Amelia Chan picks up her award from ETTA Coach Dev. Officer Sally Shutt

It was a double for Ellenborough TTC at the English Schools Individual Table Tennis Championships in Doncaster on Saturday (April 26th) as 11-year-old Amelia Chan – a pupil at Walker Primary School, Southgate – was crowned English Primary Schools Girls Champion and twelve year old Denise Payet – a pupil at Enfield County School – retained her under 13 title.

Seeded number one Payet didn’t drop a set in retaining her title which included an emphatic straight sets win over Sussex’s Kate Cheer in the final. Denise will now play for the English Schools Team at the Home Countries International Event in the Isle of Man next month. She has also been selected by the English Table Tennis Association to play in the Spanish Open (an International Table Tennis Federation approved event) in Platja d’Aro, Girona from 7th to 11th May, and will be representing England in the Cadet Six Nations at the end of the month.

But the story of the day was the emergence of yet another young star from Ellenborough TTC with Amelia Chan’s victory in the Primary Schools event. Chan, who took the table tennis world by storm in winning a bronze medal at the English Table Tennis Association’s National Championships last June and has prioritised her school work for much of this season, beat Molly Hancock (the reigning English National Champion from Staffordshire) in the quarter finals before dispatching Katie Holt (England No. 1 from Hampshire) in the semi-final.

Chan rounded the day off by beating Danielle Kelly (England no.2 from Surrey) in the final: Ellenborough’s new star counter-hit brilliantly and aggressively against her opponent’s strong and heavy topspin loops. Holt, Kelly and Hancock represented England in the British Primary Schools’ International just three weeks earlier and so Chan beat the entire England team in consecutive matches dropping only two sets in the process.

Denise Payet pictured with ETTA Head of Development Emily St. John

Ellenborough TTC Chairman, Keith Williams, said: “Denise is setting the standard for other girls in the area to aspire to and everyone at the club, and Walker Primary School, are delighted with Amelia’s first national title. Both girls benefit from the professional coaching they receive from Gergely Urban and Tibi Kadar at the club, but by winning through the whole competition day without coaches in their corner, the girls demonstrated exactly what we instil in all our athletes: self-confidence, self-reliance, a keen tactical awareness and strong mental resilience. Amelia’s next goal is to be invited to the England Youth Development Squad.”

Williams went on to explain that Ellenborough TTC (based in Craddock Road, Enfield) work closely with local schools such as George Spicer Primary School. The club has a proven player pathway that develops youngsters as young as 7/8 years old from local to regional to national level. Delivered by volunteer and professional coaches their long term athlete development programme has enjoyment at its centre.