The report from the Members Advisory Group (MAG) on “TT Clubs in England – 2021 and beyond” has been published on the MAG pages of the TTE website.
The report is the result of extensive engagement with clubs on how they can be helped in their key role of developing our sport. Forty leading clubs participated in the discussion via four online engagement sessions. The first three sessions were by individual invitation. The final session was by open invite to all clubs with more than 50 members. This enabled a wide range of voices to be heard.
In each of the sessions, we asked the participating clubs to address the following key questions:
- What are the key challenges for your club over the next 2-5 years? What does “success” look like for your club over the next 5 years?
- What needs to be done to achieve this success? What are the barriers preventing you from achieving this success?
- How do we bring about change?
This provided a consistent framework for all the sessions.
Twenty-five issues and actions emerged from the sessions, they fell under the following broad themes:
- Maintain and improve facilities & venues
- Develop competitive structures that support club development
- Recruitment & retention of players & volunteers
- Giving clubs a stronger voice
- Re-building after Covid-19
Given the large number of issues identified, we felt it was important to prioritise the various actions. We did this in terms of “Making an Impact” and “Ease of Implementation”.
The report has been submitted to the Board. It has been agreed to set-up a small working group to develop an action plan to take forward the issues identified. The working group will comprise members of MAG, the Board and Table Tennis England staff
On behalf of the Board, Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe said: “The Board thanks MAG for this report which provides some additional insight to complement the club surveys and work of the Club Support Officers.
“It reiterates the importance of club support and the vital role that clubs play in developing players, coaches and volunteers. A working group is being established to consider the recommendations and how they sit with the priorities and programmes of the Development Team.”
Head of Development and Volunteering, Greg Yarnall, said: “We thank MAG and the clubs involved for their detailed report in this area and it is great to see lots of similarities and connection between the areas raised in the report with work and projects that are already a priority or have recently started.
“For example, broadening the base of participants, which we are aiming to do through the TT Kidz programme and the benefit of continuing the online club webinars that have been continuing at pace with a range of new topics covered.
“There are also areas of the report that the staff team can look at more closely to see where more support or resources can be provided in the future and we look forwards to continuing the dialogue with MAG and clubs in this area.”