Firstly I must take this opportunity, on behalf of the Association, to wish all players and their families a very enjoyable and safe Christmas and New Year 2019.
The numbers of players attending the Association’s coaching and community sessions and playing in the league and cup competitions remains consistently high and we are continuing to promote participation in table tennis both locally at events and regionally with Preston City teams competing across the North West.
Whilst we can now use the main entrance to the St Augustine’s Centre which is a significant improvement, we recognise that car parking is an issue and will be discussing this further with the College. The lighting upgrade is proving reliable and members’ feedback on playing at the Centre remains overwhelmingly positive.
The Association remains in an excellent financial position - thanks to our Treasurers ‘team’ Dave and Debbie Nickeas; please continue to assist them in performing their role. We are currently negotiating with suppliers for the delivery of a new batch of Preston Table Tennis shirts which we would hope to be able to offer at subsidised prices.
The League and Cup competitions appear to be generally competitive at the halfway point of the season and are running relatively smoothly. The revised scoring method of counting ‘games rather than sets’ in the league competitions has been successful and has continued this season. Whilst the Divisional Cups are now completed up to the semi final stage, the Handicap Cup is still only at the quarter final stage. Some very close games are still being recorded – plaudits go to the handicap setting team! Special mention as always goes to Tony Rigby and Andrew White for their sterling work during 2018 in organising the league and cup competition fixtures. Despite difficulties in raising teams, the performance of the various Preston teams participating regionally at Senior, Vets and Junior/ Cadet level is still competitive.
The 2018 summer league programme, organised by Barry Crook, was successful again and extremely popular. If you would like to play this coming summer, then you will need to register your interest early with Barry and assemble your teams / players.
We are always conscious of the need to reinforce our coaching team and I would stress that the Association will support interested players financially in acquiring their coaching accreditation. Martin Shaw and Danny Johnson (at Level 1 ) and Paul Grayham (at Level 2) are all currently completing their coaching courses with direct support from the Association. Our more experienced coaches continue to give remarkable service to Preston table tennis and, despite the continuing UK/EU impasse, there still remains no sign of any ‘Cleggxit’!
We are always open to feedback on the www.tabletennis365.com/preston website and any suggestions for improvements; particular thanks go to Andrew White and Paul Grayham for their continuing support in maintaining the site, and to Bryan Walker for keeping league results up to date – please provide your completed scorecards promptly and accurately to ensure the currency of the site.
I must convey my thanks as usual to our very experienced committee and indeed all the members of the Association, in helping to maintain the reputation of Preston Table Tennis locally within the Preston Sports community and across the North West. We have retained our Table Tennis England Premier Club accreditation and continue to offer coaching and playing opportunities to PTTA members.
I must thank all the people who volunteer as both coaches and ‘helpers’ on the various coaching nights and support PTTA events. I would ask again all players to please support the Secretaries, the MRC and the running of the League by being absolutely clear regarding your availability to play in scheduled matches.
We are always keen to see players attending both the coaching activities on Monday evenings (particularly younger players) and the community sessions on Fridays, so if you have colleagues/ friends who might be interested, please let them know.
In closing, may I finally wish you all the very best for the rest of the season, and thank you in advance for your continuing support to Preston Table Tennis through 2019.
Our annual Preston Closed Championships will be held on Sunday 3rd March, 2019.
Entry forms will be available soon from Andrew White; please support our annual championships.
The PTTA Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 10th May, 2019