Vidal Graham, Gordon Muir and Callum Riddoch are the next intake of coaches selected to the GB Coach Apprenticeship Programme.

They will start the 15-month programme in September and follow Lois Peake and Graeme Barella, who earlier this year were the first two coaches to be selected for the programme.

Scottish duo Muir and Riddoch are the first non-English coaches to join the scheme.

England’s Graham (pictured above with Stefania Popa), is currently head coach at Grantham College Table Tennis Academy and has coached for more than 20 years, including spells in Sweden and as performance coach for the Jersey national squad. He has also coached at an ITTF talent identification camp in Slovenia.

A Level 4 coach, the 45-year-old is also a coach tutor and assessor for Table Tennis England. He has a postgraduate diploma in elite sports coaching practice and is currently undertaking a Masters degree.

Graham said: “I’m so happy for this opportunity to help shape the young players and try to help them achieve their dreams on the international stage.

“I look forward to being a part to the GB set-up and look forward to develop my own coaching and take it to a new level.”

Muir is 33 years old and a Level 3 coach who has been coaching for 11 years. He is Scotland Team Manager and Coach for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, having been the squad’s lead coach since November 2021.

As a player, he was a quarter-finalist at the Scottish National Championship in 2021 and has been twice the Edinburgh and Lothians individual champion.

Callum Riddoch is 24 and from the Dundee area and represented Scotland as a Junior. He recently graduated with a degree in sports coaching and development.

He has been working with the Scottish Junior and Senior national squads and said: “I am very excited to be part of this apprenticeship as I feel this is an amazing opportunity for Table Tennis Scotland to develop this sport at the elite level, hopefully then contributing to Team GB in the future.”

GB Performance Director, Simon Mills said: “We are delighted to have three new coaches joining the programme this year and look forward to supporting their development. 

“Unfortunately, the programme has not been successful in appealing to many female coaches so far and we are going to be designing a new female coach foundation programme. This will aim to appeal to more female coaches and prepare them for the GB Coach Apprenticeship programme.”

More about the programme

The GB Coach Apprenticeship Programme aims to create a greater number of coaches who can work in the talent pathway across the Home Nations and GB. This will provide future coaches who have the experience and expertise to work in the GB and Home Nations programmes.

Those who apply must be coaching in their Home Nation Squad programmes and must continue to do so while they are on the apprenticeship. They will also commit to attend monthly GB training camps, fortnightly coaching meetings and two major international competitions.

Each coach on the programme will receive a £4,000 apprenticeship cost spread over the duration of the course, including a £1,000 passing bonus after a final assessment.

GBTT intend to further enhance the coaching pathway by creating a foundation programme for female coaches, in conjunction with the Home Nations, to help them advance up the performance pathway. More details on this will be released in due course.