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.
In March 2014 the New Milton Table Tennis Club achieved CLUBMARK re-accreditation from SPORT ENGLAND in conjunction with the sport’s National Governing Body, Table Tennis England (formerly known as the ETTA). All clubs have to apply for re-accreditation after three years. The re-accreditation process was completed by Club Treasurer and Press Officer Malcolm Floyd. The Club’s evidence folder contains nearly 100 assorted documents including Action Plans and de-rigueur Risk Assessments. It was initially submitted to the ETTA’s Regional Development Officer, Lisa Williams who praised the quality of the submission when signing it off. It was forwarded to the ETTA headquarters in Hastings where it was signed off on behalf of SPORT ENGLAND and the prestigious certificate issued to the Club. Our status as a 4 star Premier Ability Club was confirmed following the submission of our annual return at the beginning of October 2015 to Table Tennis England.
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 two comparative financial years. As at June 2015 the Club had 57 fully paid up members, which was the same number as in June 2014, the number of juniors reducing in that period from 10 to 7. In the 2014/2015 season the Club had to reduce its number of teams in the local Bournemouth and District league (BDTTA) from 11 to 10, maintaining its position as the second largest club in the league. The Club was represented across all divisions, from Premier down to Div. 5. During this summer of 2015 the Club ran a very successful pairs competition which was enthusiastically supported by the membership.
In August 2014 the Committee of the New Milton Table Tennis Club decided to consult the wider membership by means of a survey seeking their views as to whether the Club should: (a) Transfer the practice session held at Sway Village Hall to the Grange School, Somerford on Sunday evenings, and (b) transfer all club night activities that take place at the Arnewood School to the Grange School on Thursday evenings. A questionnaire was sent out to members in early August and the replies showed an overwhelming majority in favour of the move. Following two well attended club night taster sessions at the Grange School the Committee decided in favour of changing both of our venues at Sway and Arnewood to the Grange which was effective from September 2014.
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. Malcolm Floyd (Press Officer and Treasurer), 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. The Club also maintains its own website, newmiltonttc.com and produces its own weekly and monthly updates to keep members informed of future club night activities, coaching, coming events and reports on individual and team achievements.
The New Milton coaches are proud to have been involved in the following activities in the past year or so:-
• 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.
• Involving their PE students, studying for sports leadership awards, in the delivery of taster days for primary schools.
• 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.
• Giving support to sessions which help people with learning difficulties
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, Merton, the Waterside and Ringwood Clubs and also play in the Poole Pairs (The Grange) and 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 one of the Directors of the Board of Mudeford Wood Community Trust, an incorporated charity. He endeavours to keep Club members informed of future developments. The threatened closure of the Centre, which is one of the Club’s two main league venues, spurred the Club to seek alternative premises four years ago, a process which is still ongoing. In September 2011, Christchurch Borough Council gave the go-ahead to a lease for the Mudeford Wood Community Trust (run by the “Friends of Mudeford Wood”) to take over the management of the Centre in April 2012. We are now into the fourth year that the Board and volunteers have successfully run the Community Centre.
Over the past five years Club members have played a very active part in helping to run the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis Association. However, Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns is currently the only club member serving on the Executive Committee.
Shaun Newcomb is a full time wheelchair user and is a UKCC Level 2 coach. While Shaun coaches all ages and abilities, he specialises in coaching athletes with a disability, working from beginner standard to Elite level. Shaun has coached and been a training partner for some of our current GB Paralympic athletes and was selected to be the coach for the EAD (Elite Athletes with a Disability) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Shaun works with the Table Tennis England (TTA) as the South / South East Regional Disability Officer and runs table tennis sessions for rehabilitation in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Injuries Centre in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
In June 2015 Shaun received the Sports and Recreation Achievement Award at The Spinal Injuries Association Awards. He was nominated by Table Tennis England Development Officer for the South West, Lisa Williams. He was named as the winner at the recent awards ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, in front of 200 guests and VIP presenter Susie Dent from Channel 4’s Countdown. He was nominated primarily for his work with the Salisbury Spinal Unit, though he also coaches at New Milton TTC and with a Regional Disability Squad. Shaun is also captain of New Milton B in the local Bournemouth League which finished the season in 3rd place in the 1st Division. Shaun combined with Julie to win the Mixed Doubles Final.
Shaun and another colleague have also been selected by BTTAD to undertake the ITTF Para course to become Medical Classifiers for table tennis. A Medical Classifier assesses the new athlete and classifies him or her according to their particular disability against the criteria laid down by the ITTF. There are 10 separate classifications for physically disabled participants, five wheelchair and five standing classifications. Currently there are no qualified classifiers in the UK and any new GB athletes therefore have to go abroad to be classified, necessitating travelling to the tournament in question at least a day early to be classified. By being able to classify within the UK will therefore save the BTTAD money on its overall performance programme. Shaun will undertake the training in Vejle, Denmark in early October. The classification seminars / course will take place alongside the ITTF Para European Championships which are being hosted in Vejle.
Following training courses identified by the Club’s Action Plan, Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns qualified as a TTE Tournament Organiser and a TTE County Umpire, Andrew Daish is a County Umpire and Peter Daish and Andrew Stainton have recently attained their UKCC Level 1 Coaching qualification.
The Club was successful in applying for a £2000 grant from the Co-operative Community Fund to finance new equipment. This was spent on two new table tennis tables and a Club robot. Two further table tennis tables were acquired through kind donations by anonymous donors within the Club. Sponsorship was also provided in 2013 by an anonymous donor for the summer pairs competition held at Mudeford Wood Community Centre.
As previously stated, one of our principal goals is to make our great sport accessible to all, and one of our planned initiatives for is to increase female participation. We have already had some success by encouraging parents and partners to play.
New Milton Table Tennis Club