The BTTC Band in the studio

Brighton rock! Listen to club’s debut music single

Paul Stimpson

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Brighton Table Tennis Club are again breaking new ground – by releasing a music single celebrating their place in the community.

The song, called Build a Bridge, celebrates the all-inclusive ethos of the club and its model for social cohesion.

It was recorded at Livingston Studio in Wood Green, London, where The Specials, Kanye West, Robert Plant and countless other major acts have recorded.

A free day’s recording was donated to the club posthumously by Henry Challan, who was a keen table tennis player and BTTC enthusiast as well as Elton John’s tour manager. He opened Miloco recording studios, of which Livingston is one, throughout the world, before he died in 2015.

The BTTC Band, consisting of 20 men and women, boys and girls of all ages, backgrounds and abilities came together to record the song.

BTTC’s Head of Community Outreach and amateur musician Nick Kreel played piano and co-wrote the song with singer/songwriter and Brighton musician Phil Saatchi, a John Lennon Songwriting Competition winner and player at the club.

Nick said: “Phil came up with the original idea and we sat at the piano and played around and probably got it done in three sessions over three weeks.

“The lyrics evolved and the whole thing got better – we put a lot of work into it. It’s a bit cheesy I guess you could say, but it’s definitely a grower.

“It’s about play – when you play someone all the barriers and prejudices break down because you’re playing another human being and just having fun. It’s about that as a vehicle to get through to people and change lives.

“It’s about how a club is a hub of the community and how table tennis binds people and bonds people.

“It was absolutely amazing to do the recording.”

BTTC does a major amount of outreach work in the community – running training sessions for people affected by cancer, Afghan war refugees, seniors, prisoners, schoolchildren, youngsters and adults with additional needs and ping pong enthusiasts. It was made the UK’s first Club of Sanctuary in 2016.

Tim Holtam, Harry McCarney & Wen Wei Xu founded the BTTC in February 2007 with two worn-out tables in the Brighton Youth Centre and the strong belief that table tennis can be used as a powerful tool in engaging people of all ages and transforming lives.

Bill Randall, former Mayor and leader of the Council and now Trustee at Brighton Table Tennis Club said of BTTC: “The club is one of the city’s brightest sporting lights. It helps people from many communities and all ages keep fit in mutual support and friendship. It’s a place of hope, solidarity and opportunity.”

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