Table Tennis England is looking forward to introducing more people to the sport after Sport England award it £8.29 million of funding over the next four years. This is in addition to the £250,000 awarded in December 2016 for the 2017 Ping! project.

The funding is part of Sport England’s major new investments to keep the nation active, designed to build on the 15 million sport and activity regulars and keep their habit and stay healthy.

Insight from Sport England’s Active Lives survey estimates that 448,700 people in England took part in table tennis at least twice in the 28 days before they were surveyed*.

A significant amount of the funding will go towards supporting the table tennis clubs, volunteers and coaches to deliver table tennis at all levels.

Part of the award has been granted to Table Tennis England to continue Ping! and Loop projects, taking table tennis to people in less traditional places and allowing them to enjoy the sport as part of their lifestyles.

Finally, Sport England continues to invest in the England talent pathway through a dedicated talent award.

Sara Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Table Tennis England, said:

“We sincerely thank Sport England for its on-going support of table tennis.”

“This award recognises the important role that table tennis plays in delivering the new strategy for an active nation.”

“Not only are we able to focus on supporting the existing table tennis infrastructure and community but the growing social and recreational side of the game continues to be supported as it helps to break down barriers to physical activity.”

“Our aim is to ensure that anyone who wishes to play table tennis can do so in a way which suits them and that they have a great experience. Clearly the Active Lives report highlights just how many people love to play.”

“We are also delighted that the significant progression that has been made in the England talent development programme has been recognised, so that we can continue to identify and develop the next generation of England Leopards.”

Sandra Deaton, Chairman of Table Tennis England, said:

“This has been a challenging time for all sports in England – and table tennis was no exception.”

“However, the results of our bid for the next funding cycle are as positive as they could be in the circumstances. We are well-placed to build on the past few years and can continue to promote and develop our sport.”

“This award will allow us to review and renew our focus on our core membership – that of players and clubs. We also have been allocated funding to continue to promote the sport to a wider, social audience and add new initiatives to provide incentives and opportunities for the many social players to transition to a competitive environment.”

“We are in a strong position and will be able to go forward with confidence. That is a significant achievement in the current climate.”

“I am sincerely grateful to the professionalism and hard work of our team at Table Tennis England, led by Sara Sutcliffe, who worked so hard to put together such a strong case for table tennis – and also to the support I know they will continue to receive in the future from our wonderful network of volunteers.”