This year, the Jack Petchey Table Tennis Programme entered its 11th year and saw thousands of young people given the opportunity to play, compete and lead in table tennis across London and Essex.

The programme, which is funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, has achieved a lot between August 2021 and July 22 across London and Essex:

  • 208 tables delivered to 77 schools across London & Essex
  • 26 tables delivered to 13 youth organisations across London & Essex
  • 962 participants taking place in the Schools Team Championships for Zone 7, and 576 players participating in the Individual qualifier events
  • 103 young people trained as young leaders
  • 122 girls benefitting from 6-8 weeks coaching from a Licenced Table Tennis Coach
  • 74 girls attended girls only festivals

It is estimated that more than 14,800 young people have benefitted from the project this academic year.

The project has demonstrated multiple benefits for young people, including increased confidence, development of sport specific skills and improved behaviour.

Playing table tennis against teacher has shown me that they are humans too, who have things they aren’t good at. This makes me want to try hard in their lessons and not be afraid of failure.


There have also been benefits for the Schools and Youth Clubs involved in the programme, as well as teachers and leaders who have seen improved behaviour and relationships with children and young people, as these quotes illustrate:

The social skills of the students have noticeably improved. The teamworking skills of the students and the organisational skills have developed massively.

Surprisingly, staff who do not regularly get involved with activities outside their own teaching environment got involved and the relationships between staff and students has improved. This has helped the staff with their behaviour management skills. Behaviour points have dropped since the project began and achievement points have risen sharply in all areas of the curriculum.

Claire Warner, Table Tennis England’s Clubs, Leagues and Schools Manager, said of the project: “The project has enabled thousands of young people to access and enjoy table tennis this project year. The variety offered throughout the programme provides young people the opportunity to participate socially and competitively, as well develop skills in leadership and officiating.

“We have also seen benefits for teachers/leaders who have experienced quality sport specific coaching, and used table tennis to improve relationships with young people.  

“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Jack Petchey Foundation which enables this project to continue to develop and thrive.”

Victoria Mirfin, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “It has been amazing to see so many young people engaging with table tennis this past year – both those new to the sport and those that progress.

“Particular highlights have been our Jack Petchey London and Essex Schools Finals where you could see the passion and drive of those competing to be the best they could be.

“Huge thanks to the team at Table Tennis England for working with the schools, youth groups and young people to promote the sport and getting active after the lockdown.”

The Jack Petchey Foundation was set up by Sir Jack Petchey to inspire and motivate young people across London and Essex to do their best and reach their full potential. You can find out more about the Foundation by visiting their website.