NEW MILTON TABLE TENNIS CLUB – ACHIEVEMENTS
Of the many achievements by the Club in the last two years, we are probably the most proud of gaining PremierCLUBMARK accreditation in August 2010. This involved Club members working together towards a common goal and motivated us to produce a Club Action Plan. This also involved working with a number of people outside the Club, including ETTA staff for whose support we were most grateful. The Club came runner-up of the National Premier Clubmark club of the year award (2011) and won Premier Clubmark club of the year award (2011) for the South East region. We were also immensely proud of these awards given it was only our inaugural year as a Premier Clubmark club.
As a club we are fortunate to have a well-motivated and enthusiastic committee, backed up by other like-minded volunteers; all committed to raising standards of accessibility, equality and excellence in coaching. The Premier Clubmark programme has proved to be extremely helpful in guiding our club’s direction and endorsing our existing efforts. One of the principal aims of our Club’s Action Plan is to advance within the ETTA’s Premier Club programme.
The Club membership continues to grow as exemplified by the membership levels at the end of the comparative two financial years. As at June 2011 the Club had 56 fully paid up members, an increase of 40% over June 2009. Even more pleasingly the number of juniors increased in that period from 7 to 15. This season (2011/2012) the Club increased its number of teams in the local Bournemouth and District league (BDTTA) from 9 to 10, maintaining its position as the second largest club in the league. The Club is represented across all divisions, from Premier down to Div 5.
For a club to grow, it must more than offset attrition by attracting new members. Our Club does this by maintaining a very high profile in the local press to attract new members, by offering coaching at the grassroots level and by creating and encouraging external links. The Club has a fairly low attrition rate which it puts down to its family atmosphere and excellent internal communications which keep members informed of what’s happening in their club. The Club is indeed fortunate to have the services of Malcolm Floyd (Press Officer and Treasurer), who was awarded ETTA Press Officer of the Year 2009. His citation included:- “Thanks to Malcolm’s efforts, the New Milton TTC have seen their membership increase with old players returning to the sport and youngsters coming along for the first time. He has been single-handedly responsible for raising the profile of table tennis across Bournemouth and District and the New Forest”. The Club also maintains its own “sub-site” on the BDTTA website and produces its own weekly newsletter to keep members informed.
Our Club’s coaching programme continues to develop and we are also extremely proud to now have a total nine UKCC qualified coaches; three at Level 2 (including a wheelchair specialist coach) and six at Level 1. The New Milton coaches are proud to have been involved in the following activities in the past year or so:-
- Running and supporting weekly BDTTA Saturday morning coaching at Portchester School.
- Working regularly alongside Sara Lunn (TT Development Officer, Sport Hampshire and IoW) in developing table tennis in the region through taster days for children and adults with learning difficulties.
- Supporting the weekly Regional development and high potential sessions that started in September.
- Running weekly coaching at Arnewood and Highcliffe Schools and taster sessions in other local primary and secondary schools.
- Involving their PE students, studying for sports leadership awards, in the delivery of taster days for primary schools.
- Working closely with the School Sports Co-ordinator based at the Arnewood School in assisting the development of table tennis in the local area.
- Supporting the South West Disability officer in a new project developing table tennis for pupils with disabilities in the local area.
- Running rehabilitative sessions at the regional Spinal Injuries Centre.
In addition to developing and maintaining links with local schools, the Club also continued to strengthen its relationships with other Premier Clubs. For example, New Milton members take part in the Summer Leagues run by Bournemouth Sports and the Waterside and Ringwood Clubs and also play in the Southampton Winter League for the Waterside Club. Working in partnership with other organisations has certainly helped to improve our club through the exchange of ideas, especially seeing how others do things, opening new supply channels, and of course obtaining additional funding.
The Club is also very proud of the very active part it played in helping to save the Mudeford Wood Community Centre from closure by the local council. The Club Secretary, Bev Scott-Johns is on the committee of the “Friends of Mudeford Wood”, so is able to keep Club members fully informed of developments. A number of Club members are also paid up “Friends” who support the Centre through fund raising etc. The threatened closure of the Centre, which is the Club’s main league venue, spurred the Club to seek alternative premises, an activity which is still ongoing. In September 2011, the council gave the go-ahead to a lease for the Mudeford Wood Community Trust (run by the “Friends”) to take over the management of the Centre in April 2012, which should hopefully secure its long term future.
Club members also play a very active part in helping to run the Bournemouth and District League having four members on the Executive Committee; Club Press Officer & Treasurer Malcolm Floyd is the League Results Secretary, James Lewis (Club Welfare Officer) is the Coaching Officer, and Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns is a committee member.
In addition to a strong Club presence on the BDTTA Executive Committee, two of the Club’s members have roles within the ETTA. James Lewis, one of our Level 2 coaches, works for the ETTA as the Portchester and Townsend TTC Club Support and Coaching Officer. Another of our Level 2 coaches, Shaun Newcomb, a wheelchair player, was appointed as the Regional Disability Officer for the South and South East this year. Shaun also serves on the ETTA Equality & Child Protection Committees as well as being Vice Chairman of the BTTAD, the organisation sanctioned by the British Paralympic Association for squad selection and training. Shaun also coached the England woman’s wheelchair table tennis team at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year, and has been honoured by the ETTA as this year’s Equality Award winner.
The Club’s Action Plan identified a number of training courses for members. Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns attended the ETTA Tournament Organiser’s course back in September 2010. We are really keen on developing our youngsters and one of them, Andrew Daish picked up his Level 1 coaching badge in May 2010 and also attended the Junior Umpire’s course. Daish’s younger brother Simon is currently working towards his coaching badge and we will be putting more youngsters forward for the Junior Umpire’s course. As a consequence of our expanded coaching activity, 2010 was the first year that the cub has entered teams in the National Cadet league.
The Club was very fortunate to have applied for and received a £2000 grant from the Co-operative Community Fund for new equipment and this was spent on two new table tennis tables and a robot. The Club was also able to purchase two new table tennis tables through kind donations by anonymous donors within the Club. We will continue to seek further sponsorship and partnering in pursuit of our vision to have our own purpose-built premises.
As previously stated, one of our principal goals is to make our great sport accessible to all, and one of our planned initiatives for 2011/2012 is to increase female participation. We have already had some success by encouraging parents and partners to play. We now have an excellent female Level 2 coach working in local schools and we are exploring various avenues to progress this initiative.
The reader is asked to forgive the length of this document, but the Club wanted to do justice to its many and varied achievements over the past two years.