Hello everyone. I’m writing to you at the end of surely the most challenging year most of us have faced – as individuals, families, communities and within the sport we all love.

Our thoughts first and foremost are with all those who have lost loved ones during this dreadful pandemic, and our thanks go to all keyworkers – particularly those within the NHS – who have worked so hard on everyone’s behalf.

Against such a backdrop, sport seems trivial, and yet we are all aware of just what it means to so many people – the friends we all make, the good times we experience and the positive impact we feel both physically and mentally through engaging with sport in general and table tennis in particular.

That’s why I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who volunteer in clubs and leagues around the country, and who have worked so hard to keep people connected during periods of lockdown, and to ensure a safe return to play when the restrictions have allowed.

These efforts have been reflected in more than 150 nominations being received for our Pride of Table Tennis Awards, which seek to honour and value our volunteers. I look forward to the regional and national celebrations of these awards, in whichever format we are able to stage them.

I would also like to thank our members for continuing to support our work, which has not stopped during the pandemic. We have had to adapt, of course, one such example being the club webinars which have enabled people to come together online and share information, updates and ideas. These will continue as we move back towards normality.

We will continue to work hard to support you all, and I would be very grateful if you could help us by responding to the survey in this newsletter and any future surveys. Your responses will enable us to keep offering meaningful and relevant club and league support.

We have seen some local league play this season, and many have trialled different match formats in order to help people return to play. On the international front, I know many of you will have watched Liam Pitchford’s performances at the ITTF #Restart events in China.

These are important steps and, although our national events remain subject to cancellation for now, we hope and trust we will be in a position to resume competitions across all levels during 2021.

Until then, please stay safe and look after yourselves and each other and continue the amazing work you are doing to help the sport come back as strong as possible.

I wish you all a happy Christmas.