COLEBRIDGE YOUNG PEOPLE’S CLUB (incorporating Colebridge Table Tennis Club
ANNUAL REPORT for 2013-2014
2013 – 2014 turned out to be a year of consolidation, with the usual mixture of successes and disappointments. Chief among the latter was the failure of our bid to Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund, so our perennial roof problems remain unresolved. The successes were mainly individual ones. The competitive ones will be mentioned later, but two more Colebridge members figured prominently in the local sports pages.
Our Chairman, Inky Moss, followed in the footsteps of Edward Lynn, with a Birmingham Sports award, in his case as ‘Volunteer of the Year’, in recognition of the many hours he spent keeping the outdoor tables scattered in and around the City, supplied with bats and balls during the Ping Brum events.
Another winner was Ian Ferguson, who received the prestigious West Midlands Police ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ award for outstanding achievement in Table Tennis, including the winning of the National Police Mens Singles Title for the fourth successive year. Playing with another Birmingham based player, Leigh Bradford, Ian also won the Mens Doubles event, to record his 10th National Police title – quite an achievement! During the season, Ian also captained and coached the Warwickshire Senior and Junior teams.
The year saw a drop in membership from last year’s all time high of 144 to 106, made up as follows (the age range statistics for the under 25s are those required annually by NCYP):
7 to 10 years
11 to 12 years
13 to 16 years
17 to 19 years
A significant factor in the reduction of senior male members was the number of those aged over 60 years who gave up attending the Tuesday afternoon session attended mostly by those who have retired from work, health and travel problems being some of the reasons given. As we still have 39 Over 60s the session will continue to be our most popular.
Junior membership has always varied from year to year as the older members leave for University and employment, although we also found that some of the juniors we lost had joined merely to learn enough to pass the requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Sport.
As we are now active participants in the Sport England Satellite Club Scheme, which has seen Edward Lynn coaching in 3 local schools, we expect junior membership to increase from September 2014.
JUNIOR TABLE TENNIS
A major disappointment this year was the cancellation, due to insufficient entries, of the Warwickshire Clubs for Young People’s annual table tennis championships. Apparently only one other club submitted entries. The apparent decline in interest in competitive table tennis in youth clubs is a cause for concern which we hope will be addressed by those in Table Tennis England (the new brand name adopted by the recently reorganised English Table Tennis Association) responsible for development.
Another blow came recently when we learned that Ambition UK (aka NCYP) had decided to abandon the format of their annual National Table Tennis Championships which have been held at Halton TTC in Widnes in June for several years and have always been well attended, in favour of a joint sports event with Street Games UK held in August at venues in England Wales and Scotland. For reasons unknown, they have decided that those attending the table tennis championships will wish to participate in other sports like rock climbing and basketball when they are not actually playing table tennis. A strange decision considering that the previous table tennis championships were organised so that the players were kept busy throughout the day. WCYP is one of several County Organisations lobbying for a return to a proper national event, but, even if they are successful, it is likely that this will not take place until 2015.
Fortunately, The English Table Tennis Association has not felt it necessary to change their national events, so once again we entered teams in their National Cadet and Junior Leagues.
National Cadet League.
The West Midlands Region event for U15s again took place at Burton Uxbridge TTC with Colebridge entering two teams:
Aces, comprising, Callum Anthrobus, Lisa Rinnhofer and a co-opted members, Kyeon Aiken and Sohail Alishan (Hamstead), finished runners-up in Division 1.
Braves, an inexperienced squad comprising Nicklas & James Hunt, Sam Gardiner, Matthew Benson, Amir Van Ekelen and Aaryan Deshpande, shared the matches and finished 7th in Division 2. 10 year old Aaryan beat several older players.
Ed Lynn and Ian Scott provided coaching support
National Junior League.
This West Midlands event was played at Wood Green TTC. Our team was weakened by the loss of our top junior, Sam Henderson, whose promotion to the Junior British League representing Woodfield TTC, meant he was ineligible for NJL. Nevertheless, the team of Jamie Fellows, Lisa Rinnhofer, Sam Minton and Ben Matthews, again coached by Ed, finished runners-up in Division 2.
Heart of England Cadet League.
We entered one team in this event, principally to give match experience to our youngest players. The squad, with Ed in charge as usual, consisted of Tim Adams, Matthew Benson, Aaryan Deshpande, Nicklas & James Hunt and Lisa Rinnhofer. Again, matches were shared, the team eventually finishing in 7th place.
ETTA Under 11-14 National Championships.
