We have just heard that Sport England – our principal funders – have awarded a new tranche of funding to the ETTA after we have demonstrated that we have started the process of modernisation and change.

A year ago, Sport England put the ETTA on notice and withheld a significant amount of funds from the sport and only guaranteed a year, rather than four years, of finance. This made the future uncertain.

Today’s (Jan 23rd) funding announcement by Sport England gives the new ETTA a vote of confidence. It brings the security of a combination of three years funding for core costs and one-year further investment in development and talent programmes.

ETTA’s new Chairman, Andy Seward, was elected last year and undertook the responsibility of spearheading the process of change. He recruited a new team and put in place the foundations to create a table tennis national governing body, which was fit for the 21st century.

Sport England’s decision confirms that we are back on the right track. Our future is secure for the next three years and further funding is in the pipeline if this progress continues.

We can now focus on longer term planning and not lurch from year to year in a financial vacuum.

The past six months have been a major journey for the sport of table tennis. I know that it has not been an easy road, but it has been a necessary one.

This announcement is a vote of confidence that we are on the right track. But it is the start of a journey, not the end of it.

I would like to pay tribute to the work and commitment of our staff, volunteers and Board during that time.

I also want to pay tribute to Andy Seward, our Chairman, who sadly died last week. It is with deep regret that he is not here to see the result of his considerable efforts.

He had the vision for a new way of managing table tennis in England and did not shy away from making tough decisions for the good of the sport

Our job is now to continue to build on those plans and to continue to move table tennis forward.

We have just received this announcement. It is positive news. The details will become clearer in the next few days and we will be keeping everyone informed through announcements and newsletters.

Details of the Sport England funding announcement are available here

Sara Sutcliffe, CEO

(January 23, 2014)