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Irish Para Training at Lisburn Racquets

Ireland’s National Para Table Tennis squad travelled to Lisburn Racquets on Sunday 7 August 2022 for a full day of training under the watchful eye of coach Sam Logue. Some of the Ulster Junior squad attended to act as sparring partners. Squad training gives players the motivation to improve their game and to succeed. Today, was no exception as players put in 110% effort. Some of these players are at the start of their careers but recent coverage of table tennis in Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 has given each of them goals to strive for. Table tennis is one of the most adaptable and inclusive sports there is for people with all kinds of disabilities. Whether you want to play for fun or competitively, opportunities exist. For more information contact [email protected]

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Sport Ireland launches €2,000,000 ‘Sport for All’ Disability Supports Club Fund as part of this year’s NGB Dormant Accounts Fund

Sport Ireland has opened the application process for ‘Sport for All’ Disability Supports Club Fund as part of this year’s NGB Dormant Accounts Fund. The Scheme is open to all Table Tennis Ireland affiliated clubs. This scheme opens the opportunity to provide inclusive programmes and supports for people with a disability. We would strongly encourage all of our clubs to consider an application for this fund. The fund will support the initiation or enhancement of disability specific activities within grassroots sports clubs. Clubs must apply directly to Table Tennis Ireland with their application, and we will submit the application on your behalf.

 Clubs can apply for funding of between €1,000 and €5,000 to support the following areas:

  1. Disability Supports Education & Training
  2. Disability Supports Programme Activation and Delivery
  3. Disability Supports Small Scale Equipment and Infrastructure.

The closing date for applications from NGBs to Sport Ireland will be Thursday, September 1st, 2022. We kindly ask the clubs who wish to seek support and apply for this funding, to fill out the following application form by 5pm Monday 29th of August so we can apply on behalf of all the clubs, in advance of the Sport Ireland closing date.

Table Tennis Ireland Clubs can apply for this funding here: https://forms.office.com/r/8jwKessNtd

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we can assist you with any queries you may have.

TTI NEW THUMBNAIL

Entries are Open for the 2022 Irish Senior Classification Qualifying Tournament

The 2022 Irish Senior Classification Qualifying Tournament will take place on the 27th/28th of August at the National Indoor Arena in Dublin.

Entries are now open through our JustGo system (see link below) and will close Monday 15th of August 2022 @ 23:59.

All players and coaches are advised to read the entry form for full details on the events taking place and the tournament regulations.

Entry Link:  https://tti.justgo.com/workbench/public/events?ref=1173D2918C2E261535180E87143F87C2A62AFE6F

Entry form and further details, downloadable here: https://tabletennisireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/88a6075e-08ea-40fa-8988-6363c94978a5.pdf

Any queries should be sent to [email protected] 

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Membership for the 2022-2023 season

At a Board meeting on 21st of July, It was agreed to streamline the junior membership categories. As the age for junior players at tournaments is currently U19, a new junior membership category (U19) has been created and the fee for this will be €15 for the season. This category replaces the following from previous seasons:

  • Junior (U18) €25
  • Cadet (U15) €25
  • Mini Cadet (U13) €15
  • Hopes (U11) €10  

It was agreed that the fees for Junior (1-19 yrs; €15), Senior (20-39 yrs; €35), Veteran (40yrs+; €20), League Player (€20) and Coaches/Officials/Volunteer (€15) will remain unchanged for next season

To renew your membership online, please visit the Table Tennis Ireland membership system via our website: www.tabletennisireland.ie/membership/

As discussed at the AGM, we are also looking to set up a working group to look at other areas such as club affiliation and affiliation models to encourage grass roots membership. More details on this will be released in due course.

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Registration for the National Umpire and Tournament Organiser Course 21/22nd of August

Table Tennis Ireland are hosting a National Umpire Course and Tournament Referee Course in Dublin. Karen and Ken Tonge will be delivering the course in the Conference Room at the Irish Sports HQ in Dublin (in person). We are delighted to have Karen and Ken deliver these two courses to our Umpires and Referees. They both have a great deal of experience umpiring and refereeing at the Top Level, we are looking forward to the sessions in August.

