The best players in the country inspired the next generation at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, as eight local schools brought pupils along to experience our flagship event.

More than 160 youngsters and 32 staff members attended on the Friday to catch the action, try out the sport in the fanzone and meet players.

Some were thrilled to have their photo taken alongside England stars Tom Jarvis – who went on to win the Men’s Singles for the second year running – and David McBeath.

Meanwhile, men’s under-21 champion Connor Green was popular, signing autographs and posing for selfies after taking his title.

Connor Green signs autographs
Youngsters with Tom Jarvis and David McBeath

Table Tennis England Schools Committee Chair David Maddison, himself a former headteacher, helped to promote the event locally, and children from the following schools attended:

  • Sir John Sherbrooke Junior
  • Archbishop Cranmer CE Primary Academy
  • Bulwell St Mary’s CE Primary
  • Robert Mellors Primary
  • Langold Dyscarr Community (Worksop)
  • Whitemoor Primary
  • Kirkby Woodhouse Primary
  • Carlton Junior Academy

As well as the schools visits, several youngsters were at the centre of the action on Finals Day as player mascots and ball helpers.

Mascots on court before the Men’s Doubles final

Jake McDowell, Adele Brown, Ewen Baldwin and Thomas Ellis escorted players on to court as mascots, while Thomas and Adele also acted as ball helpers, retrieving balls at the end of rallies, as did: Coen Brown, Ro-Anne Sokal-Green, Joseph Pugh, Seren Pugh, Oliver Good, Joshua Good and Hayden Atkinson.

The youngsters were all given TT Kidz branded clothing and really stood out on the court as they performed their duties brilliantly.

Ball Helpers on court

If you have a 7-to-11-year-old, why not get them involved in table tennis? They will learn new skills, meet new friends, get fit and most importantly – have fun! 

Clubs across the country run beginner and developing player sessions for youngsters.

We also run the TT Kidz initiative – an inclusive and accessible programme which children aged 7-to-11 can enjoy.