Table Tennis England’s South West team are delighted to be introducing three new Priority Zones this autumn with the aim of continuing to grow table tennis participation in the area.

A key part of our national development strategy is to work within Priority Zones – geographic areas where we can effectively target our staff time and resources to maximise our impact.

Southampton & the New Forest, Bournemouth and Exeter have been chosen for our next phase of Priority Zone working, joining our phase one zones Oxford, Bristol and Plymouth.

Our current zones have been a great success so far, with various projects established in the areas which are providing opportunities for more people to pick up a bat – such as satellite clubs, over-50s sessions, workplace initiatives and a thriving Ping Pong Parlour.

As we gradually decrease our staff time and funding input to Oxford, Bristol, and Plymouth over the next six to 12 months, we will aim to ensure the increase in participation is maintained for the long term, and the projects and activities we have started become sustainable.

Our three new areas were chosen based on multiple criteria such as population size, club, coach and volunteer infrastructures, partner support and the potential to significantly increase participation.

Steering groups consisting of the local table tennis community and key local partners will be established and development work will commence from September onwards. The groups will develop a wide range of table tennis opportunities in each of the areas with the aim of increasing participation significantly, particularly amongst the 16+ age group and creating a lasting legacy.

Emily St John, Head of Development at Table Tennis England, said: “It is fantastic to see significant increases in Priority Zone participation rates and activity being sustained.

‚ÄúNaturally, every zone is different, in particular the zones in the South West have much smaller population bases than those in the other areas. This means zone plans and timelines differ in each area, but the end result is the same, more people playing and more sustained opportunities to play.”

If you live in any of the new cities, and are interested in getting involved in the steering groups please do get in touch with the South West area team to discuss this further.

Table Tennis England is currently recruiting an Area Development Officer for the South West (maternity cover). Click here for details

July 30, 2015