The power of publicity led to growing numbers at a Thursday night Bat & Chat session – and ensured Blitz Table Tennis Club could keep their club night going.

Steve Fox, the project organiser at the Gainsborough club, said: “We had a Thursday night club session where we really needed to increase the numbers attending or potentially lose that club night.”

Aiming to try new ways to attract new members to the club, Steve approached Table Tennis England Development & Volunteering Officer Mark Willerton and it was decided to submit an application for Be TT funding for a new Bat & Chat session.

The application was successful but a slow few weeks left the club wondering whether evening Bat & Chat sessions would work. Then a feature in Gainsborough Life changed everything.

Gainsborough Life is a monthly lifestyle and community magazine delivered to more than 17,400 homes and businesses within the wider Gainsborough area.

The article in Gainsborough Life

The feature had an immediate impact, with 11 new members attending the session the following week, nearly all of whom had seen the article in the magazine.

Now the weekly Thursday night is going from strength to strength and head coach Paul Johnson said: “We knew there was interest for a social table tennis in Gainsborough, we just couldn’t get people there.”

Mark Willerton and Table Tennis England National Delivery Lead Jenny Leach recently visited the session and both enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere to play table tennis.

Mark said: “It’s not a traditional Bat & Chat, in the sense that it attracts as many families as over-50s, but people really do make the session lovely, friendly and welcoming to all ages and abilities.

“It was fantastic to see mum, dad, brother and sister all playing together in a game of social doubles!”