As international competitions resume, there is a busy time ahead for the England teams – and our new podcast series goes inside the pathway to find out how elite athletes of the present and future are created.

The staff behind the pathway speak openly about how players are selected, trained and prepared for international competition such as those coming up in the next few weeks.

Click here to listen to the first podcast

The senior European Championships start on June 22nd in Warsaw, with the European Youth Championships following next month in Croatia.

And the apex of international competition follows from July 27th, when the delayed Olympic Games opens in Tokyo, featuring Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho competing for Team GB.

But how does the performance pathway deliver players to those stages and ensure they can perform at their best? Our five-part series, which runs weekly between now and the Olympics, lifts the lid on the inner workings of the process.

With contributions from the performance staff – Head Coach Alan Cooke, coaches Gavin Evans, Kelly Sibley, Marcus Gustafson and Ryan Jenkins, Programme Manager Matt Stanforth and Director of Sport Simon Mills, the series is a fascinating insight into the pursuit of success at the elite level of the sport.

The first instalment is on selection and further instalments will follow on the England Skills Awards, transitioning between squads, the principle of purposeful practice and a discussion also including Liam Pitchford about how elite players rise to the top.