Brighton Table Tennis Club is blazing a trail for community groups nationally after developing a new course which helps organisations to design and collaboratively build a new model of community in action.

Known widely for its innovative social outreach using table tennis, BTTC has based the course on its own experience, but with the aim of sharing participant ideas and aspirations towards building resilient communities.

The course uses a modular framework with hourly sessions currently delivered online because of the coronavirus limitations. The first five modules cover:

  • Breaking the Mould: innovative ways of working
  • Being Outward Facing: building referral networks
  • Rapport, Relationships, Reflection and Retention
  • What does Integration mean?
  • The BTTC Axes of Grassroots and Performance

The final module invites participants to share an outline of a new and potentially innovative idea, inspired by the course, to develop in their own organisation, and they receive feedback and suggestions from other course members.

Feedback from a pilot of the course has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic:

Paul Richards of Gig Buddies said: “BTTC is so much more than being about table tennis and this course will help you unlock, and understand their approach which can be applied beyond sports settings since it’s all about embedding grassroots approaches in a way that celebrates everyone’s contributions.”

Sam Byford-Winter of Nam Yang Martial Arts said: “Totally loved the course. Engaging, inspiring, humbling and lots of fun. So great to meet other grassroots organisations with community at the forefront of their plans.”

Other participant organisations on the pilot included parkrun UK, Ramsbottom Running Club, Fight for Peace, Derby Community Table Tennis Club, VYD Football and Amazonas Arts.

The course, supported by Sport England, will be available later in the year. The target group is for leaders and senior members of grassroots organisations, but another similar course for aspiring leaders is being designed currently by Brighton Table Tennis Club.

BTTC Director Tim Holtam said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sport England have seen the BTTC model and want it shared across different sports clubs and beyond. It’s really exciting to have already worked with some inspirational organisations on the first pilot and we hope many more will get involved.”

Contact [email protected] for more details.