Dear members of Table Tennis England,

I am writing to explain the recent important developments from the AGM.

Like every sporting body, the Government requires our association to operate under their ‘governance rules’ if we want to receive public funding. These are outlined in the Government’s new Code for Sports Governance and are mainly concerned with the composition of the Board. Basically, the Government wants proper checks and balances in place to ensure that public funds are correctly and responsibly managed by sports associations.

In order to comply with these terms and secure the £9 million public funding for table tennis, the Board put a proposition to the AGM and asked the leagues and county representatives to support us. The Board needed 75 per cent to carry this and guarantee our future funding from the public purse. Although it was supported by the overwhelming majority our proposal was defeated by the narrowest of margins. We received 74.93 per cent of the votes, so it failed by just 0.07 per cent.

As a result Sport England has suspended its funding of Table Tennis England with immediate effect. We are very disappointed with this, but we must now regroup and go forward in the best interests of table tennis.

We are talking to Sport England to try to find a way to have the funding reinstated so that our many programmes and initiatives can continue. This money from Sport England plays a major part in funding a wide range of work, such as coach education programmes, support for clubs and leagues, development programmes, member benefits, competitions, rankings, talent development, as well as the many social initiatives which bring table tennis to a wider audience.

We know that we still need to change our rules if we want funding. There will be no exceptions to this. Our proposition was the only one on the table at the AGM which would comply with the Code and guarantee our funding. We also committed to looking closely at other models to see if there were any improvements. But first we need to be compliant to secure the funding. There is a process using an ‘Extraordinary General Meeting’, where we can have another chance to put a compliant proposal before the league and county representatives and ask for their support.

We will be examining how we can best go forward to secure our funding. I will keep you informed and I guarantee we will do everything possible to secure the future of our sport.

Sandra Deaton, Chairman of Table Tennis England