The 2013 ITTA Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 8th June 2013 at the new Irish Sport HQ, Blanchardstown, Dublin.  Despite the AGM falling on one of the hottest days of the year to date, a good attendance of almost 40 members heard reports of the 2012/13 season’s activities and were updated about current initiatives within the Association.

Key Highlights/Initiatives:

Finance:affiliation fees unchanged for next season, but other changes still under consideration.  2012 saw an increase in the number of affiliated members. This was mainly due to the continuing work in both compliance at events and the ITTA Participation Programmes.

Coaching:  Coaching Director, Arthur Brett advised of the new ITTA Introductory Course which has been approved by Coaching Ireland for a pilot – and thanked Owen Kelly for all his work.  Four Level One Courses were held during the year and a Level Two Course is to be held later this year.  Marcus McDonnell successfully completed the Tutor’s Course.  It is hoped to extend the Academy system during the 2013/4 season..  Two Coach workshops were planned for the coming season.

Marketing:  Marketing Director, Jamie McConkey enlightened the gathering on social media terminology, and how ITTA were performing via Klout scoring which indicates our “influence” levels.  His Report indicated significant growth in our influence in the social media area in the past 12 months. He addressed the membership on the rationale behind the proposed new brand name and logo for Table Tennis Ireland, which aimed to reflect the development of the Association over the past number of years to a vibrant, dynamic organization working in a dynamic, exciting sport. The membership were assured that the ITTA ‘4 province’ crest will remain in formal use as the crest of the Association and the new logo is intended for marketing and branding purposes. Further consultation will issue on this important item.

Strategic Development Plan 2013-2016:The Plan, which was prepared by a team led by Richard Butler,  has been approved by the Irish Sports Council, subject to a few amendments. The Board will continue to review progress on its implementation on a regular basis.

Junior Challenger Series:This series was again highly successful and will continue in the 2013/14 season. A Senior Series has also been launched and the Stiga Shamrock Senior Series will be focused on offering more competition opportunities for our senior players, particularly those at participation level.

Tournament Referees Course:  Five new Tournament Referees were presented with their Certificates: Vivienne Barry, Richard Butler, Jamie McConkey, Stuart McConkey, and Con O’Ceadaigh. 

Umpires: National Umpires course and examination to be held shortly, and it is hoped that perhaps 6 County Umpires will be National Umpires at the start of next season.

Events Committee:  Ken Strong read this report in Coordinator/Chair’s, Tony Martin’s absence, and referred to the need to get more people involved and trained for the top table and at tournaments and for players and coaches to show more respect for the Top Table personnel.   The main recommendation was to appoint a Coordinator/Chair for the Committee, as Tony would have less availability in the future.

Women in Sport:  Rhona Daly, ITTA WIS Coordinator, advised of the active increased programme in place involving 54 projects over the past 12 months.  She highlighted some examples of best practice – where the Association and our Participation Coaches have been successful in converting short term funded projects into long term, sustainable table tennis clubs. The considerable throughput of players competing in ITTA events from these projects was noted, with a particularly successful National Junior League being an excellent example of this.

Performance: Acting Performance Manager Richard Butler spoke of limited resources to challenge in performance sense – but despite this highlight performances of the year were:

–              Irish squads competed in 18 external events

–              6 Nations Seniors: Overall Team Gold Medal winners for first time ever.  Gold Medal for               Women’s Team of Na Liu and Ashley Givan and Singles Gold Medal for Na Liu.   Men’s          Team won Silver medal;  Bronze Medals in Singles Event for Paul McCreery and Gav             Maguire.

–              Primary Schools International:  Gold in Girls Team, Boys & Girls Singles plus Silvers           in Boys Team & Girls Singles. Kate Whelan retained her Singles title: Owen Cathcart  won title for first time.

