Welcome to Around the Table, our weekly look at the work Table Tennis England is doing to promote and support table tennis around the country.

This week – Table Tennis England has thrown its support behind the English Federation for Disability Sport’s (EFDS) Charter for Change campaign. Our Clubs & Disability Officer Steve McFadyen explains why.

Steve, what is the Charter for Change?

It’s a campaign launched a couple of months ago by the EFDS with the aim of helping disabled people to be active for life. It’s not generally well known that almost 20 per cent of the population is disabled and the EFDS believes, as do we, that they should have every opportunity to be as active as non-disabled people.

Disabled people’s activity levels are lower than the rest of the population, and Charter for Change is aiming to do something about that by making it easier for disabled people to get into sport and physical activity.

Sounds like a good idea. How does the Charter aim to do that?

The EFDS has listened to disabled people and, based on what they said, has come up with three ‘asks’. These are commitments which can be made by those involved in sport, fitness, health, media, government and the charity sector.

The three asks are:

Almost 20 per cent of the population is disabled – we believe they should have the chance to be as active as non-disabled people
  • Everyone involved in providing sport or physical activity will support disabled people to participate.
  • Disabled people will have the same opportunity as non-disabled people to be active throughout their lives.
  • All communications about sport and physical activity will promote positive public attitudes towards disabled people’s participation.

So why has Table Tennis England supported the Charter and how will it deliver on that commitment?

The Charter complements our mission to make table tennis a sport for all for life, so supporting it fits in with our ethos. More importantly, helping to promote equality and remove barriers is quite simply the right thing to do to.

Our Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe and I have written to the EFDS outlining what we will be doing to support the Charter and encourage more disabled people to be active for life.

The commitments we have made are:

  • To develop new projects to provide more opportunities for disabled people to enjoy table tennis.
  • To ensure current projects are inclusive and allow opportunities for people with a disability to get involved.
  • To work effectively with partners to enable us to support and deliver a wider range of table tennis opportunities.
  • To educate our club network in providing suitable sessions and environments for disabled people to get involved in.
  • To educate Table Tennis England staff and Board members to continue to think positively about disability and be inclusive in our work.
  • To raise the profile of our current disabled players to act as positive role models to attract more people into the sport.
  • To invest in our Ability Club network and priority zones to enable delivery of targeted projects.

How can I or my club get involved?

Your first step is to get in touch with us. We will give you the help and advice you need to set up sessions for disability players. Please email [email protected] or [email protected]

May 6, 2015

Do you have any questions you would like us to answer in our Around the Table feature? Email [email protected]