Annual Report for 2013






The club has made remarkable progress in the ten months since it was established.  The idea for a club came when a young talented player, Simon Knopf, was helping out in the Brandon Village Community Garden.  He told Tom Sharples, team leader of the garden, that he had to travel to Teesside to get professional coaching.  Tom said he would try and set up a club in the local Welfare Hall, and approached me for help and advice.  At the time I worked for the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) as its Regional Development Manager for the NE Region. 


The club was formed on 22nd February 2013.  In less than a year, with a lot of hard work by the management committee and support from the Welfare Hall, there is now a thriving club, in the local Welfare Hall.


The club is affiliated to ETTA, part of the national governing body of the sport’s Premier Club programme. The benefits of joining this programme include ETTA Public Liability Insurance with an indemnity limit of £10,000,000.


Management Committee

The club has a Management Committee of enthusiastic, committed and hard-working volunteers which includes two women and three junior representatives, two of whom are girls:-

             Chairman                                   Tony Taylor

             Vice Chairman                           Tom Sharples

              Secretary                                   Martin Knopf

             Treasurer                                   Paula Harrison

                        Welfare Officer                          Chris Leishman

             Coaching Officer                       Paul Henderson

             Adult Representatives               Lynn Reilly

                                                                          Keith Harrison

             Junior Representatives             Simon Knopf

                                                                          Erin Harrison

                                                                          Rebecca Harrison

                        Parish Council                           John Grantham


Club Premises, Facilities & Equipment

The club operates out of Brandon Community Hall, and offers sessions on a Thursday evening from 6:30pm until 8:30pm for all ages and abilities, and on a Saturday morning providing coaching for junior players from 10am until noon. The cost to participants is £2.50 per session. The first session was held on Saturday 9th March 2013. Three tables and a small quantity of bats and balls were acquired from different sources to get the club started.  We finished the year with six tables being available for sessions.


Coaching services

The club only uses the services of ETTA licensed coaches who are in possession of the necessary CRB/DBS clearance documentation and also have appropriate insurance cover.


Grant funding

The club has applied for funding from various sources and has secured the following assistance:-

£400 -    Mid-Durham Area Action Partnership

£150 -    Brandon Residents Association

£5,000 - County Durham Community Foundation


In addition, we received £460 funding from County Durham Sport who chose us as a delivery partner to operate a twelve week course as part of their ‘Move into Sport’ programme which aims to provide exercise and fun activities to adults who are at risk of cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes.


We are extremely grateful for the support received which will help our plans for development and growth.  



As a result of being chosen as a partner by County Durham Sport in their ‘Move into Sport’ programme, the club was featured in an article in The Journal on Thursday, 29th August and again in the Northern Echo on Saturday 23rd November 2013.


School links

We have delivered table tennis ‘taster sessions’ in both Brandon and Browney Primary Schools, and as a result, one of our club’s coaches is now providing weekly coaching sessions at the latter school. Three more local primary schools and one secondary school have also been approached about our club and responses are awaited.


Junior Champions

Two of our junior representatives, Erin Harrison and Simon Knopf, are current champions for their age groups in Sunderland & District TT Association’s competitions.


Club Development Plan

We are pursuing Club mark accreditation which is regarded as the sign of a quality club i.e. well-organised, safe and child friendly.


Table tennis is truly a sport which can be played and enjoyed by all, irrespective of age, gender, ability, race, colour or creed. Everyone finds their level.  We aim to cater for the social and recreational players as well as those who wish to play competitively, improve, and reach their full potential and play at the highest level. For this latter category we can help identify an appropriate player pathway.


Our club exists for the benefit of the whole local community in and around Brandon.

We aim to see a growth in membership in all age groups from the current total of 37 to 250 by 2016, and this to include 5 talented players competing to be County champions.


Subject to demand, there could be separate coaching sessions at Brandon Community Hall for primary schools, junior players, women and girls, over 50’s groups, people with disabilities etc. Failing that, additional sessions may be included in the programme of activities which will be open to all ages and abilities.


Tony Taylor,Chairman

Brandon & Byshottles TT Club

12th December 2013.

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