At Table Tennis England, we are acutely aware that for many people, our sport looks and feels like a space designed for and often dominated by men.
Our valued female members and coaches have told us this and we have listened. We recognise that a lot of clubs, leagues, coaches and volunteers are doing great work to create inclusive spaces but that we, as a sport, have more to do to give more women and girls the opportunity to share their love and positive experience of the sport.
Women make up 51% of the population in England, but only 12% of our members, 17% of coaches and just 3% of club/league chairs are women. Therefore, we will unapologetically focus on increasing women and girls’ involvement in our sport. In turn, we want to ensure all women and girls have the opportunity to progress and improve their physical activity levels as well as benefitting from the social and community aspect of our sport.
Our insight makes it clear to us that women and girls would like to engage more in our sport and, when provided with the right opportunities, they do! Highlighting that gender parity is not only important for our inclusivity agenda, but for the growth, development and future of our sport too. For us to do this effectively we need your help and are calling on our current female members and both male and females coaches/session leaders, to get involved in our upcoming research.
This research will be conducted in collaboration with Women in Sport, a charity with years of expertise in conducting research with women and girls, enabling fair and equal opportunities within sport and physical activity. They are committed to enriching our knowledge on how we can provide the opportunity for women to get active and, importantly, stay active, specifically with women aged 45-65.
Table Tennis England believes that our sport can enrich the lives of women in midlife and during menopause and want to inspire and showcase the opportunities we can offer. This research aims to provide information to aid us in reaching our goal of communicating to women the multitude of benefits table tennis can have.
Within this research, we would therefore like to speak to women aged 45-65 who are current members of Table Tennis England, as well as coaches/session leaders (male and female) and women who may be interested in participating in table tennis in the future. Through virtual focus groups we aim to get an understanding of how table tennis plays a role in the lives of current members in this life-stage, as well as any barriers that women may face.
We value your voice and experiences and would love for you to be involved in the upcoming focus groups for this research. We’re interested in hearing from existing players and coaches (at any level) who are keen to help shape the future of table tennis for women and girls.
If interested, please contact [email protected], with contact details and stating name, age, and where you play table tennis.