1. The National Umpires Course (L2) and exam will on Saturday 20th of August from 10-4pm.  Candidates must have completed the County Umpire Course to take part in this course.

2. Candidates for the International Umpires exam in September should still attend on both Saturday and Sunday as previously arranged. 

3. The one-day Tournament Organiser (TO) (L2) course will take place on Sunday 21st of August, 10am-4pm. The candidates should be aged 18 or over and need not necessarily be umpires.

Everyone attending the National Umpire Course is welcome to attend the tournament organiser course on Sunday if they wish. Both courses will be good preparation for anyone intending to sit the Referees course later in the year and enable existing umpires to refresh their skills ahead of the coming season. 

If you wish to attend this course, you are required to register for your desired course (or both) by 12pm on the 10th of August.

If you are attending this course, please register at the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/thkvgSJRgZ

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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Come & Try Table Tennis in Waterford!

The Munster Branch have collaborated with Waterford Local Sports Partnership, they are hosting fun Table Tennis Taster Sessions for over 18’s in August. The sessions will be facilitated by some great coaches in Munster.

There are two sessions taking place on Tuesday 23rd August & Tuesday 30th August 7.30 to 9.30pm
at the SETU Arena | Carriganore | Waterford

These sessions are €5 per person. Places are limited, so book early to ensure your place is secured. Book your spot here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/come-and-try-table-tennis-18-tickets-387384446307?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

For more information please contact: Liz McEnaney on 086 783 7385
or [email protected]

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Table Tennis – The Story So Far: Margie Hadden

Check out this interesting written article from Margie Hadden below on her unique table tennis experience. Margie is a Table Tennis Ireland veterans player and coach from Cork, also a member of the Munster Provincial Branch assisting with the website and communications. She is a great ambassador for women in sport. Check out Margie’s fascinating story below.

Article written by Margie Hadden

Well I came to table tennis very late. At 42, I walked into my first club, Leeside. I was very naive and quite confident in my abilities until I was trashed by all these little kids as I rapidly moved down to bottom table!!! At bottom table I finally made mince-meat of a little girl who looked about aged 6, with a giant bow in her hair!  

Having little kids beat me would have stopped most people from continuing but not me. I absolutely love table tennis! I struggle with some bad habits picked up as a kid playing on a small kitchen table. Knowing no better I played a back hand shot all the time even on the forehand side where it looked something like a chicken wing shot. I still sometimes revert to that old ingrained habit. At Leeside I learned to crouch low and adopt a wide stance crucial to getting the ball low over the net. 

 Now I can tell who is a beginner just from the way they stand at the table. I also learned some impressive serves at Leeside which caused my opponents to hit the ball into the net. I admit I come last in almost all of the tournaments but I am very aware of how much I have improved. The beautiful feeling of a well -executed forehand or a fabulously spinny serve is what sustains me in the game.  

I train twice a week in Kinsale with coach Alan Hurley from Southcoast. His sessions are very focused and a word here and there from Alan can make all the difference to my shots. With my forehand he spotted that I was going too high and that I wasn’t going forward enough. Now at least I can occasionally whip the ball with a lightning forehand!  

The coaches in Munster are like gold dust. They are what keeps the sport dynamic and alive. They do a trojan amount of work organising training sessions and tournaments.  

And then there’s the craic! I discovered Beech Hill Table Tennis club after a torn ligament had me out for 9 months. The coach Philip Shaw gave me some one on one sessions and I was back!  

Now I train the players with intellectual difficulties there on Wednesdays. I am learning myself, so I find that I’m in a good position to pass on the basics to the Wednesday night players. I am very impressed at how much they improve in their game. 

I always encourage anyone bringing a Wednesday night player to get involved during training, to umpire and help with some basic coaching. The carers helping out are absolutely fantastic! We are never stuck for volunteers! 

A big thank you to Margie for taking out the time to let us know her great story on how she got involved in table tennis. We hope this will inspire as many women of all ages to pick up a bat and enjoy our great sport.

