England star Paul Drinkhall thrilled youngsters at a TT Kidz session – and was in turn impressed by the enthusiasm and skill on display.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist joined a session at Kingfisher TTC in Reading, helping activator Jack Karpinski to put the youngsters through their paces.

England youngster Anaya Patel, a Cadet & Junior National Championships silver medallist who is also a club member, was on hand for some demonstrations as the TT Kidz worked on their forehand and backhand skills and their movement.

The visit was in support of the Aspiration Fund, which UK Sport launched last year to allow sports not currently in receipt of full funding to develop plans to help teams and athletes qualify for Tokyo 2020.

A total of 18 players are attending the Kingfisher sessions and will finish their eight-week course next week.

Paul said: “The kids seem to be loving it and there have been some good exercises and good bat and ball skills and we’ve seen some players that look like they could be a talent for the future.

“Hopefully, they enjoy this and move on and continue playing.”

What is TT Kidz?

TT Kidz is an eight-week programme developed by Table Tennis England to provide youngsters with an inspiring, engaging and fun first experience in the sport. The central aims are:

  • To provide young people with an inspiring, engaging and fun first experience in the sport
  • To enable us to build national partnerships with organisations that can help take the sport to more young people
  • To provide clubs and coaches with a more attractive programme to take into schools and community groups to enhance a table tennis offer
  • To engage new young coaches/activators in the sport

The TT Kidz programme provides clubs with specially researched and designed sessions to help them introduce a whole new generation of children to our great game, and giving them the skills necessary to enjoy a great game of table tennis for themselves.

It could potentially add a new, dynamic aspect to your club, giving you and your fellow coaches the chance to engage with children and parents, and teach the game in a new, refreshing way.

Clubs that are part of the programme receive support from Table Tennis England, including resources, training and marketing assistance.

Applications to deliver TT Kidz in February are now open. To sign up to deliver TT Kidz please follow this link and complete the short form.

Please note: To deliver the programme, your club needs to be PremierClub affiliated or to become PremierClub affiliated. To find out more about club affiliation click here.

If you have any questions about TT Kidz, please email [email protected] or contact one of our team of Area staff.