The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in the UK for a decade – will begin on 28 July and runs through to 8 August.
I would like to send the best wishes of everyone connected to Table Tennis England – our players, coaches, staff, officials, and volunteers. It is a huge team effort! Have a fantastic Games.
If you’re attending the table tennis at the NEC as a spectator, make sure you visit us in the Have a Go Zone where we will be providing opportunities for everyone to play over the course of the 10 days.
Athlete of the Year
Many congratulations to Tin Tin Ho who has been shortlisted in the category of Athlete of the Year in the ‘TASS Stars Awards 2022’ following a record number of nominations.
UK Sport and Sport England recently published the Whyte Review into allegations of mistreatment in the sport of gymnastics. You can find the final report here.
This report makes for some disturbing reading and as an organisation that places the safety and wellbeing of those involved in table tennis at the number one priority, Table Tennis England is currently reviewing the report in full and considering the recommendations through the lens of our own sport.
I have been invited to join a small group to engage in a conversation about the future of Sport Relief and potentially, how Sport Relief could be reimagined. Over the years, Sport Relief has achieved some extraordinary success. It will be undergoing some changes and is moving from a one night of TV every two years to a year-round programme/campaign. However, despite its success, Sport Relief has not really integrated with NGBs and feels somewhat detached from the sports sector at large. I look forward to table tennis being involved in this discussion.
I am very sorry to share the news that after six and a half years, Greg Yarnall, our Development Director, will be leaving Table Tennis England in September to join the Royal Yachting Association team in Northern Ireland as their Chief Operating Officer.
Greg has been a key part of the team in Milton Keynes and last year won the AK Vint OBE Staff Award for exceptional service by a staff member for leading the organisation’s covid response. Among the many other projects he has steered is the development of TT Kidz, which has introduced thousands of 7-11-year-olds to the sport, the Pride of Table Tennis Awards and the launch of the Level The Table strategy last autumn.
He has also overseen a number of grant schemes which have helped countless clubs and organisations, including the BeTT programme and the Inclusivity Grant Scheme. To say Greg has made a big contribution to Table Tennis England is an understatement. Any club which has engaged with one of our projects in the last five or six years will have been directly influenced by Greg and the team he leads.
In TT Kidz and Level The Table in particular, we see Greg’s passion for enthusing people about table tennis and making it easier, and more accessible, for them to take part. Greg will be a big loss to Table Tennis England, but he and his family have a huge professional and personal opportunity in Northern Ireland and we wish him and them every success.
I am pleased to share that Nicole Flaherty started with us on 27 June leading on specific Women & Girls projects and support with Women & Girls partnerships. Nicole is joins us from England Netball with great experience in engaging Women & Girls into sport as well as working with National partners.
Competition & Events
• The last events of the 2021/22 season took place – the Gloucester Grand Prix Meng and Evans take top Gloucester prizes – Table Tennis England and, the Mark Bates Ltd U11 & U13s National Championships Nguyen and Khazal top the Nationals podium – Table Tennis England and the Junior National Cup Top seeds take Junior National Cup titles – Table Tennis England, both of which were streamed live on Facebook as part of our build up to the Commonwealth Games and had terrific engagement.
• Table Tennis England is looking for a new Chair of the British League Committee for the 2022/23 season, to lead the Committee and support the operational delivery. The vacancy comes as Head of Competitions and Events, Neil Rogers, steps back to focus on other projects – he will step down after the new chair is successfully appointed on onboarded. Click here to read more about the role, including key skills and experience required Could you be our British League Chair? – Table Tennis England
• Clubs and community partners have been invited to run activation events and projects linked to B2022, to take advantage of the impact and engagement opportunities of a home Games. https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/join-us-in-getting-more-peopleplaying/
A fantastic Toolkit is now available to download to support this work and we have reopened the Level the Table Grant Scheme to provide funding to those projects that specifically align with making table tennis more accessible, particularly for women and girls.
• Our partnership with StreetTT is being expanded, with an initial focus around Birmingham and the Commonwealth Games. We are working in partnership with StreetTT to take table tennis to the streets of a number of new towns or cities over the next 12 months. https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/bringing-table-tennis-to-the-streets-of-birmingham/
• The team are continuing to support clubs to access grant funding from schemes such as Sport England’s Queen Jubilee funding. If you would like support for your own club, please get in touch. https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/queens-platinum-jubilee-funding-success/
• We are aiming to extend our work in reaching people with Parkinson’s and recently held a club webinar to find out more about how they can get involved. https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/partnership-extends-our-support-for-parkinsons-table-tennis/
• Our England Schools representatives competed in Largs, Scotland as part of the Senior Schools Internationals, a report can be found here: https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/dominant-england-sweep-up-the-schools-medals/
• A landmark women and girls’ competition, with funding support from our Level the Table grant scheme took place on the 2 July with a sell out entry. https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/female-players-book-your-place-at-landmark-event/
A report on the competition will be published on the Table Tennis England website soon.
• We have recently launched the ‘It’s Time to Play’ toolkit, to help and enable organisations and individuals across the country to provide opportunities for people to take part in activities and events, in the lead up to, during and post games. We have created an events page which will list the events taking place, plus it also allows people to sign up to them from our website.
• We have sent out our first membership renewal reminder to all members. Apologies for the communication which went out in error from Sport:80, however all members should now have received the correct information directly from Table Tennis England. Members can renew online from the 20th July.
• We published the Annual Review online this week and we are now inviting questions from members.
• We are inviting photographers to support our mission to get more women and girls playing table tennis. Please see the brief shared on our social channels.
• We are also looking for digital content creators to help create great content this summer, during and post Commonwealth Games. Contact the marketing team at [email protected] for more information.
• We are delighted to welcome Richard Ayres to the Board of Directors – the full announcement can be seen here.
• Table Tennis England is currently seeking a Chair of the British League from within the membership. If you are interested, or know someone with the skills and experience needed, please express your interest here.
• I would like to thank all Members who attended the Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting on 16 July. Details of the outcomes of the meeting will be published on our website shortly.