The West Midlands Qualifying Championship was again held at Wood Green, with 3 Colebridge players participating – Tim Adams and the Rinnhofer sisters, with both girls qualifying for the National Finals.
Warwickshire Closed Championships.
Sam Henderson teamed up with Jesse Kendrick-Hill (Rugby TTC) to win both the Junior Boys and Mens Doubles event.
Amit Ubhi won the Restricted Singles, defeating Ed Lynn in the Final.
Birmingham Closed Championships.
Although no results have been published to date, we understand that Sam Henderson again figured prominently among the finalists with a runners-up spot in the Junior Singles.
Leamington Closed Championships.
This produced outstanding performances from sisters Sophie (age 9) and Lisa Rinnhofer (age 13) as the following shows.
Sophie – Under 11 Girls Singles – winner. Under 13 girls singles – runner-up.
Lisa – Cadet (u15) Girls Singles – winner. Junior(u18) Girls Singles – winner.
Lisa also teamed up with dad Mike to win the Parent/Child Doubles.
Sam Henderson was again runner-up to Jesse Kendrick-Hill in the Junior Boys Singles but teamed up with Jesse to win the Junior Boys Doubles.
Other Notable Performances.
Warwickshire Schools Championships.
Sophie Rinnhofer was runner-up in the Under 11 Girls Singles, but sister, Lisa went one better by winning the Under 16 Girls Singles and thus qualifying to represent Warwickshire in the National Schools event.
Lisa Rinnhofer and Sam Henderson represented Warwickshire in Division 1 of the ETTA Junior County Championships, helping their team to retain its position in this high quality competition. Lisa also played for the County’s team in the Premier Division of the Cadet Championships, which struggled against strong opposition and was relegated to Division 1.
As they are individual events, we do not always hear about Colebridge members’ participation in Tournaments, but we do know that the talented Rinnhofer sisters made their marks upon the Burton 1 Star Open. Lisa won the Cadet and Junior Girls Singles in the February event and more recently, in June. In May, Sophie won the Primary Girls Singles by defeating all 6 other opponents, losing only one game in the process, and then the Under 13 Girls Singles, in which she won 5 out of her 6 matches, mostly against much older girls.
Since September 2013; the four junior coaching sessions have continued to take place on a regular basis, two on a Friday evening, and two on a Saturday. The girls / ladies session on a Friday evening and the improver session on a Saturday morning have had mixed attendance throughout the season; although overall attendance at other sessions has started to improve, predominantly from Ed’s efforts in recruiting new members. Several players have progressed to being invited to the advanced junior session.
The coaching sessions are being run by Kate (girls / ladies session); and Ed (Friday evening boys; and most Saturdays). When Ed is unavailable to coach (due to taking Colebridge teams to competitions); Saturday sessions have been run by Ian Scott or Mike Browne.
We are privileged to have been chosen by Table Tennis England to be a Hub Club in the Sport England funded Satellite Club Scheme and awarded £2,400 to set up Satellite Clubs in 3 schools. Initially this involves a number of coaching sessions and Ed Lynn has now established after-school clubs in Lode Heath and Tudor Grange Academies and expects to start another satellite at Wheelers Lane in September.
The scheme is also supported by Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Schools Sports Partnership (CSW). With excellent support from Mike Saunders and his colleagues from Tanworth-in-Arden TTC, several of whom are also Colebridge members, we were able to take advantage of this with an application to start a Satellite Club in Tanworth-in-Arden Primary School. This proved successful with the grant from CSW funding some additional tables, as well as after-school coaching sessions, again run by Ed.
Hopefully Ed’s coaching will not only help to establish regular table tennis sessions at those schools, but will see their best players attending our regular sessions and going on to represent our club in competition. The scheme is a worthwhile attempt to get more children playing table tennis and we plan to be very active participants.
Another aspect of our coaching that we are seeking to develop, is Disability Coaching, as, following a lengthy training session attended by several club members, Colebridge is recognised by Table Tennis England as what is known as an Ability Club. As the former ETTA Regional Disability Officer, Ed has both the training and experience to run events for disabled table tennis players and he and his support team of both senior and junior members know how to cope with the numerous problems that they face.
As well as occasional disability sessions run throughout the year, usually alongside our other coaching, Ed organised two Disability Training Days in April, which were well attended by players with an assortment of disabilities and looked after extremely well by Ed and his team. Our President, Lorely Burt and officials from Solihull Council kindly attended the second one, resulting in some welcome publicity in the local press.
