Table Tennis England today launches its Pathway Development Centre strategy, a key pillar in our mission to develop world-class players.

The strategy aims to create a network of high-quality development hubs around the country to support players aged from eight to 15.

The overarching aims are to:

  • Develop players with world-class technical and fundamental skills relative to their age, ready to excel in the pathway
  • Develop creative and fun environments that keep players motivated
  • Create an early investment in good habits and behaviours
  • Support coaches to excel in developing elite youth players

The Pathway Development Centres (PDCs) will be a critical step at the start of players’ journeys to develop world-class potential and will bridge the gap from entry level initiatives such as school-club links, under-eights sessions and TT Kidz into the England squad programmes.

PDCs will ensure a unified and consistent approach to talent development, with national and local coaches working together on every stage of players’ technical, physical and mental development.

The strategy runs hand-in-hand with coach development opportunities, including mentoring from national coaches and support to help local coaches continuously develop their own skills, as well as opportunities to attend and support national squad activity.

Another important plank of the strategy is supporting parents to understand more about the competition pathway and the player journey, behaviours and development.

Head of Pathway Development, Emma Vickers, said: “We are incredibly excited to launch our strategy and application process for our Pathway Development Centres.

“The PDCs are multi-purpose environments and will be an essential first step on to the pathway for many talented young players, starting with the early development phase at eight-to-11 years and progressing to the pathway phase at 12-to- 15 years.

“They will provide a strong talent pool for the most promising players to feed into England programmes, delivering high-quality technical and fundamental skills training and supporting an early investment in good behaviours and habits.

“Becoming a PDC is an open application process, and we are looking forward to hearing from environments that believe they can successfully deliver on the strategy outlined.”

Playing environments, including but not restricted to clubs, are invited to apply for PDC status, which unlocks funding support from Table Tennis England as well as technical, coaching and mentoring support. Table Tennis England aims to work with PDCs on a long-term basis, subject to annual review.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities of PDCs, and the criteria and standards they will be expected to meet, download the strategy document below.

An application form can be downloaded from within the strategy document, or by clicking the link below.

Applications will open on Monday July 3 and close on Friday August 11 at 9am.

PDC sites will be selected in August and begin operating from September.