From: Sandra Deaton, Chair, Table Tennis England
In this newsletter:
* Equal prize money
* Commonwealth Games
* Ranking lists
The summer has been quite a period of activity and success for table tennis in England. The medals from the Commonwealth Games, the first National Table Tennis Day and a summer of social Ping! supported by many local leagues and players.
There has been a constant round of initiatives at local and national levels which have brought table tennis to an entirely new audience on television, in the clubs and even in shopping centres and parks.
At Table Tennis England we have had a year of reorganisation and change, and I feel we have now turned a corner. Our emphasis for the coming 12 months will be to promote and support table tennis for all.
As we are all gearing up to the new season, I’d like to take the opportunity of this newsletter to wish you all a successful and enjoyable table tennis season.
Below I’ve outlined some of the events of the past few months. Please see the links to our website for more information about each subject.
Equal prize money
I am proud that table tennis has joined the growing band of sports which recognises that women’s events merit the same prize money as the men’s. Starting with this season’s Liverpool Grand Prix we have raised the prize money for women to a parity.
This not only redresses an imbalance but is an important step forward for our sport in the future. We hope it will encourage more girls and young women to participate in table tennis.
Liverpool Grand Prix winner Abbie Milwain was the first player to benefit from the decision to raise women’s prize money and she explained why she thinks it will encourage more young girls to become involved and will give the women’s game a huge boost.
Table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 produced some nailbiting and emotional moments, as well as a significant medal haul by Team England. There was a great moment when all three places on the podium were occupied by our players as we took gold, silver and bronze in the mixed doubles.
A magnificent run by Liam Pitchford brought a long-awaited medal for England in the singles, when he beat India’s SK Achanta 4-2 to take bronze. And there was a silver following a gallant defeat to Singapore in the final of the men’s team event.
In the next few weeks, nearly 30,000 table tennis players across the country will be renewing their licenses and membership. Table Tennis England’s Membership and Ranking Manager Justine Campbell explains how the team operates as it prepares for the new season and implements the new ranking system.
Players are reminded that they can renew their membership online now.
On the international scene
Para Table Tennis World Championships: Nine of GB’s Para athletes are currently in Beijing for the World Championships. Good luck to all our players who will be aiming for the podium and have a good chance of bringing home medals.
European Team Championships: Good luck and best wishes to our England squad of Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker, Darius Knight, Joanna Drinkhall, Kelly Sibley, Tin-Tin Ho and Hannah Hicks, who head off to Lisbon for the European Team Championship from September 24 to 28. They will be looking for results which will return them to the top flight of European competition.
Four of our brightest young table tennis prospects, Tom Jarvis, Alex Ramsden, Maria Tsaptsinos, and Lois Peake have just returned from a month long training camp in China.
This season we are changing the way the ranking lists are calculated. The new system promises to be more accurate, faster and fairer than the previous system.
Congratulations to . . .
. . . Widnes player Mark Allen, who won two golds in doubles in the recent European Heart and Lung Transplant Games in Lithuania.
. . . Nottingham Trent University’s Chris Doran and Sean Cullen, who won the men’s doubles title at the European University Sports Association Championships in Rotterdam.
. . . Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall, who have hit career highs of 44 and 74 respectively in the ITTF world rankings.
. . . Chris Doran and Abbie Milwain, who took the men’s and women’s titles at the first Grand Prix of the season in Liverpool.