If we can improve our toilet and changing facilities for the disabled, so that we can invite wheelchair bound players, we could become the Centre for Disability Table Tennis in the West Midlands.
Sadly, after July, we shall lose Kate Hughes’s valuable contribution to our coaching, as she has decided that her personal, playing and work commitments leave her insufficient time to fulfil her Colebridge voluntary work to the high standard that she sets herself. She has made an unforgettable impact on this aspect of the running of our club in the few years she has been a member, as well as bringing a much appreciated feminine touch to several other aspects of Colebridge activity. We should not forget that she is currently at No 34 in the Table Tennis England Women’s ranking list and is a regular member of the Warwickshire Senior team, and we are thankful that she has decided to continue to represent the Club in the local league. She will also continue to run the annual Colebridge Hard Bat Tournament.
SENIOR TABLE TENNIS
Birmingham, Solihull & District TTA
9 teams took part in the Birmingham & District Three Aside League, one less than last season. Our top team in the Premier Division, Aces, were again unable to field our strongest players consistently, but once more finished runners-up to Hamstead A. However, they gained some consolation with Ed Lynn being the individual winner. Braves also had a new set of players, but did well to remain in the Division. Elsewhere, we got two more teams out of Division 2, with Giants as winners and Falcons runners-up. They will exchange places with Dinosaurs who found Division 1 too hot to handle, but Eagles avoided a similar drop with a late surge led by the evergreen Bernard ’Rottweiler’ Oliver. Of the other teams, Jaguars in Division 4 warrant a mention, especially their team secretary, Graham Rhodes. Graham, who has only recently returned to our sport after many years absence, offered to run the team, unaware that he would face mounting selection problems as his players dropped out through injury and other commitments. By skilfully rearranging his fixtures, drafting in new members and, on occasions, playing one or two players short, he managed to get all matches played. That his inexperienced team still managed to finish in 8th place is quite an achievement.
Team records are as follows:
Leading individual performers were:
Premier –Edward Lynn (1st)
Division 1 – Bernard Oliver (7th)
Division 2 –Mark Hadley (Giants) 3rd. Jamie Fellows (Falcons) 4th.
Division 3 –Omar Zaman (2nd)
Two teams entered the cup competitions without success.
Three teams participated in the Birmingham Summer League 2013. In Divisions of 6, the A team finished 6th and the B team (Sam Henderson 29/36) 5th in Division 1. The C team in Division 2 finished 4th (Tim Fell 19/30).
In the Birmingham, Solihull & District Table Tennis Association’s Maurice Goldstein Cup Final, played at the Presentation Evening, Edward Lynn captained the President’s Select team which defeated the 2012-13 Premier Division Champions, Hamstead, 9-0.
Birmingham Closed Championships.
Several members entered this competition, but at the time of writing, how they fared is unknown to the writer, as the Association has never published any results.
Our leading senior player, Amann Ubhi, was awarded the BSDTTA A O Hill Trophy for his part in the winning of the English League’s Wilmott Cup, referred to in last year’s report and for his unbeaten performance whilst representing Warwickshire in the ETTA Senior County Championships.
Leamington & District TTA
Two teams were again entered in the Leamington & District League. Aces in Division 1, ably led by Kate Hughes, were runners-up to Rugby’s top team for the second successive season and Braves, led by John Taylor, continued their yo-yo performances by winning promotion from Division 2, behind winners Rugby C.
ACES – Kate Hughes 41/51, Mike Rinnhofer 21/36, Ed Lynn 19/24, Sam Henderson 14/21.
BRAVES – John Taylor 42/48. John Chandler 36/60, Mike Credland 22/33, Neil Wheatley 20/33, Mike Evetts 9/15.
Leamington Closed Championships
Womens Singles – Kate Hughes - winner
Womens Doubles - Kate Hughes and Lisa Rinnhofer – winners
Mixed Doubles – Kate Hughes winner (with Ryan Stockham - Phoenix TTC)
Over 60 Singles – Tim Fell runner-up.
Warwickshire Closed Championships
Womens Singles – Kate Hughes winner.
Womens Doubles – Kate Hughes – runner-up (with Charlotte Spencer – St. Georges TTC).
Mixed Doubles – Kate Hughes winner (with Ryan Stockham - Phoenix TTC)
Restricted Singles – Edward Lynn – runner-up.
Over 60s Singles – Tim Fell – runner-up.
Warwickshire Team Championships.
