Head Coach Matthew Porter receiving the awards at the ceremony in Durham

Newly formed Bishop Auckland Table Tennis Club have set a impressive precedent for any other prospective new table tennis outifts after completing a unique double achievement at the recent County Durham Sport and Physical Activity Awards.

The club was only formed 12 months ago after six members of the Bishop Barrington School were inspired to play the sport regularly thanks to Head Coach, Matt Porter. Now, after a stunning maiden year, the Bishop Auckland club have been awarded both the Junior Club of the Year and the Coach of the Year at the ceremony at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham.

Having previously won The Durham Dales sports award for Junior Club of the Year and Coach of the Year, the club achieved the same double at the County Durham Awards, which is first time any organisation has ever won two awards on the night.

Head Coach Matt Porter said: “The Durham County Council Sport and Physical Achievement Awards is a prestigious event that celebrates sporting excellence across the region. To get Coach of the Year is great but to get Junior Club of the Year really tops off a fantastic year.

“All of the club volunteers and players have worked so hard to be where we are now. I’m looking forward to adding the award to the trophy cabinet for all to see.”

Porter with Paralympic gold medalist, Mark Colbourne MBE

The awards are vindication for the behind-the-scenes effort at the club and shows how easy it is for a new table tennis club to reap the rewards of hard work and determination.

The hope is that more clubs can follow Bishop Auckland TTC’s lead and achieve instant success by liasing with local schools and getting young children involved in the sport.

Now that the trend has been set, Head Coach Matt Porter is hoping to develop the local players and leagues along with the growth of the club.

He said: “We hope that these awards will further raise awareness and profile of the club and its work in the local area and help the club continue to expand and develop. In particular, we hope to enter more of our juniors into National competitions while also looking to increase the number of teams in our local league, draw in members from the wider community projects and continue our support of local charities”


Written by Mike Smith (October 25, 2013)