|In this issue|
* National Table Tennis Day 2014
* Commonwealth Games
* Annual report and agm
* Grand Prix - Liverpool opens the season
* Update on new balls
* European Youth Championships
As we are on the eve of the table tennis competition at the Commonwealth Games, I find myself so proud of the achievements of our table tennis family in recent weeks and excited at the prospect of more successes to come in the near future.
National Table Tennis Day
Our first National Table Tennis Day (July 17, 2014) was a wonderful focus to bring clubs, leagues, schools, groups, and individuals of all ages together to celebrate and promote the sport of table tennis around the country.
Our flagship event was Parliamentary Ping!, playing table tennis in the Houses of Parliament in the shadows of Big Ben, where MPs and Lords came to join our players - young and old, novices and internationals - in an afternoon which demonstrated table tennis is a sport for all, for life.
Perhaps this was best exemplified when we had an excellent game, which went to deuce, between an eight-year-old girl and an 82-year-old gentleman. It was also good to see some of our current internationals alongside some complete beginners joining in several 'round the table' games with our guests.
However, the Parliament event was just one of dozens if not hundreds of events around the country which were organised at local level to mark National Table Tennis Day and the launch of the popular Ping! events on street tables. It was a great team effort and I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who gave your time to make this day special for table tennis.
Our England team has just moved into the athletes' village after their preparations are coming to an end and the real competition is about to start. We have a good chance of medals, buoyed by the recent victory in the table tennis 'Ashes' versus an Australian team.
Good luck to our players, coaches, volunteers and supporters who will be travelling to Glasgow to get behind our team. We have a dedicated micro site where you can follow the news, interviews and events around the Games.
During the Games, our communications team will also be providing up-to-the minute content, including results and reaction, on our website and via social media – you can follow them on Twitter (@TableTennisENG) and visit the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TableTennisEngland). Our players have already done a wide range of television, radio and press interviews in advance of the events, and we hope their next ones will be to show off their medals.
Annual report and AGM
Table Tennis England held its AGM in Milton Keynes recently and I was pleased to see such a good turn out and lively, positive and constructive debates on a range of issues among our members. Our annual report (which is available on the website) explains the process of change we have been going through in the past year, and sets out our agenda for the future.
Grand Prix - Liverpool opens the season
The Grand Prix circuit for the coming season has been confirmed.
The Liverpool Grand Prix opens the season on August 16-17, 2014. Online and paper entry forms are available here (closing date July 31) http://tabletennisengland.co.uk/competitions/entry-forms/
Update on balls
Table Tennis England had initially proposed to introduce the new ball for Grand Prix events and National Championships from the start of this season - subject to availability. However, we have now had to postpone the introduction of the new plastic ball because of a lack of widespread availability.
Consequently, the celluloid ball will be used at the first two Grand Prix events of the season – at Liverpool on August 16-17 and at Medway on September 6-7.
European Youth Championships
England’s Cadet and Junior teams finished 19th and 21st respectively at the European Youth Championships in Italy, missing out on a place in the top division for next year. Our Cadet boys - on two occasions - were only one point from playing for a promotion place.
Players are reminded that they can renew their membership online now.
Congratulations to . . .
. . . Darius Knight who has joined a roll-call of sports stars by becoming an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports’ Living For Sport programme. http://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/knight-honoured-by-sky-mentor-role/
....Sam Walker on winning the Heritage Oil in front of the BT Sports television cameras, with two of our Board members, Kelly Skeggs and Colin Wilson, assisting with the presentation and commentary.http://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/brilliant-walker-wins-heritage-oil-open/
....to Fusion Table Tennis Club on the Grand Opening of their new table tennis venue in South London on Sunday 10th August. To mark the occasiont here will be a match between two of the legends of the game, Jan-Ove Waldner and Jorgen Persson. More information from: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Deaton, Chair, Table Tennis England