This years final was played at Colebridge between our team of Edward Lynn, Ben Willson and Sam Henderson and Free Church‘s team of county juniors. Colebridge secured the cup with a resounding 9-0 victory.
.Representative honours were gained by Colebridge Players, as follows:
Kate Hughes teamed up with Charlotte Spencer again, to represent Leamington in the ETTA Womens Rose Bowl Event, the team finishing in 4th place.
Warwickshire teams in the ETTA County Championships
Senior A (Division 1B) – Kate Hughes (11/14 wins), Amann Ubhi (10/10 wins). The team finished 2nd for the 2nd year running, missing promotion to the Premier Division by one set.
Over 60s – (in Division 1A) – John Taylor.
Birmingham teams in the Midland League.
Veterans Division 1 – Michael Browne, Dean Hicks.
The 3rd Colebridge Hard Bat Tournament was held on 11th May, organised, in her usual efficient way, by Kate Hughes. The winners were:
Main Competition – Sam Henderson, with Ben Willson runner-up
Consolation competition – Lisa Rinnhofer with Tim Fell runner-up.
Single Point competition – Mike Evetts.
FUND RAISING & GRANT AID
The rejection of our Sport England bid was not entirely unexpected, as the Fund was massively over subscribed. Sport England has encouraged us to bid again and has pointed out areas of the previous bid that could be improved. The overall impression was that the aims of our bid, set largely at improving facilities for ladies and disabled players were, from the development point of view, too narrow for the funding sought (£46,973). We might have fared better if we could have provided more match funding and this is something that we need to think about before our next bid, which will be based on repairing the roof, rather than replacing it altogether, plus installing more adequate side and valley guttering.
John Swinburne’s business commitments have limited his opportunities of seeking funding and it would be good if other members could offer some help with this important task. If anyone knows of a table tennis loving entrepreneur based locally, please tell him about the wonderful club in Shirley that is crying out for a bit of financial help!!! By the way, we do have our President on the case.
As is shown in the 2013 – 2014 Income & Expenditure account, the club continues to more than pay its way. Although in real terms Income is down, reflecting the reduced membership last year, so is expenditure, despite an increase in electricity costs which we believe was due more to increased charges brought about by a new supply contract, rather than increased consumption.
There was a slight imbalance in the Coaching account, but insufficient to be a cause for concern. Hopefully the expected increase in Junior members arising from our activity in schools will redress the balance next year.
Last year, it was the wish of members who attended the AGM, that a small increase in all subscriptions should be made annually to allow for the inevitable inflation. Consequently your Committee is recommending an all round increase of £5 from 1st September 2014
Once again, we must thank Mark Hadley for managing our finances so well and Chris Allen for conducting the required review.
It is recognised by our members and a large part of the local table tennis fraternity, that the Colebridge website is the best in the Midlands and Table Tennis England has already quoted it as an example of ‘Best Practice’. We have our brilliant Webmaster, Mike Evetts, to thank for that, but I am sure that he would acknowledge that without input from members, it would not be so successful. Please use it to draw attention to everything achieved by Colebridge and its members, both inside and outside the Club. That would also make life easier for whoever assumes the task of compiling the next year’s Annual Report, since all information needed would be readily to hand.
MEMBERSHIP & COMMITTEE.
No club will survive and prosper without a band of dedicated volunteers. The coaching staff, without whom the Club would fold, put in long hours, often at weekends and our thanks go to them especially Some volunteers will be honoured at the AGM, but everyone, both on and off the Committee, who has helped to make this Club the best in Birmingham, Solihull and District, whether by cleaning the floors, clearing the guttering, painting and decorating, stocking the kitchen or supporting our various events, deserves the thanks of members. There are too many to mention individually, but I hope that everyone will give some thought to how they might contribute personally, even if it is only something minor, like clearing up thoroughly after a playing session.
For several years, there has been a steady decline in interest in playing in local leagues and there is no doubt that the present format leaves much to be desired. This has to be a concern for all of us, and changes must be made as, otherwise, we shall not retain the interest of our young members in our sport when they become adults. I am reliably informed that alternative formats are now being considered and I am hopeful that some of them can be trialled at Colebridge. More on that subject later.
In my previous report, I stated that it would be my last, yet here I am once again. I really did wish to retire last year, but unexpected circumstances dictated otherwise. However, come what may, next year’s report will have a new author and I hope that he will have even more great Colebridge achievements to report.
May I wish Colebridge YPC and all of its members every success in the future.
Neil Wheatley – Hon. Secretary