Funding support

Funding awards for young athletes.

Awards and funds

Working in close partnership with SportsAid, Table Tennis England have the opportunity to nominate players for two different funding awards that are available to support young athletes who are working towards being world-class players in the future. Table Tennis England will consider players who are currently engaged in the England Junior and Aspire Training Squads and nomination is prioritised from the England Junior Squad, downwards. Nominations for these awards are made in November each year (please note that the final award decision is made by the Sportsaid, and nomination by Table Tennis England cannot guarantee an award will be given).

This year, Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid are delivering a programme linked to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, called Team England Futures (TEF). 

The programme, managed by SportsAid for Sport England, supports athletes who would face difficulties progressing through their sport’s talent development system without critical financial help.

Table Tennis England can nominate a number of players each November to be considered for an award of up to £5000 per player. If successful, the award will be given from the following April to support the players programme up until 31st March the following year.

Awards are paid directly to Table Tennis England and in line with the lead coach of the players’ national training programme, will agree where the funding will be used over the course of the award year. In general, this funding is used to support the national squad, international competition and training aspects of a players’ periodised plan.

To be considered for a Backing the Best award, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be currently facing severe financial hardship and not able to meet the costs of competing in their sport. Gross household income should be less than £55,000;
  • Be English – primarily living and training in England;
  • Have a valid British passport and eligible to compete for England and/or Great Britain;
  • Be typically aged between 12 and 18 years for non-disabled and up to 35 years for disabled athletes;
  • Typically be in some form of structured education or apprenticeship;
  • Not be receiving individual World Class funding as a Podium or Podium Potential athlete.

SportsAid is a charity that helps over 1,000 young athletes across more than 60 sports each year, the majority aged 12 to 18, by providing them with an average award of £1,000. It has supported thousands of athletes during the early stages of their careers. The charity’s extensive alumni list includes Sir Mo Farah, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Sir Chris Hoy, and many more. 

This years’ SportsAid programme, supported by Sport England, will see a cohort of young athletes and aspiring team support staff provided with a unique experience and insight into a multi-sport, major Games environment – reinforcing the importance of the Commonwealth Games as a developmental opportunity within the talent and performance pathway, whilst leveraging the exciting opportunity that comes from hosting the games on home soil in 2022. 

SportsAid is leading on the development, management and operational delivery of this innovative and ground-breaking education and experiential programme. The purpose is to better prepare athletes to deliver medal winning performances as either Team England, TeamGB or Paralympics GB debutants at future Games, whilst also giving support staff a first- hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as any challenges they may face in such environments. 

As a result, in 2022 SportsAid will look a little different to previous years, whereby Table Tennis England will have the opportunity to nominate athletes onto TEF either as part of the Preparation Programme, which will encompass both athletes and support staff, and the Potential programme, which will encompass those athletes eligible for SportsAid support. 

In line with SportsAid firm commitment to tackling inequality amongst ethnically diverse communities, we encourage you to think about the opportunities this programme presents in supporting your own strategies in this area, as we all ensure our national teams of the future are culturally diverse and representative of modern Britain. 

Further information regarding the new SportsAid programme will be circulated in due course. 

Table Tennis England has allocated a fund to be known as the “Ivor Montagu Junior Fund” for financial assistance to Junior and Cadet players who wish to enter events approved by the Table Tennis England in England, or have been invited to attend National Squad training. The aim of the scheme is to help potential performance players of the future who might otherwise not enter because of cost. 

Applicants are therefore invited to apply using the application form. This should be completed by one of the parents / guardians of the applicant. Applications should be made in advance of the event concerned. Assistance will be in the form of a contribution towards the cost of attending the event / activity.

The criteria for assistance will be based on a number of factors, including applicant’s performance record, potential, etc. There will be a maximum of three awards per person in any one season (1st September to 31st August).

Applications to be sent / emailed to: FAO Victoria Wiegleb, Table Tennis England, Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge, Milton Keynes, MK8 9LA. Email: [email protected]


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