TTI News

Junior Boys at the European Youth Championships

Left – Right: Coach Gervis Knox, Tom Colvin, Max Skelton, Jonathan Mooney, James Skelton

The Irish Junior boys team of Tom Colvin, Jonathan Mooney, James Skelton and Max Skelton, along with Coach Gervis Knox competed against the best teams in Europe in this year’s team event at the European Youth Championships.

The first day was tough for the guys, who were a little passive and nervy against a strong team from Turkey. They lost 3-0 but Tom had the best chance, taking their number 3 to the 5th set.

After a good training session, they came into match two stronger and much more composed against group seeds Denmark. This match proved to be an epic that went the distance with James and Jonathan taking out their number 1 SKARSHOLM (World No.77). This left the deciding game between James and HOLD which was a thriller going to five sets with James holding his nerve to close out 11-7!! A monster win for the lads and a great team effort to end Day 1.

Just the one match on Day 2 taking on Moldova after a good morning training session. Jonathan was first up taking on their number 1 in a cagey game with Jonathan coming out victorious winning the final set 11-8. James made light work of their number 2 winning in three straight sets. Tom played at Number 3 and took the win 3-1 after a small blip in the third set. The fate of the team lay with Ireland needing a result from Turkey over Denmark and it wasn’t to be as the Danes took the match 3-1 leaving Ireland third in the group and pushed out of the Top 28 teams.

Day 3 starts the battle for placement and Ireland drew Malta and Estonia in the playoff groups. The only game of the day was against Malta and the guys stepped it up to beat them 3-0 dropping only one set in the process.

Day 4 was an early 9am group match against an experienced Estonia whom Ireland has faced many times in senior Europeans in the past. This was the game that got away with a very slow start with No.1 James going down 3-0 to MOOS. Jonathan got off to a blistering start winning the first set against PUKK 11-5 and taking the lead in the second only to see momentum swing and PUKK held the next three sets to win 3-1. Again a slow start from Tom saw him trail KURVET 2-0 but picked up form and won the next three games to bring the match to a fourth match. James took on No.1 PUKK but couldn’t find his usual form and unfortunately went down 3-1. After this tough loss, the boys moved into the final placement positions for places 32-34 against Bulgaria and Cyrpus.

Day 5 started with another early 9am match and this time the boys were much more fired up and wanted to rectify their performance from the previous day. Jonathan started the game in good form dropping only one set to their No.1 ELIA to swing the momentum in Ireland’s favour. James disappointed with his performance against Estonia came out on fire and took their No.2 TSISSIOS 3-0. Max stepped in to play the match at 3 and was unlucky not to convert set 1 & 3 against THEOFANOUS and went down 3-0 leaving the match score 2-1 for Ireland. No.1 James stepped up to play game 4 against ELIA and he didn’t disappoint winning 3-1 and leaving Ireland with a great 3-1 win over Cyprus.

The final match of the tournament was against Bulgaria and the boys looked to finish with a win. The first match was between Jonathan and EFTIMOV and after four close games he went down 3-1. Second game James took on the lefty STOYANOV which was a crucial game to get Ireland on the board and he delivered with a 3-1 win. The game sitting at 1-1 left Tom coming back into the mix and proved too strong for their No.3 SARIEV not dropping a set and taking the match 3-0. EFTIMOV proved to be a tough opponent bringing his form through and taking out James 3-0 to leave the match hanging on a decider. The final match of the tourament was between STOYANOV and Jonathan and he finished the job-winning 3-0 giving Ireland a well-earned 3-2 victory!      

Overall a great week of Table Tennis from the Irish boys who can go away with a monstrous win over Denmark, played a tight game with 8th place Turkey and finished with wins over Malta, Moldava, Cyrpus and Bulgaria.  

Quote from the team coach Gervis Knox “Overall very happy with the boys performances going away great confidence knowing we can go toe to toe with some of Europes best teams. Our players are not used to these conditions and only play a few international events but adjusted very quickly to produce excellent results against table tennis powerhouses Denmark and Turkey”.

Congratulations to the full team and you have done Ireland very proud with your efforts. Sophie Earley will fly the flag in the singles event as she starts her campaign on Tuesday – best of luck Sophie! 

