ETTA Restructuring moves forward

During the discussions in December 2012 with Sport England regarding funding of £11M for table tennis over the 2013 to 2017 cycle, the first year award of £2.5M was agreed and the balance was subject to three conditions. The main condition agreed was for our sport to conduct a Strategic, Governance and Staffing review by the end of June 2013.

 Agreement was reached with Sport England to finance the review and discussions took place with Portas Consultancy regarding its scope.

The ETTA Board felt it was essential after the Election that the new Board should be involved in the process and accept its recommendations, which was confirmed by Sport England.

 Over the last four months this review has taken place involving staff, volunteers and others to obtain inputs, recommendations and thoughts covering Programmes, People, Places and Partnerships. These focused on Vision, Strategy, Governance, Organisation, Operations and Outcomes.

 The final recommendations have been presented to Sport England via the Chair and Chair Elect following agreement with the relevant Boards and Senior Staff and were based upon a “clean sheet design for the ETTA”.

 The Boards have taken ownership of this review and the following key areas are taken from the 10 Summary recommendations of the review that will be implemented by the new Board in conjunction with the membership.

  • A New Staffing Structure consisting of four Departments which, as part of the Executive with the CEO, will be responsible for the delivery and day to day operations of the ETTA.
  • A New Board structure will be put in place consisting of the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer who will be elected and announced at an AGM, Four Board members will be appointed from the membership, Three Non Executive Directors will be recruited and the CEO. All Board members will have voting rights and be responsible for the Strategy, Policies and Direction of the ETTA. No Board member (except the CEO) will have any line management of the Departments.
  • National Council will not be the overall decision making Body of the ETTA or have the rights to overrule the Board. They will remain at this time as the focal point for the membership and hence have a responsibility to the Members but as a monitoring and inputting body to the Board. A review will take place regarding how the Council will be constituted in the future under clear Terms of Reference.
  • A comprehensive review of the Company Memorandum and Articles (Rules) will take place to ensure the membership rights remain in areas such as Affiliation Fees, Playing Rules and Voting rights at an AGM. The present process that the AGM has the responsibility to change any “word” in the rules will no longer apply and separate regulations/bye laws will be set up.
  • A number of Advisory Boards will be set up with Volunteers/staff to support the Board’s decision making process.
  • The priority strategies for the ETTA over the coming years will be to focus on 6 to 16 age group participation, attract more recreational players into Clubs and Local Leagues, improve our Performance area in all age groups, increase places for people to play, review membership and benefits and increase direct communications to our membership.
  • A potential HQ move or relocation will take place.
  • Build the profile of the sport including a new brand identity.

  • A presentation is to be made at the National Council Meeting on 27th July with the Executive Summary of the report.
  • Transformation of the Committee structure.

These will involve significant changes in the way the ETTA operates. A new staffing structure and responsibilities are to be put in place and many of these will require AGM approval to ETTA Rules in July 2014. This is a real cultural change for Table Tennis and will require the need for absolute and total commitment to achieving radical change from the table tennis fraternity and its stakeholders.

The new Interim CEO appointment has been made. Sara Sutcliffe has an excellent background covering many areas of sport and was Director of Legal and HR at the British Olympic Association from 2001 to 2012. She will be a great asset to the ETTA and will work with the new Board, Staff and Volunteers on the implementation of these changes and to meet the final Sport England requirement of new Budgets and costed Delivery Plans for 2014 to 2017 to ensure that the balance of the £11M allocated to Table Tennis is secured for the ETTA at the Sport England Board meeting in January 2014.

Further information will be circulated over the coming months.

 On behalf of the ETTA thanks go to all the Staff and Volunteers for their contribution during this review and to Sport England for the support they have given us. Last but not least to David Portas and Katy Tuncer from Portas Consulting whose detailed report and understanding of our sport has been outstanding.


 Alex Murdoch (Chairman) and Andy Seward (Chairman Elect).

Author: via Leamington Table Tennis League
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