The Butterfly National Schools Team Championships has been cancelled for the 2020/21 season.

The Table Tennis England Schools’ Committee made the difficult decision in the light of the ongoing restrictions caused by the pandemic.

The event is played across multiple rounds and would usually start in November with county level competition. This was recently delayed until January 2021, however a subsequent decision has been made that it will not be feasible to run this event for this year.

Table Tennis England are working on what a virtual schools competition or virtual challenges could look like for specific age groups to ensure schools still have an opportunity to engage in table tennis throughout the school year. We will post more about this in due course.

A decision has not yet been made on the Butterfly National Schools Individual Championships, which does not start until February 2021.

Schools Committee Chairman David Maddison said: “Those of us who have had the privilege of sharing our great game with children, young people and their schools will know that the benefit of events such as the Butterfly National Schools Championships goes way beyond the provision of great competition.

“There is the sense of teamwork, the reward for hard work, the inspiration for many to go further in the game, the emotional learning and growth in confidence, together with the thrilling experiences and memories it can create.

“Therefore, it is with a genuine heavy heart, and having tried hard to re-imagine our events to still make them possible, that the ongoing implications of Covid-19 have meant we have had to cancel this year’s Butterfly National Schools Team Competition.

“However, we are still looking positively to a future where this and other events will still be on offer.  Moreover, we are also actively involved in creating new ways and online challenges through which we can still share our sport, have a little fun along the way and stay connected to each other. So watch out for them and please encourage those you are involved with to participate.”