In the early 60s, the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) Schools’ Sub Committee embarked upon an intensive campaign to spread and increase interest in the game in schools throughout the country.

A drive to establish a national structure was needed and this came from Jack Carrington who in his role as ETTA Director of Coaching had witnessed increasing interest in schools’ table tennis across the country.

With support from 60 Education Authorities who organised qualifying events, he established eight regional play-off finals with the winning boys’ and girls’ teams competing in the inaugural National Finals held in Leicester on 3rd June 1967.

Were You There? Was Your School Team There?

The English Schools’ Table Tennis Association (ESTTA) is this year celebrating 50 years of National School Team Championships and is keen to hear from players who took part in the first event. Records show that in the Under 17 Boys’ Team Championship Finals, Malory School, Lewisham, Kent (John Dabin, Raymond Tilling, Colin Jones, Michael Fryer) beat Hymers College, Hull (Alan Fletcher, Tony Clayton, Richard Nakielny, Geoffrey Coxon) 6-2.

In the Girls’ Final Rectory Manor School, Newham, Essex (Susan Jones, Helen Wesley, Susan Beckwith, Wendy Marlem) beat Newbury County School for Girls, Berkshire (Carol Shergold, Carol Aldridge, J. Smith, Jane Goodey) 5-4 having had to play a deciding doubles.

Other schools taking part in the first National Finals were:


  • Burnley Wood Grammar School
  • Garendon School, Loughborough
  • Millbrook School, Southampton
  • Minehead Secondary School
  • Moseley Grammar School, Birmingham
  • Plaistow Grammar School


  • Guthlaxton Grammar School, Leicestershire
  • Holly Lodge High School, Liverpool
  • Holyrood Girls’ High School, Somerset
  • Nechells Secondary School, Birmingham
  • Nonsuch County Secondary School, Surrey
  • Cuthbert’s School, South Shields

The English Schools’ Table Tennis Association was born and celebrates a half century of competitions with the staging of the Butterfly School Team Championship Finals to be held at Hinckley Leisure Centre on Saturday April 16, 2016.

ESTTA is keen to hear from players who played in the 1967 Finals and would be pleased to welcome them to this year’s Championship Finals.

To received an invitation please contact John Arnold MBE, ESTTA’s President/Development Officer, via [email protected]