking here. We look forward to receiving your nominations.
- The Autumn phase of TT Kidz is up and running with more clubs and programmes than ever before!
- 34 clubs are between them delivering 40 programmes up and down the country from Devon to Newcastle.
- 377 children have signed up to the Autumn phase, have received kit bags and are playing within clubs, many for the first time.
- The TT Kidz network of clubs also continues to grow with 16 clubs delivering the programme for the first time and joining the network of now 74 clubs who have delivered the programme over the last three years introducing close to 2000 children to the game.
- All clubs have a kit bag which they can use for delivering the programme in schools, growing the number of children experiencing the game all the time and supporting school club link efforts.
- Nine clubs are delivering Girls’ Only TT Kidz programmes and will be continuing the sessions after the eight weeks to encourage more girls into the game. The result of this has been more girls signing up for the 2022 phase than ever before with 121 girls booked on.
- Staff have been out and about visiting clubs with more visits planned over the next few weeks to provide support to the deliverers and to engage with parents.
- To support in the development of school-club links, we are offering schools 10% discount on our TT Kidz Essentials Kit Bags for the month of November. For more information, please click here or email Chris Turner
- A partnership with easyfundraising has been announced to support Clubs with increasing unrestricted income. The platform is available to all Clubs and further information can be found here.
- This month we have delivered webinars on ‘Club Safeguarding’ and ‘Getting started with easyfundraising’ as well as announced a follow up webinar ‘Table Tennis and Parkinsons’ set to take place on 7th December. You can catch up on previous webinars and book onto upcoming sessions here.
TTE.TV is now live, albeit still in its testing phase. Games from round 1 and 2 of the Senior British League Premier Division were streamed on the platform by our clubs and this content will remain there for viewers to watch back ‘on demand’ alongside a fantastic ‘British League Explained’ film.
Please do sign up to TTE.TV to see the schedule of future live stream events, which over the next couple of months will include all of the SBL Premier matches and the Senior National’s Qualifiers and, see below, details of the exciting new TTE.TV Content Creator role we are currently recruiting for.
Talent & Performance
The ETTU European Team Championships Qualifiers – Men’s Stage 1 matches in Group A3, England vs Serbia (Thurs 26 January) and England vs France (Fri 27 January) will be hosted at Centre:MK in Milton Keynes. Ticket details will be announced shortly.
UK Sport will be hosting a Chairs and CEOs meeting on 22 November to discuss the emergence from the pandemic and look to the future for Olympic and Paralympic sport.
The meeting will consider the ‘macro challenges facing the infrastructure of sport and specifically Olympic and Paralympic elite sport in the UK’ and also the ‘support and oversight required of World Class Programmes’.
I will attend the meeting along with our Chair, Sandra Deaton.
Again, very much linked to Table Tennis United, is our ability to grow our own revenues and financial resilience, as well as the investment we can make into table tennis.
I have looked closely at the current commercial offer and decided that we need to spend more time considering our assets, their value to the market and how we best position them in the current and future market.
I would like to thank Sport England for enabling the use of some funding to help us develop our commercial proposition and this work gather pace before Christmas.
Fundamental to the Commercial Programme is the development of a data strategy that will provide the insight to inform our offer, and the way we engage with those involved in table tennis, in whatever capacity.
Following a procurement process, we have appointed Winners as our data strategy partner, and we are now developing our approach including the tech solutions to support our activity.
World Team Championships and Para World Championships 2026
The ITTF will be hosting its first Summit, to include its AGM, in Jordan in December and we plan to use this meeting to further our aspirations to host the World Team Championships and Para World Championships in 2026.
We are currently developing the business plan to support our interest, along with meetings with the various local and national partners to support our bid, and hopefully the Championships, and legacy, themselves should we be successful.
We expect to know the outcome of our bid around May 2023.
Table Tennis England
- Voting for the fourth Elected Director took place this period with Jos Kelly being welcomed to the Board further details can be found in this article.
GB Table Tennis
- As GB Table Tennis seeks to strengthen its Board, Adam Walker has been appointed to the position of Independent Chair, effective from 1 December 2022 and for an initial term of four years.
- Two further Independent Non-Executive Directors have been appointed to the Board – Louise Wright and Gurjit Bhogal, both effective from 1 December 2022 and for an initial term of four years.
Simon Mills has stepped down from his role as Performance Director, as has Hannah Holland, who held the role of Marketing and Communications Manager.
Jenny Leach, National Participation Manager, and Jade Griffiths, Insight Officer, both have our very best wishes as they begin their respective maternity leave.
We are delighted to announce that Andy Wilesmith will be joining us as Head of Table Tennis Development on 9 January 2023.
We are currently recruiting for a Digital Engagement Manager, a Digital Content Creator and a TTE.TV Content Creator for our new Engagement Team. Visit our website for more information.