Charlie’s passion lives on in coaching grant scheme

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Keith ‘Charlie’ Childs’ lifelong passion for coaching is reflected in a new grant scheme launched in his memory.

The Charlie Childs Coaching Grant will:

  • Provide support for those looking to start or continue on their coaching journey
  • Support coaches to increase youth, women and girls’ and/or Disabled People’s participation in the sport
  • Support coaches’ continuous development
  • Support individuals to inspire others to be involved in leadership positions with the sport

Charlie was involved in our sport in a range of different capacities for over 40 years, including as a Board member of Table Tennis England, before his untimely death at the age of 69 in March 2020.

He spent a considerable time supporting coach education, increasing and developing engagement in the sport by children and young people and supporting female and disability participation in table tennis.

Charlie’s selfless devotion to our sport was widely known and recognised by many who knew and worked alongside him. To recognise his achievements, dedication and impact in the sport, positively impacting many people’s lives, this scheme has been launched.

The grant has been set up with an initial contribution of £1,000 per year for five years from Table Tennis England and will be added to by fundraising and donations from the wider table tennis community, and topped up by Table Tennis England as required.

The first fundraising event took place yesterday at the Generation 2 club in Hampshire, which Charlie co-founded in 1970 and at which he was lead coach from 1977. More than 150 people attended to celebrate the positive impact Charlie brought through table tennis and £500 cheques were donated by both Janice Childs and Generation 2 TT Club to the new scheme. Cash donations on the day added £220 to the fund.

A donation page is also now open through Paypal:

Sunday’s event was also a chance for club members to remember Charlie, with many tributes paid to him.

Players at Generation 2 yesterday

Generation 2 Treasurer Danny Lucking described Charlie as “the backbone of the club for 50 years” and added: “He built the foundations of a great club which has put us in an amazing position going forward for another 50.

“We are able to maintain the standards and keep up our membership for those who want to play table tennis just for fun, or a bit more support for those who want to play in the local leagues or the British League.

“Charlie will be missed and remembered by keeping the club going forward in the same tradition he would have loved it to.”

Lois Peake, a Generation 2 player said: “I was fortunate to represent England at all age group level. Without Charlie none of this would have happened.

“He focussed on technique, and coached the player to think about their play. He made training enjoyable and adapted his coaching style to each player – a massive strength. Few coaches recognise the importance of education alongside a playing career, Charlie encouraged me to get a degree and maintain training at the same time.”

Andy Walton, co-founder of Generation 2 said: “When the club started, we played in a clubhouse and were told we had to leave. Charlie negotiated with Fareham Academy to become a club base for our one team. He encouraged children to join in and we grew to having five teams in the local league and our club was an original member of the ETTA National League. At one time we had the number 1 and 2 England players at our club.”

Table Tennis England Chairperson Sandra Deaton said: “Charlie was such a big loss to the sport as a whole and to our Board, so I am very pleased we are able to honour his memory and recognise his achievements by launching this grant.

“It was lovely to meet his family and members of the Generation 2 club at the fundraising event and it confirmed just what high esteem he was held in.

“I am delighted that a number of coaches will be able to benefit from the grant and in doing so continue to build on Charlie’s life’s work of encouraging participation by all and supporting coaches’ personal and professional development.”

Table Tennis England Chairperson Sandra Deaton addresses yesterday’s event

How the grant will work

Applications will open next month and the grant will be available to applicants who are Table Tennis England members and who are in one or more of the following groups:

  • Aged between 16 and 30
  • Identifies as a female
  • Living with a disability or coaches individuals with a disability within table tennis
  • An individual from either an ethnically diverse community or lower socio-economic group

Applications will be awarded on a rolling basis and will be reviewed by a panel using pre-set criteria. Applications will be considered for up to 50% of grant funding towards a programme, up to a maximum of £200.

Each applicant will need to demonstrate how receiving a grant will help to increase and/or retain the number of young people (age range U19) participating in the sport and/or increase equality in the sport – by increasing the number of women and girls, Disabled People or those from ethnically diverse communities participating.

Individuals will be permitted to make one application every two years and an annual summary of all funded programmes will be published and shared with Charlie’s family.

The application panel will include Generation 2 officials, including England international Lois Peake, who was coached by Charlie, plus Table Tennis England Director Priya Samuel, who created Table Tennis Satellite Clubs with Charlie, and Coach and Education Manager Aled Howell.

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