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European Youth Championships

The following players have accepted their selection for the European Youth Championships, in Belgrade. The team travel to Belgrade on the 4th – 16th of July.

  • Tom Colvin (Craigavon)
  • Sophie Earley
  • Jonathan Mooney (Ormeau)
  • James Skelton (Ormeau)
  • Max Skelton (Ormeau)

We would like to wish the very best of luck to all our players and Coaches Conn Higgins and Gervis Knox in the EYC’s.

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Report on ITTA CLG AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Irish Table Tennis Association CLG took place in the Conference Room of the Irish Sports HQ Saturday 11th June 2022 at 10.30am.  A good attendance of members attended in person and by proxy.   

Mr. Chris Kitchen,  Interim Chair, chaired the meeting and welcomed the directors, representatives of the four provinces, officers, members and staff. Apologies were announced by Director Kenneth Strong as follows from Tony Phillips, MBE, Alan Strong MBE, Mrs. Susan Irwin, Miss Anna Kelly, Gavin Maguire, Paul McCreery & Niall O’Flaherty. He also referred to apologies from Joe Veselsky, Alex Thackaberry and Joe Hickey.  

Before the meeting began Mr. Strong also announced the names of 7 members, who had died since the 2021 AGM as follows:  Ms. Christine Doyle, Mr. Hubert (Bertie) Levinge, Mrs. Mary Sheehan, Mr. Norman Sloan, Mr. John Bridgeman, Mr. Mark Melnychuk & Mr. Steven (Steve) Tracey.  A minute’s silence was observed in their memory.  

The Finance Director, Mrs. Kathy Endersen, presented her Finance Director’s Report, Financial Statements & Auditor’s Report for the year ended 31st of December 2021.  

Ms. Jennifer Monaghan, Company Secretary, referred to the increased focus in recent years on governance and compliance in accordance with the Governance Code for Sport.   

The Annual Report of the Board’s activities outlined the success in achieving increased funding from Sport Ireland through Dormant Account Funding (DAF), and the recent re-instatement of Women in Sport funding.  

Mr. John McKenna, General Manager and Chair of the Management Committee, presented an overview of the reports of each of the Managers within the Management Committee. This report covered the areas of Coaching, Communication, Para, Participation and Performance. Queries were received from members present on a number of matters. Where the information was not readily available the Board agreed to provide it as soon as possible. 

Strategic Plan 2022 – 2028: 

The Interim Chair, Chris Kitchen announced the publication of the new Strategic Plan. He highlighted a few areas of the Plan and took questions  

Election of Officers: The following officers were elected or re-elected:  

  • Chair:  No appointment                
    • Mr. Chris Kitchen to continue as Interim Chair until the 2023 AGM 
  • Finance Director: 
    • Mrs. Kathy Endersen   
  • Directors:                    
    • Mr. Rob Cowan 
    • Mr. Kenneth Strong 
    • Mrs. Ciara Joseph 
    • Mrs. Patricia Hunter 
    • Mr. Arnold Morgan 
  • Company Secretary:  
    • Ms. Jennifer Monaghan  

APPOINTMENTS:     

Vice Presidents:  Miss Anna Kelly, Mr. Pat O’Brien, Mr. Tony Phillips MBE, Mr. Ivan Shorten, Mr. Alan Strong MBE, Mr. Thomas Keenan.  

Disciplinary Committee: Miss Anna Kelly, Mr. Ken Nixon & Ms. Louise O’Loughlin  

Jury of Appeal: Mr. Keith McGarry, Mr. Chris Cowan & Ms. Triona Leahy  

It was reported that further volunteers were needed for the Disciplinary Committee and Jury of Appeal. Members were asked to email the General Manager or Mr. Kenneth Strong with nominations.  

Any Other Business: There being no other business the Interim Chair thanked all Board members for their commitment to the sport shown over the last 12 months. He also thanked all committee members for their hard work. Further volunteers were required to take forward the Association’s work programme. Mr. Kitchen thanked all staff for their hard work. 

He thanked Richard Butler for his work when Chair of the Management Committee and Joe Hickey while Board Chair. 

The AGM was then closed with best wishes for a safe journey home.