Why are we the Leopards?

The story of the Leopards dates back to the early days of the ETTA in 1937/38, when the King agreed to become Patron of the Association.

The story of the Leopards dates back to the early days of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) in 1937/38, when the King agreed to become Patron of the Association.

The ETTA crest, which had previously featured a rose, was changed to three lions in a passant guardant position – that is to say walking, with heads turned to face out of the crest.

This is a familiar symbol of England, but not many people know that in British and French heraldry, a lion passant guardant was historically referred to as a leopard – so the ETTA crest was called the three leopards.

Although the practice of lions passant guardant being called leopards has largely disappeared from British heraldry (hence the England football team being known as the three lions), table tennis has always stuck with the tradition.

When the ETTA became Table Tennis England in 2014, we wanted to ensure this important part of our heritage was upheld and enhanced.

We have therefore launched the #BackTheLeopards campaign to raise awareness of our England teams and their unique place in the country’s sporting landscape.

So join us, show your support and #BackTheLeopards!

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