June Newsletter

Welcome to my latest Newsletter,

Following on from my last month’s update we are still in Stage 1 of the Table Tennis England’s Five Stage Process, but much has been done by TTE in their planning. I took part in their Webinar last week and will share some of their thoughts with you.

We are still at the point of no table tennis to be played indoors. At some point Leisure Centres will open and maybe tables might be hired for play. From discussions that have taken place it is more complicated where, in our case, TT is being played in school premises. Testwood will have to decide how and when they let outsiders into their premises and what risks there will be for their pupils and staff as well as to ourselves.

See below the Ready to Return FIVE STAGE PROCESS which was issued 1st June.

This document is Stage 2 RETURNING TO CLUB ACTIVITY. This is what I referred to in the previous newsletter, and this is the focus of the current discussions. As I said earlier we are still at Stage 1

Table Tennis England has just completed a survey with over 1000 responses. There has been much discussion as to how (and when) we will return to competitive table tennis. I can’t see how we will be able to start our STTA League a) in October and b) in its present format. So have a look at people’s responses to some suggested alternatives.

So that’s the latest news from Table Tennis England. It does seem that we are still some way from reaching stages 3, 4 and 5. I am currently investigating funding that is being made available by Sport England. I know that some table tennis clubs have already received ‘Coronavirus’ related grants and I have been in touch with TTE regarding this.

STTA had another Zoom meeting last month, but with so much uncertainty there was not much decided. We still have to decide upon AGMs for both STTA and Waterside, suggestions have been made about an AGM using Zoom, but TTE discussions have highlighted the problems of voting and therefore coming to any meaningful decisions.

I have some more news which is not so good for the club. Wojciech has gone back to Poland. He and Karina came round to see us last week and they have decided that with a lesser Coronavirus threat in the countryside of Poland it will be much safer for them to return to live with his parents. He said that Sports Halls there are opening again this week so he can get back to playing TT. They talked about starting an Alpaca Farm.  Here is a message that he sent to me to pass on to everyone:

‘The time has come to say goodbye for now as I decided to move back to Poland. It’s been 9 years since I joined the Waterside TTC family, first as a player in the Premier Division and later as a coach. I enjoyed every bit of my time with you guys and I met so many wonderful people and talented players. I hope you keep practising at home despite this current situation so you’ll all be ready for the clubs to be open again sooner or later. I can’t wait to start playing again! It’s definitely not a goodbye forever so you better keep practising as I’ll come back to check on you guys!  (especially my students: Joe, Will, Toto, Lee, Louise, Adam, Henry, Charlotte, Carl, Trudy, Sid, Geoff, Steve). Special thanks to John Fox, Colin French, Trevor Mowle, Jeff Davies, Tony Huggett for doing a great job for table tennis and your support throughout these years. Apologies if I didn’t mention everyone here, but I do remember about you guys. You’re all welcome in Poland in my local TTC !

Stay in touch and spin to win! ‘

We will certainly miss him, but he hasn’t ruled out a return when things get back to normal, whenever that might be!

So that’s all for now folks. As soon as I hear any updates from TTE I will let you know. In the meantime do have a look at the Table Tennis England website and check on their Coronavirus updates.

Stay safe, best regards,

Colin French                                   

Chairman Waterside TTC