SECRETARY’S REPORT to AGM, 26th July 2019

Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club continues to progress well, with continuing growing membership and success in competitions both individually and teams. The Club entered 12 teams, several more than any other club in the local League for 2018-19 season.

Another great season for the Newton Abbot TTC teams entered in the South Devon & Torbay Table Tennis League.  NA Batmen, for the third consecutive season, finished runners-up in the First Division to the outstanding Torbay Academy 1.  Newton Abbot Buzzards, injury prone again at the end of the season, finished in 3rd place. Herbie Sage, Dennis Gibbs, Kevin Nicholls, Shaun Gibbs & Naomi Jackson all finished in the top seven of the averages. NA Condors finished 5th which was impressive considering their player commitment problems.  NA Eagles were runners up in 2nd Division, with the Falcons finishing fourth.  Jim McIvor, Andy Tyrrell, Ed Crawford and Jeremy Broad all finishing in the top ten of the averages. In the third division the Hawks were in the hunt for most of the season but ended up third while our Kestrels finished a disappointing seventh. Pete Sercombe was the only NATTC player to make the top ten (due to not enough matches played by several others!) Our two inexperienced teams of mainly youngsters competing in the Fourth Division both exceeded expectations with the Kites improving as the season went on, finishing third and the Owls fifth. Rowan Bayliss, Josh Redfern and Lewis Short all made the top ten in the averages. With many new faces thrown in to the league for the first time in the Fifth Division valuable experience was gained by all. The Ospreys finished runners-up, the Vultures, with a fine finish to the season, climbed up to fourth and our Merlins finished sixth. Rob Ferguson finished second in the averages and was joined by Andy Guy, Henry Greet, Benj & Ollie Pead and Eve James in the top ten. My thanks go to all the team captains who sorted out teams and fixtures, helped with transport, supplied refreshments etc. and also thanks to all the players and parents for their involvement.

In the Handicap cup competitions, unfortunately, it was a similar story to above, having to accept being runners-up to the exceptional Torbay Academy 1 team. NA Buzzards had good runs in both competitions but were knocked out in both by the Academy 1 team. There were also excellent cup runs from the Kites and Kestrels, but it was down to the Hawks and Falcons to represent the club in the finals. The Challenge Cup team handicap singles final saw a 381-295 defeat for our Falcons, while our Hawks lost out 389-317 in the Dyment Doubles final. Well done to both the Falcons and the Hawks for battling their way through to the finals.

Newton Abbot TTC dominated the Early Season Tournament: Lauren Loosemore winning the main handicap event for the Collins Cup, Kevin Nicholls winning the Excell Hard Bat, and Lauren Loosemore partnered by Andrew Connor from Torre TTC won the Handicap doubles.

There were great successes in the Annual Closed Tournament. A record number of 52 players competed in 12 different events, with 22 of the competitors coming from our club.  There was a new format this season with the introduction of a finals/awards night following the tournament with 6 of the finals being held back to be played at a showpiece event at Newton Abbot Racecourse. Of the events that were completed on the day, successful Newton Abbot players were: Dennis Gibbs who retained his Super Veterans title, Naomi Jackson and Lauren Loosemore won the Ladies Doubles, Rob Ferguson won the Division Five Singles, Josh Redfern was runner-up in the Junior Boys and the Division Four singles, Pete Sercombe was runner-up in Division Three singles

Having had a really successful tournament, Newton Abbot TTC had representatives in five of the six finals held back for Finals Night.  In front of a large crowd nearing 100 enthusiastic spectators, at an excellent venue, some superb table tennis was on view. First up Dennis Gibbs beat Patrik Cincala to wrestle back the Veterans Cup. The Batmen pairing of Shaun Gibbs & Naomi Jackson defeated the Buzzards Kevin Nicholls & Sonja Ryland to lift the Mixed Doubles cup in an all Newton Abbot affair. The Batmen were again successful in the Men’s doubles as Dennis & Shaun Gibbs beat the Condors’ father and son team of Giles & Yannick Tushingham in another all Newton Abbot TTC final. The Ladies final, again between two Newton Abbot players, saw Naomi Jackson defeat Sonja Ryland. The best was saved for last as Kevin Nicholls defeated Patrik Cincala in a cracking match to lift the Burton Cup.

Newton Abbot TTC were represented Nationally in the Senior British League Division C4. My thanks to Kevin Nicholls for organising the team and representing the club, supported by Jon Cheung and Dan Webster-Hall.

Kevin Nicholls and Sonja Ryland were regularly part of an unbeaten Devon Vets team, who were divisional champions. Dennis Gibbs also featured in this very successful Devon Vets team

Dennis Gibbs was the first recipient of the new Singles shield competition introduced for all Newton Abbot TTC members. Dennis beat Jon Cheung in an excellent final.

Josh Redfern was triumphant in the Don Blatchford Cup, defeating Lewis Short in the final.  Ethan Lee picked up the Challenge shield                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

We have just completed the Albany Florists summer singles competition for our regular club session players in the lower divisions and those yet to play in the league, which has been very well supported (32 players) and favourably received.  A free to enter event on Friday evenings with many prizes and trophies up for grabs.  Many thanks to Sonja for supplying the trophy and playing a major part in running the competition.  Rowan Bayliss retained the trophy he won last season.

The successful introduction of a club kit last season has given a really good identity for the club.  Over 180 individually personalised garments have been ordered from our local supplier, Clothing Your Way.  The kit has been very popular and costs to our members subsidised to help keep the price down.

We currently have over 120 players on our attendance register, over half are now representing our club in the local league, with up to 30 regular visitors playing for other clubs in the league, but practising with us. The remaining players being youngsters and older folk new to the game, some players returning to the game, and many just looking for an active, social evening.  All are openly encouraged to join us.

There were a few disciplinary issues this last season which was a shame but all were resolved without any serious consequences.  We are fully committed to our Codes of Practice and maintaining a high standard of behaviour. Our club is extremely popular due to its friendly and welcoming nature, this MUST be preserved and built upon as we move forward.

Congratulations to Rob Bayliss who successfully completed the Table Tennis England Level One coaching course and has joined our team of coaches.  Unfortunately we say goodbye to our hugely popular coach, Jon Cheung, who has moved to Bristol.  Many thanks Jon for working with so many of our members over the last three years.

We continue to work with Teign School. We have supplied 4 extra tables and repaired 4 of theirs to give the school 8 tables for their use while ensuring we have up to 19 to use ourselves. This ensures we continue to get a discounted rate for the hire of the premises, as well as gaining the opportunity of getting more students involved with the club.

Due to Table Tennis England’s unhelpful policy changes our club website is in danger, and we will no longer be supporting TTE Premier Club programme because of this.  We will continue to run with our TT365 hosted Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club Website while it remains free, but may have to reconsider when/if it becomes costly.

Members are all kept up to date, with news, events and results with the continuation of our Newsletter produced every other month and can also catch up with news as it happens on our Facebook page.

I could do with some extra support in setting up the venue on a Friday night, particularly throughout the summer months, so if you can get to Teign School by 18:30 an extra pair of hands or two would be very useful.

Newton Abbot Table Tennis Club is now well established as an important centre for table tennis in the area.  If you have any comments, ideas, proposals etc. to further improve your experience at your club please share them.

Tony Halse



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