England hosted a three-day Home Nations performance e-camp, alongside athletes from Scotland and Wales, and Jersey’s Hannah Silcock.
The Zoom programme, from February 13-15, consisted of 90 minutes of table tennis and 45 minutes of fitness led by a different nation each day.
Ryan Jenkins led his England Aspire Squad players and the other 38 players on the camp through a series of challenges with players using robots, family members and shadow play to join in from their own homes.
“We were due to meet up in Nottingham this weekend anyway with it being the school half term, so instead of the time being lost we improvised and made it a virtual camp,” said the Aspire lead coach.
Stephen Gertsen took charge of day 2 and the Scottish National Coach created a great mix of exercises, challenges and fun games for the players of the various nations. Gertsen commented: “It’s great to all meet up and work together. Naturally it would be better in the hall but we have made the best of this opportunity.”
Wales hosted the third day and National Coach Stephen Jenkins arranged the plans for the players with help from the other coaches in his team. Jenkins wants to see more e-camps in future: “We have managed to get players in the hall in Cardiff fortunately, but this offers something different and I would like this to continue more when things return back to normal”
Top Welsh talent Anna Hursey led the fitness session on behalf of Wales, with Scarlet Anders (England) & Martin Johnson (Scotland) taking charge on the other days. There were also several coaches from the nations involved which will also help coach education and ideas to carry forward until lockdown is eased in the UK.
Each day ended with a series of fun challenges, with England posting the top results, Wales finishing second and Scotland in third spot. Player of the day awards were given to the top performer and Rebecca Savage, Kacper Piwowar and Nathaniel Saunders took the prize on the respective days.
Ryan would love to continue this type of cross border activity, adding: “It’s important to learn from others and even though there are barriers with this type of training, we made the best of it and improved each day after the coaches debrief at the end. I will set up another e-camp very shortly.”