Are you ready to get back to table tennis with confidence, passion and motivation?
Today, Table Tennis England launches its Return to the Table campaign, designed to help everyone get back to the sport after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions and as we begin our new membership season.
Our two-month campaign will highlight the work that has gone into preparing for the big return in clubs, leagues and community venues all over the country and how players, coaches, officials and volunteers are getting back to doing what they know and love.
We will share guidance, advice, experience and best practice, as well as inspiring stories to show that, while things are not exactly how they were before the pandemic, our sport is returning to close to normal and all those involved can be confident of their safety and wellbeing.
Our launch video below gives a flavour of what you can expect during the campaign.
Our campaign runs until September 27th and one of the key periods in that time is the two weeks from August 30 to September 13, during which we will be inviting clubs, leagues, coaches and community venues to run their own open days, club competitions or any activity that can build confidence or motivate people to play, volunteer, coach or officiate.
This could be something to foster the competitive spirit among those players who have returned, re-engage members who have not yet returned to the sport, or to encourage new players who took up table tennis at home during the pandemic to move into club play.
We’re aiming to get more than 100 organisations running an event – and to give you an incentive, all events will be entered into a prize draw and the organisers could win a £500 grant or a visit from a top England player to their venue! There will also be prizes for the best videos from events – more details to follow!
We have also produced a digital toolkit, including posters and other promotional material, to help you re-engage with your members and promote your activities.
Watch our recent Return to the Table Webinar, to help your club plan for the campaign.
Our recent membership survey, carried out while restrictions were still in place, found that 72% of club players planned on returning to play as soon as possible, while only 3% said they did not plan to return. In leagues, 57% said they planned to return as soon as possible, and a further 35% at the start of the new season. Only 6% did not plan to return.
However, there is still a large part of our community who have either not had the opportunity or the confidence to get back to play.
Greg Yarnall, Head of Development and Volunteering at Table Tennis England, said: “Return to the Table is both a call to action and a celebration. We want to help everyone get back into the sport, at whatever level and in whatever setting they want, and to let everyone know they can do so with confidence.
“We also want to share all that is good about our sport – the camaraderie and passion, the competitive spirit, the health benefits and the fact that it is fully inclusive, enabling anyone to enjoy and achieve in table tennis.
“It has been a tough 18 months or so, but we hope now we are over the worst and can begin, alongside the table tennis community, to build the sport back better than it was before.”