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Senior British League

I played my first competition (Senior British League) in possibly 5 years last weekend. It was the Championship Division (the second highest division in the country).

My team ‘Wymondham’ was struggling and I was asked to chip in, plus bring one of my star students to aid the team in survival from relegation.

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Senior British League


Table Tennis Tournament Facilities:

It was my first time at Sycamore table tennis club and I’m always happy to see dedicated clubs. But on this occasion, the club did not have the appropriate facilities to cater for such an event. Set in two small halls with a cramped feel was a shameful experience, for the Championship Division.

My player Gregoire who plays division 1 in France was in shock and expressed his thoughts:

  1. Two separate halls produced a poor environment & feel
  2. Cramped space disallowed for spectators
  3. Team spirit was poor; players unsupportive, players on their phones instead of watching and supporting teammates, players walking off after losing and not seen until it’s their turn to play!

It was very sad to witness and worse off to hear this from a foreign player.
I would like to see better playing conditions and a system which brings players together in a supportive manner, creating a team spirit throughout the event.

Can you make any suggestions?

To grow our sport, we need to find ways to develop and in order to do this, we must have an attractive seen for the youth to aspire towards.

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis 
Instagram: _elibaraty
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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Chris Raynwe

    I have been to all of this seasons Championship British League Weekends and the difference between the weekend held at Ormesby club and Sycamore club was substantial.
    Firstly I want to point out that I am biased on my view as I am an Ormesby member and parent of a player for Ormesby (13 year old Thomas Rayner) however that said I will try and be as impartial as I can be.
    The comments made by your Player Eli, reflect my own thoughts. Atmosphere for me is absolutely crucial to the matches as it is in any sport, seeing Haltons players singing at Ormesby and the fantastic Crowd supporting David Gofton when he beat Jamie Liu at Ormesby were the highlights for me (again I accept I am biased towards Ormesby) but everyone together battling it out and players seeing what’s going on in a match adjacent to them often drove people on. This for me was the key to a great weekend.
    There are some real positives at Sycamore, large car park, good lighting in hall with 3 tables, flooring, staff attitude was exceptional, nice tables etc but the two halls being separate for me is the downside as the conditions are so different with two floor types and one hall having “damper’ conditions compared to the other.
    Space is always tight at these events but for some matches we simply couldn’t get near to the table to support. As a parent I want to be there to support my Son and to encourage the team, we give up our weekends and sat for a long time in a Freezing cold canteen with no WiFi and unable to see much. That said I have enjoyed both my weekends at Sycamore and don’t want to discourage the club or put them down. Fair play to them for stepping up and holding it.
    Ormesby was originally selected for more weekends but I understand it is a longer way to travel for those coming from further afield. Wherever it is someone’s always unhappy at travelling but surely to me the benefits
    Of a large one hall venue outweights the extra travel.
    Maybe another central venue with a large hall is the answer. Interesting to hear others views on this topic.
    Finally one more issue which isn’t mentioned in the blog, give us a ball that doesn’t constantly break at the most crucial moment.
    All opinions are my own views

  2. Chris

    Hi, I help manage the centre so very useful to read these comments. I’m afraid there’s little we can do about there being two halls so I’m glad you found the things we can control of a good standard such as attitude of our volunteers, lighting, tables and flooring etc which were all considered as part of the building design. To have one large hall would have hugely exceeded the building budget. Jason and the other volunteers work very hard to put on a good event so I’m glad this has been recognised. I’m sorry you found the social area cold. We do have a heating system in there so please do mention it and we can put the heating on. The WiFi situation is tricky as it’s a school site but we are looking at options. Whilst people may not agree it’s a great venue for SBL championship it’s been a fantastic venue to grow the sport through more sessions, more children playing (90 local children played our junior league in there today) and a hub for the community as well as good partnerships. A fantastic resource for the sport I believe and the school deserve so much admiration for backing our sport.

  3. marcus

    My home is Germany but we face very similar issues ,be it youth or Senior leagues .
    I´m surprised that nobody really makes use of available online “live ” Tools to broadcast and distribute results as they happen .
    Today near everyone has a smartphone so it would be so easy to offer a Service to everyone sharing results ,make announcements during the Event , call up Players and what have you …without really adding much hassle to the organisers if they use this System as the communciation path anyways .This way around the inevitable reality of modern communication is part of the Sport and not a parallel world .Making statistics and Information available may motivate some of the Players to at least Focus more on the Sport during their presence at the sportsevent…Sadly in Germany all this is not happening as well ,instead of having easy Access to results one has to wait wait wait often days to see how others performed in tournaments and you have to guess instead of see how results of your Opposition is affecting your own path…tabletennis is simply way too oldschool in most every aspect …ur wonderful Sport Needs to embrace all the potential of Information and capturing Technology to bring itself in Position to Keep the Attention of those who are involved and attract new supporters and as important attract the youth .

    1. Chris Rayner

      Hi Marcus
      Great comments and find it really interested to hear your views of Germany. I would be particularly interested to hear the side you mention about communicating the results etc live during an event. This is something I try to achieve (probably not very well) when we have a home match in Premier British League match at Ormesby. Do you know the name of any software or websites to do this live broadcasting of tournament information.
      Best wishes

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