Table Tennis England Chairman Sandra Deaton

Message from our Chairman, Sandra Deaton

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

With the easing of coronavirus restrictions from July 19th, Table Tennis England is planning for a normal 2021/22 season.

We will of course react to and keep our members fully informed of any changes in the regulations or guidance issued by the Government, but as things stand, we hope and trust our members will be able to enjoy a full season.

Membership fees have been frozen for the fourth year in a row and renewals are now open online. They will open on the phones from Monday August 2nd.

Click here to find out more about our membership categories.

Your membership fees help to fund a huge amount of the work we do at grass roots level – work which has continued throughout the pandemic.

You can read more about this work by clicking here.

Below, our Chairman Sandra Deaton outlines how we are helping our individual members, clubs and leagues to return to the table with confidence and why your support is so important to the sport in this country.

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I write these words with huge optimism after a period of almost 18 months which have been extremely testing not just for our sport, but for communities across the world.

And while we are not complacent as our society begins to open up after the pandemic restrictions, there is a genuine belief that we can get back to something close to normality.

In our sport, that means that clubs and leagues can fully re-open and can plan for a normal 2021/22 season. National competitions including British League and County Championships can plan fixtures with relative certainty, and initiatives such as TT Kidz and Ping Pong Parlours can grow once again, strengthening the future of table tennis.

I would firstly like to thank all those of you who have continued to support our work by paying membership fees for the 2020/21 season, despite the lack of playing opportunities.

As well as covering peace-of-mind playing insurance and providing discounts and offers with partner organisations, your fees enable us to carry out a huge amount of work in the sport, ranging from providing our digital platforms such as TT Leagues and TT Memberships, coach education, training of tutors, officials and volunteers, investment in schools table tennis, safeguarding, funding national competitions, supporting talented players, subsidising our marketing and communications output and – by no means least – investing in and supporting clubs and leagues.

This work continued during the pandemic, and we could not have done it without our members. As a thank you for those who renewed during 2020/21, we are offering 50% off the cost of basic membership for 2021/22, for those who wish to claim it. You can read more about that by clicking here.

To those who did not wish to renew their membership last season, we completely respect and understand that decision in times of such uncertainty. We hope to welcome you back into our family for the new season and believe that our membership fees, which have been frozen for the fourth successive year, continue to provide excellent value for money.

We recognise that many will feel uncertain about returning to play with the pandemic by no means over. We have been helping clubs across the land to address this, supplying funding and guidance to help them come back stronger than they were. You can read about this and our other work during lockdown by clicking here.

We will soon launch the Return to the Table campaign, which aims to continue this work by giving our members the confidence that they can return with passion, commitment and in safety.

As we move into the new season, we will continue to work for you all. Among the initiatives already under way, or coming soon, are our Level the Table campaign, our strategy to improve diversity and inclusion within the sport.

We are working with our partners to develop TT Memberships and TT Leagues and take the platforms to new heights, and we will launch TT Fast Format – a new format for leagues to consider to attract new players to the sport.

A competition review is well under way and we continue to work with you to improve our rankings system.

Through all this and more, we will continue to consult with and listen to you, our members. We will also continue to strive to be as open and transparent as we can in our governance.

To find out how we are listening to and acting on what our members say, click here, and to read my recent blog about transparency, click here.

You can also read about our work in our Annual Review – and the opportunity to ask questions about the Review is still open – and of course you can visit our website, read our weekly email newsletter Over the Net and follow our social media platforms to keep up to date with our work.

So, whether you are renewing, rejoining, or becoming a member for the first time, we look forward to working for and with you to enable as many people as possible to have good experiences and to enjoy and achieve in the sport at all levels.

Finally, 2021/22 is our centenary season and we will soon be announcing how we plan to both celebrate our rich heritage and take the opportunity to build a legacy from it – and how our clubs and members can be a part of that.

I wish you all good health and a good season!

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