A familiar face from the past is playing a key role as we plan the celebrations for the ETTA/Table Tennis England centenary season.

Steve Joel has joined as our Centenary Project Manager and will be leading the season-long programme to mark the ‘birth’ of the Association on 7th November 1921.

A gala dinner, commemorative book and participation campaign are among the ideas we are working on, and Steve is well placed to have a big input, given his personal history in the sport.

Steve was one of the first Regional Development Officers for the then ETTA, based in the Southern Region, joining alongside Martin Ireland in 1993 and spending two years in that role.

He also played and volunteered in the sport, as Chair of the Membership Committee, National Councillor for Berkshire for a season and as a player, coach and committee member at Cippenham TTC in Slough.

He was part of the delivery team at the 1994 European Championships and 1997 World Championships, both held in England, and worked on the preparation of the sport’s first World Class Performance Plan.

Since those days, he has gained more than 25 years’ experience of delivering successful outcomes in the development and management of sport, leisure and culture provision at all levels – from high performance sport programmes for government agencies and national governing bodies; to art, health and community sport development within local government; and, to providing an inspiring student sport offer within higher education.

During this time, he has acquired extensive project management experience, including the delivery of the Royal Yachting Association Sail for Gold Ball and the Swansea University centenary programme.

Steve said: “The sport is something I have loved from a very young age and kick-started my professional career, so it’s been an important part of my life.

“I’m really grateful for the experiences, memories and friendships gained through my time in the sport and I’m excited to get started on helping to make sure we celebrate the sport’s achievements and journey over the past 100 years and focus on the bright future that lies ahead.”

Steve will begin reaching out to members soon to outline our existing plans and canvass views on how we can further celebrate the centenary.