Nottingham University players with coaches (centre from left) Nicola Deaton, Kelly Sibley and Alan Cooke

Table Tennis England and the University of Nottingham have teamed up to offer students a fantastic opportunity to combine their studies with top-level table tennis coaching.

The university has launched a programme for this season which offers national and international players access to an exceptional team of coaches – including England National Coach Alan Cooke – and provides up to 15 hours a week of quality play.

It consists of both group and one-on-one sessions which can focus on specific goals, using techniques such as multiball, video analysis and mentoring.

Running alongside this is a first-class strength and conditioning programme, access to physiotherapy, as well as training camps throughout the year.

Nottingham has been consistently ranked as one of the leading universities for table tennis, and this initiative looks to build on already strong foundations. High-ranked players such as Paul McCreery, Tressa Armitage and Yolanda King are already benefitting from this programme.

The university also has a campus in China, and there are opportunities for training camps overseas to further develop skills in the leading country for table tennis. In addition, there is a comprehensive sports scholarship programme offering financial support, as well as academic flexibility and sports science input.

The partnership with Table Tennis England sees the university coaching team benefitting from the additional support of England National Coach Cooke. The full coaching team consists of Cooke, Kelly Sibley (England No 2), Nicola Perry (the university’s Director of Table Tennis and former England No 1) and Gavin Evans (European Junior medallist).

Cooke said: “It’s an incredible opportunity for students wishing to further their academic and sports careers – and the facilities there are top-class.

“There’s already a gathering of good quality table tennis players in that vicinity and it’s going to attract even greater interest.”

Perry said: “We’re delighted with this unique package of support which is totally unrivalled at university level, and delivers high-quality table tennis coaching in an elite environment with up to 20 international standard tables.

“The programme is important in enabling players to fulfil their sporting potential while gaining access to a world-class education in a global 100 ranked Russell Group University.”

Anyone interested in pursuing an academic pathway while improving their table tennis, please contact Nicola Perry to arrange a taster day on one of the relevant campuses. Email [email protected] or call 07881 624330.

Paul Stimpson
October 2, 2014