Welcome to Around the Table, our regular look at the work Table Tennis England is doing to promote and support table tennis around the country.

This time, we put the spotlight on our work with the Jack Petchey Foundation to introduce table tennis into schools in London and Essex.


What is the Jack Petchey Foundation Table Donation Scheme?

The Jack Petchey Foundation Table Donation Scheme provides opportunities to schools which are looking to grow table tennis participation among young people during and after school hours, by offering the donation of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables plus equipment worth thousands of pounds.

Schools are asked to make a small contribution of £150 towards an indoor package (including four tables, 16 bats, 72 balls plus other resources) or an outdoor package (including two tables, eight bats, 72 balls and other resources).

A total of 1,365 tables have been donated to schools since the programme started

Teacher and young leader training courses are also part of the programme.

When did the scheme start?

The scheme is now five years old, the first donations having been made in 2010.

Who is it open to?

It is open to state secondary schools, colleges and academies across London and Essex. This year sees the inclusion of pilots with 15 Street Games sites and 15 London Youth club sites. They too are receiving equipment packages and free training.

How many tables have been donated and to how many schools?

A total of 273 schools are in the programme, and have between them received 1,119 indoor tables and 246 outdoor tables – a total of 1,365.

That is a total of 429 packages over the years.

How is the success of the scheme evaluated?

As part of the funding agreement Tennis Table England must report back to the Jack Petchey Foundation on the success and reach of the Table Donation Scheme. Schools are therefore asked to fill out a monitor form at intervals after receipt of their tables.

Here are some quotes from schools which further illustrate how successful the scheme can be:

“A great scheme that has allowed us to have more tables and consequently it has allowed more pupils to take up this ever growing sport.” – Hurstmere Foundation School for Boys

“The number of people who attend our club regularly is a highlight. With the tables we received we are the highest attended extra-curricular club at our school.” – Kemnal Technology College

“The [outdoor] tables are used every breaktime and lunchtime without fail. Students borrow equipment from the PE department and play with their friends. We also run fun competitions at lunchtimes and after school. Table tennis is a sport which has encouraged our non-sporty students to ‘have a go’. It’s great.” – Mayfield School

How can schools apply to get a table?

The next round of applications is due to begin around February 2016 – subject to approval of the grant by the Jack Petchey Foundation. Schools can register an interest by emailing their contact details to [email protected]