Table Tennis England has agreed a five-year deal with Mark Bates Limited to become title sponsor of the National Championships.

The partnership covers all three National Championships, beginning with the Seniors in Nottingham at the end of February and including all Senior, Cadet & Junior and U10-U13 tournaments until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Mark Bates Ltd, based in Lincolnshire, are a long established, family-run insurer specialising in niche and general insurance products.

Managing Director Mark Bates will be well known to many Table Tennis England members as the father of two age group national champions – Emily and Michael. Emily won a raft of singles and doubles titles from Under-10s to Juniors, including beating Tin-Tin Ho in the Under-12 Girls’ Singles final in 2007, while Michael was Cadet Boys’ Doubles champion alongside Gavin Evans – now England coach – in the same year.

Mark Bates said: “Having been involved in table tennis for many years I have developed a strong love and passion for the sport and am very excited to be able to support the pinnacle event of the competition calendar.

“The company have many ties with table tennis. I became heavily involved in the sport through my children who had great pleasure and success participating in the game. In fact, my business now employs four ex-national champions!

“I am very excited – sponsoring the National Championships is just the start of a long-term partnership with Table Tennis England.”

Welcoming Mark Bates Ltd into partnership with Table Tennis England, Chairman Sandra Deaton said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark Bates Limited as title sponsors for the National Championships.

“This is a significant investment, not only financially but also in terms of the five-year timescale. It will enable us to continue the recent evolution of the National Championships to ensure it lives up to billing as the pinnacle of our domestic sport for players and spectators.

“Mark is a passionate supporter of table tennis and many of our members will remember his children Emily and Michael competing on the national circuit and indeed both becoming age-group national champions.

“He has a real commitment to helping our sport to develop and grow and we look forward to a fulfilling partnership.”

Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe added that the partnership goes beyond Mark Bates simply sponsoring the Nationals.

She added: “We are all committed to ensuring there is a lasting legacy from this partnership. Whilst we are starting with the announcement that Mark Bates Limited becomes the title sponsor for the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, we are going to be spending the coming months exploring other exciting ideas that will reach out to the membership and our clubs as well.”

About Mark Bates Ltd

Mark Bates Ltd are a long established, family run insurer specialising in niche and general insurance products, offering a wide range of cover to meet everyone’s needs.

Based at offices in Lincolnshire, the company use relationships and partnerships across the UK to supply and manage insurance policies.

Built on the foundations of providing Mobility Scooter and Direct Payments Insurance, the company has expanded its portfolio over recent years to include Home, Travel, Car, Caravan, Carer and Retail business insurance products.  Exciting recent developments have seen a Future Planning department emerge helping customers make important decisions on later life planning such as Funeral Plans, Wills and Trusts.

At the heart of the company’s success is Mark’s desire to look after his customers and to ensure people are properly protected if the worst happens. Not only do MBL have some of the best and most affordable policies on the market, they have a UK-based team of professionals to deal with any issues that arise.

All customers have access to a rewards scheme “The Premier Club”, which gives them exclusive rewards and discounts on restaurants, cinemas tickets, travel and the high street brands. So it is not surprising the company have a loyal customer base and a 5-star Trust Pilot rating.

As the business continues to grow it is looking to enter new markets such as sports insurance. Therefore, supporting Table Tennis England, the players, coaches and volunteers, feels a natural extension to current activities.