I would like to take the opportunity of this Christmas greeting to thank all our table tennis friends for their ongoing support, enthusiasm and commitment for the past 12 months.

Our sport relies on volunteers to make it function at every level. I am always overwhelmed at the amount of time and effort people are prepared to give to ensure that others enjoy our sport and reach their potential.

Everyone who plays or enjoys table tennis does so because someone else is prepared to help out – whether as a coach, an umpire, an organiser, helping clubs develop, or assisting driving people around.

Our volunteer network is our greatest asset – and on behalf of Table Tennis England and everyone who enjoys table tennis, I want to thank you.

At Head Office and in the Regions we have committed and dedicated staff. But we all recognise that, as with every Sports National Governing Body, there is a limit in time and resources to what we can do individually.

That is why we need to all work together – our staff and our volunteers – so we can provide the best table tennis experience for all ages and all abilities.

I am so proud to be part of this team – and I know that we can all go from strength to strength.

In 2017, we had many achievements as our elite athletes continue to improve and triumph in the international arena. We have seen more people playing and achieving their potential. Table tennis is thriving as new and creative formats emerge alongside our traditional league structures. This allows more people to participate at a time and location which suits them.

We must be prepared to look to the future and adapt and adopt changes where necessary as well as building on our tried and tested clubs and leagues which serve our membership base so well.

Next year will bring new opportunities. We are looking at ourselves and how we can do things better. For this we are asking full co-operation and participation from our membership base to become involved and tell us what  you want and how we can do things better.

On the table, we have an early highlight to the year when one of the greatest events in the world, the ITTF Team World Cup, comes to England. This is a fantastic opportunity for our members to see and experience table tennis played at the highest level in the world.

I want to conclude by wishing all our members, employees, volunteers and our table tennis friends and supporters at home and abroad a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018.