–              Women’s British League:  Promoted to Division One

–              UK Grand Prix: Paul McCreery again won Under 21 category; in 3rd place in Seniors with one event still to play

–              6 Nations Junior/Cadet Championships: Silver in Cadet Girls Team(Rebecca Finn & Katie McGlone); Bronzes in Cadet and Junior Singles for Katie McGlone & Hannah Lynch- Dawson;  Bronzes in Junior Girls & Cadet Boys

–              Katie McGlone: Considerable success in ITTF Hopes World/European events; Bronzes in Swedish Open & Slovakia Junior Open

Irish Senior Ranking Schemes:  Rob Cowan, Committee Chair, presented the Ranking Committee Recommendations for amendments to be made to the Senior Ranking Scheme for the next season following the analysis of feedback from members.  This item produced the longest discussion of the day, with a strong debate focused on the merits or otherwise of awarding participation points. While several competing views were presented, there was general consensus that there should be retention of participation points, but at a reduced level than is currently the case. Rob agreed to work with the Ranking Committee to incorporate the views of the meeting in to a revised ranking scheme proposal.

Sponsorships:  Butterfly have extended their  four year sponsorship period as kit suppliers to our elite international teams.Stiga remain a committed partner across a number of participation events and continue to assist greatly in the development of table tennis at grassroots level.

Child Protection:  Derek Hanley, in his report as National Children’s Officer, advised that Garda Vetting applications continue with 48 received in past year. This very necessary process now takes an average of over 16 weeks per application to be processed. He referred to the ongoing Policy Development and Review and to the  National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 which had been enacted and was awaiting a commencement date.  The introduction of the Children First Bill into law – would  have implications on how vetting and safeguarding is carried out within ITTA.  Derek undertook to provide advice on this during the next year

Para Table Tennis:  The integration of Para TT under the umbrella of ITTA is continuing to make good progress. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between IWA and ITTA with the support of Paralympics Ireland and this will form the basis of the transfer of governance over the coming years, with final transfer of all governance to be complete by Rio 2016 Olympics. ITTA has also applied for membership of PI.

Finally, the ITTA is delighted to confirm the appointment of an Associate Director to the Board  – Rena Rooney will advise on and represent the Para area within Irish Table Tennis.

Tommy Caffrey Trophy: This award of “Player of the Tournament” at the Senior/Under 21/Veterans Interpros was awarded to Keith Knox for his performances at the 2013 event at the David Lloyd Leisure Complex outside Belfast.

Colum Slevin Award:  This award was presented to  Paddy Vaughan  as the “Player of the Tournament” at the 2013 Junior/Cadet/Under 12 Interpros in Castlebar.


The following were elected:

President:                                     Mr Joseph Hickey

Finance Director:                       Vacant     

Performance Director:              Mr John McGlone     

International Director:            Mr Kenneth Strong

Participation Director:              Vacant

Human Resources Director:   Vacant

(Chair Mrs Pat Hunter, Coaching Director Mr Arthur Brett, and Marketing Director Mr Jamie McConkey were elected at 2012 AGM for a two-year period)

Vice Presidents:  Mr Tony Phillips MBE, Mr Tony Martin, Mr Pat O’Brien , Mr Ivan Shorten

Disciplinary Committee: Miss Anna Kelly,  Messrs  Con Higgins,  Ted Mahaffy and Alan Strong

Jury of Appeal:  Miss Kelly O’Hara, Messrs Noel Hitchcock, Paul Talini & Jimmy Wilson

ITTA Awards:

The following awards for 2012/13 were presented:

Ken Strong Male Coach of the Year:                    JIMMY HAYES

Anna Kelly Female Coach of the Year:                ANNE LUDLOW

Rhanbuoy Trophy Senior Male Player:               PAUL McCREERY

Eleanor McKee Trophy Senior Female Player:  TERESA DEVANEY

Billy Marshall Junior Award:                               KATIE McGLONE

Press Officer of the Year:                                     BRIAN FINN

Stiga Volunteer of the Year:                                 TERRI McKEON

Joe Veselsky Merit Award:                                   IVAN SHORTEN

ITTA Special Award:                                              NA LIU