Sandra Deaton has been appointed the first female Chair of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA). Sandra was the unopposed candidate in the election which was required after the death of the previous Chairman, Andy Seward, in January 2014.
Sandra held the position of Vice Chairman of Performance and Selection in the current Board of the ETTA and had responsibility for the elite athletes in the sport. She takes over the role of Chair at a time when the ETTA and English table tennis are in the middle of restructuring and reorganising itself following a independent review and a warning from its financial supporters, Sport England.
Twelve months ago, the ETTA had effectively been put on notice to make changes. That process was undertaken by the previous Chairman and his new Board of which Sandra was a key member. She sees her task as continuing that work.
Sandra Deaton said: “Last year I was pleased to be part of the new Board of the ETTA and shared the vision of our late Chairman. I know that we are on the right track to make table tennis a sport fit for the 21st century.
“Sport England has recently endorsed our work so far by awarding a further tranche of funding. I am now committed to ensuring that table tennis can be enjoyed at a social level by all ages, at a competitive level in leagues and clubs around the country, that our current elite athletes receive the best opportunities to compete internationally and that we identify and nurture our talent for the future.
“It is not going to happen overnight, but I am sure that we are on the right road to deliver these objectives.”]]>
Selected pictures from the 2013/14 Senior English National Table Tennis Championships (Ponds Forge, Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2014) courtesy of Steve Parkin Photography.
More photographs are available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Pack for the 2013/14 English Senior National Table Tennis Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield (28 Feb - 2 Mar, 2014).
Includes; history of the sport, player profiles, previous winners, draw and selected photographs.]]>
English table tennis will see a major boost in talent development with the launch of four development centres designed to highlight, develop and nurture new table tennis talent across England.
Funded by Sport England, these four talent development centres will operate as a partnership between the ETTA, local clubs and supported by partner organisations. The ETTA will employ a leading table tennis coach, tasked with the implementation of this ambitious talent development programme.
The implementation of this programme stems from an English Table Tennis Association review of the sports talent pathway in a search for future stars to challenge the likes of Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall, and succeed on the world stage. This review has highlighted the need for a more robust system at the base of the pathway with high quality coaching and access to the right environment to develop talented players.
The programme aims to develop a squad of up to 20 players at each location, all aged under 14 years, increasing the quantity and quality of training available on a weekly basis to enable the young players to compete at the highest level internationally in the future. Each centre will be focussed around a central ‘hub’ club with a series of linked satellite clubs or sessions, providing a conveyor belt of talent and increasing competition within the programme. Strengthening the lower levels of the England Talent Pathway, this initiative will provide the sport with a stable foundation for the future.
The Head Coach and Talent Development Manager at the English Table Tennis Association Nick Jarvis said: “The sport has recognised that development centres are the way forward, Sport England has given us the opportunity to bring this to life. Full time, part time and volunteers working on a daily basis with a squad of players puts us in a position to have a continuous supply of players capable of beating the best. Talent ID will help to develop feeder squads increasing the pool of talent within the area. The future looks very bright.”
The first of these talent development centres will be situated across the major regions of England and are as follows; in the North venues will be based in Ormesby, Middlesbrough and at Sycamore in Nottingham with the third centre based in the South at BATTS in Harlow. There will also be a centre at Plymouth in the South West.
English Table Tennis Association CEO, Sara Sutcliffe said: “This a very exciting new programme and one which will develop the base of the English table tennis performance programme going forward”
“We believe that this is the most exciting initiative for many years and are delighted to partner the Association in investing in it. We have a strong ambition to produce another crop of England players and this will be a really important part of it.” Alan Ransome - Ormesby TDC Club
“BATTS are proud and excited to be involved at the outset with the ETTA initiative for talent development centres. This provides a blueprint and an opportunity to nurture young talent that can one day flourish on the international stage. We relish the challenge.” Neil Brierley - BATTS TDC
“We are privileged to have been chosen as one of the Talent Development Centres and are looking forward to developing a successful project, helping to produce future International stars for England.” Jason Ramage - Nottingham TDC
“We cannot understate what an amazing opportunity this will be for children playing table tennis in our area. The faith and investment that the ETTA has entrusted us with will be a massive boost to our sport and we hope we can deliver a successful performance, development and participation programme, the like of which has never been attempted in the Plymouth area” Kevin Buddell – Plymouth TDC
English Table Tennis Association
The English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) is the governing body of table tennis in England, responsible for representing, coordinating, administering, regulating, promoting, marketing and developing the sport. Some 2.4 million people play table tennis within the UK (British Market Research Bureau).
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England’s Sam Walker is preparing to take on the best young players in the world after his inclusion in the 2013 World Junior Championships, Rabat, Morocco (December 1-8th).
The 18-year-old from Worksop has experienced a breakthrough year in his career after fine domestic and international performances and he hopes to end a successful 2013 in style with another positive appearance in Northern Africa.
Walker, who is the reigning English National Under-21 Champion, broke into the senior squad in dramatic fashion after reaching the semi-finals of the National Championships Men’s Singles and winning his first ITTF Tour title in Malta earlier this season.
Those results saw him selected for both the European Championships and European Youth Top Ten events, which proved to be an invaluable learning curve for the youngster.
He said: “It was great to play in them, both were fantastic experiences and had amazing atmospheres - especially the Europeans. In the team event at the Europeans we lost to Romania and didn’t get the promotion we wanted, which was disappointing but everyone is now more determined for the next time. I was satisfied with my own performance, especially in the singles.
“The Youth Top Ten was a tough tournament and if I could have won a couple of the tight matches I lost I could have been on the podium. But it is really nice to be recognised as one of the top junior players in Europe.”
Walker is one of several English players currently playing professionally in Germany where he has managed to develop his game with current club TTC Selingenstadt.
Playing in the Regionalliga, the German third division, he has established himself as a key component in the team and benefitted from being able to train with some of the world’s elite players.
Walker explained: “I’ve felt really confident in my German matches this year. I’m playing in the as the number one in my team and so far I’ve won 11 and only lost one and the team are fourth in the league.
“I’m training with the Bundesliga club TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau and its perfect for me. I’m playing with players like Andrej Gacina and Kaii Yoshida most days. They’re not only great to practice with but they’re always there giving tips and helping us all out. Gacina especially is a great role model for me and its fantastic to have someone like him in the hall for me to look up to.”
The World Junior Championships will give Walker the chance to end his junior career on a high and progress to taking on the senior world players on a regular basis. The 18-year-old has already improved his world ranking from 680th to 338th and he doesn’t think the step will be too far to reach the top players in the world.
Walker said: “I don’t think there’s a massive difference between my highest level and the top players level.
“I believe I can beat anyone on my day, I think the difference is the top players are more consistent in their level. I’ve just got to keep trying to play at that level all the time. I can see it in training and I’m training with top players day in day out, so I believe that I can be at that level too.
“It will be my last tournament as a junior player and obviously it would be really great to win medals. I will give 100% on trying to get as far as I can.”
You can follow Walker’s progress in Morocco via the English Table Tennis Association’s website and twitter feed @ETTAtabletennis or on the ITTF’s World Junior Championships tournament page.]]>