The English Table Tennis Association have received a generous funding boost from the Jack Petchey Foundation, which allows for the continuation, and expansion, of their popular table tennis programme.

For the last two years the ETTA, in partnership with the JPF have increased participation and awareness of table tennis in secondary schools across London. Now, with a brand new funding announcement of £177,000 – the programme can become bigger and better than ever before.

The third year’s funding will see a number of benefits:

200 new Jack Petchey Foundation branded table tennis tables, training and equipment packs to 50 further schools in London (supporting 160 school-based table tennis clubs)

Development of four area ‘Table Tennis Academies’ which will become ‘lead’ schools within their county (CSP) areas.

Invite all London schools to participate in regional team and individual finals and increase support to the CSP final structure.

Invite all winners to two London Schools Jack Petchey Table Tennis Finals: Individual Event (June 2013) and Team Event (january 2013).

Link in with the national competition structure for those who have the ability/competence to represent London schools in the existing English Schools’ Table Tennis Association (ESTTA) national competition programme.

Martin Ireland, the ETTA National Programme Manager for School Games and Young People, was understandably delighted with the new grant:

“This has helped massively increase the take-up of table tennis in London’s secondary schools. Our focus over the coming 12 months will be to support teachers with training and advice to ensure that the equipment is used to its full advantage.

“We hope that the young people involved will have a really enjoyable experience playing table tennis, develop their skills, play regular competition and potentially develop a lifelong interest in the sport,”

ETTA CEO, Richard Yule, presenting an award to one of 2012's victorious schools

The award of £177,000 (an increase on the second year’s funding of £107,000) will help towards achieving the Jack Petchey Foundation’s mission statement: ‘To enable young people (aged 11-25 years in London, Essex & the Algarve area of Portugal), to achieve their potential by inspiring, investing in, developing and promoting activities that increase their personal, social, emotional and physical development.

To find out more about table tennis’ involvement with the Jack Petchey Foundation take a look around the Change4life website.