The results of our annual membership survey show that the majority of our members intend to return to the sport either as soon as possible or in time for the new season.
We are also taking on board the views of respondents to the survey on a number of key areas, including membership, communication and inclusivity.
A total of 1,174 responses were received to the survey, which was open for two weeks in late April. Of those, 1,072 (91%) were from Table Tennis England members. 94% of responses were from club players and 84% play in leagues.
The survey took place during strict club and league restrictions, and the majority of respondents told us they wanted to return to play as soon as possible – 72% of club players said they planned on returning to play as soon as possible, while only 3% said they did not plan to return.
In leagues, 57% said they planned to return as soon as possible, and a further 35% at the start of the new season. Only 6% did not plan to return.
A total of 6% of the respondents were lapsed members, 61% of whom said they planned to renew their membership in the future and had not done so this season due to the covid restrictions.
We have kept – and will continue to keep – our membership updated about the coronavirus pandemic and any effect it has on the sport. The next changes are expected to take effect from July 19th, in line with the Government roadmap. We also plan to launch our Return to the Table campaign shortly.
Here’s what you said about the other major areas covered by the survey.
You told us: Of the 91% of respondents who are current members, 13% did not know their membership category.
What we are doing: You can find out all about our membership categories and which one is best for you by clicking here. You can also contact our Customer Service team via [email protected] or 01908 208860 if you have any questions relating to your Table Tennis England membership.
You told us: There is reduced awareness of the benefits of membership outside of competitive play.
Did you know: All Compete and Compete Plus members of Table Tennis England are eligible for discounts with our membership partners and offers available exclusively through the Table Tennis England Benefits Club. This includes the Mark Bates Ltd. Premier Club, where you can enjoy a huge range of new benefits and discounts on household brands. Find out more about our membership benefits by clicking here.
You told us: While there is a strong awareness about the work of Table Tennis England and a clear understanding about our role as National Governing Body, only 40% of members agreed that they feel valued by Table Tennis England. Many were unsure about the value for money they receive for their membership fee and would like further opportunities to share their views on key topics and business decisions
What we are doing: We are committed to increasing consultation with our members through such initiatives as Ask us Anything, inviting questions about our Annual Review, and a raft of consultation exercises on subjects including rankings, British League, competition review and participation surveys. Click here to find out more about how your membership fees support our sport.
You told us: 70% of members agreed that Table Tennis England are committed to the safeguarding and protection of the table tennis community
What we are doing: All our safeguarding guidelines, policies and procedures have recently been reviewed and can be found here. Our advice on safeguarding is kept as simple and straightforward as possible for anyone who may need to use it.
You told us: Women and girls face issues of sexism within the sport. This is consistent with the findings of a recent survey we held in conjunction with TASS to find out how to optimise female player experience and keep women in the sport long term.
What we are doing: We held a women and girls engagement workshop at our recent online National Conference, based on the TASS research, and we will continue to work with TASS and our new Board member Dr Emma Vickers to understand more about how to provide the best experience for women and girls in the sport.
What you told us: Experiences of racial discrimination were shared by respondents from Ethnically Diverse Communities.
What we are doing: We will take a zero-tolerance approach to discriminatory behaviour as we continue to develop our new Level the Table diversity and inclusion strategy for table tennis. Club representatives are invited to sign up to attend one of two consultation sessions to help us develop this strategy. We also held a levelling the table discussion during the National Conference, which you can watch by clicking here.
What you told us: For Disabled People, the challenges to participation are a direct result of their individual impairments.
What we are doing: We have launched an online disability awareness training module and will continue to support clubs and other facilities to create more accessible playing spaces for Disabled People.
You told us: Visibility of women and girls, ethnically diverse communities and Disabled People in table tennis is considered poor.
What we are doing: We have reviewed our brand guidelines and will include more athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and role models from these backgrounds in our marketing and promotional materials.
Our work towards the Level the Table strategy will ensure to take each of these findings on board, and additional actions, to improve diversity and inclusion within the sport.
You told us: Our website navigation could be easier.
What we are doing: A newly designed Table Tennis England website will be launched later this year, which aims to address this and other issues.
You told us: You want more grassroots table tennis updates.
What we are doing: We will prioritise this as the Return to Play gathers pace.
You told us: Many members do not understand the role of the Board.
What we are doing: We are introducing a series of blogs by Board members, helping to introduce both them and their work to members. We are also organising an Ask us Anything event later this month where our members can ask questions of five of our Directors. Together with this, a review of Board minutes will now mean a full account of meetings will get published rather than summary versions.
You told us: While our Over the Net newsletter and website are widely known, our members know less about our social media platforms.
What we are doing: We post wide-ranging content on our main social media channels, which are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and encourage you to follow Table Tennis England on these platforms to receive further news and information.