Since reopening in April, Ashford Table Tennis Club has had a surge of interest from new junior girls, so the club decided to run a number of girls-only sessions for 10 weeks over the summer.

The sessions had 24 women and girls participating, who ranged between the ages of six and 26. Due to the range of ages and abilities, the sessions were split so that the younger girls, who were mainly beginners, could play together and the more experienced older women and girls could also enjoy time on the table.

Each session was 90 minutes long and was run by the club’s head coach, with other coaches and female senior players to support.

To ensure the women and girls could continue playing after the summer, Ashford has set up a regular weekly women and girls-only session.

Their sessions have been key to helping the women and girls make friends and build confidence. One of the ways that Ashford has done this is by giving the girls a positive first experience of competition and got four of the participants to play in a match against another local club.

Finally, to provide inspiration to the women and girls who had been attending these sessions, Ashford invited former England No 1 and Commonwealth Games medallist and Olympian, Joanna Drinkhall, to attend. Drinkhall met with the girls and shared her training and competition experience with them and played on the table with a few.

Read more about why female-only table tennis sessions are important here!

For information about how our new #LevelTheTable funding pot can help support your club or organisation to encourage more women and girls to participate in table tennis please click here.