In October 2005, Mr. Harry Thomason, who was then the Head Teacher of St. Bede’s RC VA Primary School in Sacriston, approached the ETTA RDO to request the services of qualified coach for his school, having purchased four tables, nets, a quantity of barriers, bats and balls, for their newly built Sports Hall.
Coaching for a group of around 16 KS2 children commenced straight after school on a Wednesday afternoon from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, and this was followed in the evening by a coaching session for adults which ran from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. The adult group at the commencement of this activity comprised the Head Teacher and some of his friends, former colleagues and pupils, and parents of children at the school.
These sessions proved so popular with some of the year 6 pupils that the following academic year saw the addition of an ‘Improvers’ coaching session between 4:30pm and 5:30pm for these pupils, who had left to attend St. Leonards Secondary School in Durham.
The club has grown and developed to such an extent that we have had to move to bigger premises(Fyndoune Community College) where we can use 8 tables for our club session. We now have membership of over 40 with 5 teams competing in the Sunderland & District TT League Winter league, and 1 in the Northumberland Winter league and 5 teams in the Northumberland Summer league with home match fixtures being played on a Tuesday at Kimblesworth Community Centre and Friday at Freeman's Quay Leisure Centre, Durham. We also have a Satellite club session at Framwellgate Moor School where a number of talented Juniors are selected to play in our adult league teams We recognise, however, that not all of our members wish to play competitively. Consequently, our Wednesday ‘Club night’ sessions are devoted to coaching and practice for social and recreational purposes only. Among our members are 4 qualified coaches, two County Officers, a qualified umpire, and the ESTTA County Secretary for Durham.
We held our inaugural meeting in August 2010, and now have a Management Committee, a Club Constitution, and our own bank account. We have achieved Premier Club status with Table Tennis England.
In 2009 we were shortlisted by County Durham Sport for the ‘Club of The Year’ award, and were presented with a plaque following an awards ceremony at The Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham. This recognition of our efforts contributed towards our receiving a grant of £500 from two Durham County Councillors from their Members Initiative Fund. Our Club participates fully in the activities of Durham County Council’s Active Durham Action Group, and as such provide table tennis ‘taster’ sessions in the City’s Leisure Centres during school holidays, as well as providing volunteers to participate in police initiatives such as their ‘Sportstart’ events.
We are also working with our local NHS Trusts to encourage individuals to take up exercise and sport to promote healthy living.
The season 2014 2015 was particularly successful with one team winning the Sunderland League Handicap Cup and two players reaching the semi-finals, Max Duffin and Matt Greenwood with Max getting to the final and only being defeated by an England international.
The Club received funding from James Knott Trust, Sported, Local Parish Councils(Sacriston and Kimblesworth) and the County Councillors and have renewed all equipment so we are playing on the best tables possible.
In 2015 the club has entered 5 teams in The Sunderland league and one in the Northumberland League.
At the Sunderland league presentation night 2015 the club was awarded "Club of the Year" and Max Duffin was awarded "Best Junior outside the First Division"
In the Winter Leagues 2015 Aces won the second division title in the Northumberland league. In the Sunderland league Bombers won Division 2 and Comets won Division 3. Max Duffin won the U15 and U18 title at the Closed Championships as well as winning the Handicap Cup singles trophy.
In the Northumbria Summer League of 2018, Bombers won the 3rd Division and Comets won the 5th Division.
In the Sunderland Winter league 2018-2019, Bombers won the 2nd Division and Peter Whitfield won the Handicap Cup singles competition.
The vision of the club is to build and sustain a successful, professional, community based club, raising awareness of all our activities and to encourage participation locally to the community as a whole.