A MAG-nificent seven bring new skills

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Seven new faces on our Members’ Advisory Group (MAG) bring a range of skills and experiences which will strengthen the panel as it undertakes key projects in the sport.

The seven were appointed last week following an open recruitment process and take the number of people in the group to 16.

The new members of MAG are: John Andrews, Phil Ashleigh, Juliet Bertie, Steve Bertie, John Mackey, Liam McTiernan and Dave Randerson. You can read profiles of them and the other members of MAG by clicking here.

Liam is the youngest member of the team at 24. Ranked No 35 in the national rankings, he is still very active on the tournament circuit – something he believes adds an important element to MAG.

“I’ve been in the sport for about 15 years,” said Liam, “and while others have been in the sport for a lot longer, I’m still currently playing and I’ve come up through all the different levels in that time – local leagues, British League, and also at university.

“I’ve seen friends who have left the sport or who haven’t reached their full potential, so I feel like it’s my obligation to contribute as much in terms of representing a younger demographic and current players. I’d like to contribute towards making the sport better for them.”

There is also a husband-and-wife team on MAG in the form of Steve and Juliet, from Continental Stars TTC in Birmingham.

Juliet, who is also a Table Tennis England Female Ambassador, said: “We’ve both got that passion for table tennis but what Steve brings is totally different to what I will bring. I was very pleased we were both chosen because of our ability and not for a box-ticking exercise. It’s really important to have that representation and differing views.

“As a black female, I’m hoping to bring that cultural understanding of what happens in those communities. I want to be able to encourage more females into the sport generally, but especially from ethnic minority communities, because they are under-represented. I want to be that role model and for them to see someone who looks like them in the sport.”

MAG Chairman Neil Hurford said the broad range of skills now on the panel would help as they ramp up their engagement with all sectors of the sport.

He said: “We were very pleased with the response to our request for applicants and seven very strong applicants emerged – we were delighted to be able to appoint them all. It adds expertise and increases the robustness of MAG.

“We’ve made a good start with our project work and the key priority is engaging with clubs, leagues and counties. The new members will help us with that task and will bring enthusiasm and expertise.

“We’ve already had successful meetings with several counties and leagues, and a rolling programme of engagement with leading clubs starts next week.”

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