• Mark Nicholls

Club Update June 20

As the governments lockdown is starting a ease, I would like to provide a quick update on current advice / guidance we have from Table Tennis England and the impact of Covid 19 on the club. At present, the only opportunity to play table tennis is in an outdoor environment (with social distancing) or if you are fortunate to have access to a table at your home. Over the lockdown period, outdoor table tennis tables have become hot property, with many suppliers selling out of available stock. I have seen some really creative setups to allow people to continue to practice over the lockdown period which has provided some light relief and amusement. I hope we do not find any relationship casualties as a result of our members bullying their partners on the home table. :p

Unfortunately at the moment we have no idea when the club may reopen and return to some level of normality. What we do know is that our previous 'normal' state will not be immediately achievable and we envisage some changes to our setup to allow for reopening. Table Tennis England have issue guidance ( on a phased return to table tennis however the impact of this on the club will only become clear over time. The situation has already forced cancellation on all TTE events until the end of July (currently) with further disruption expected. This has forced a premature end to our Senior British League campaigns along with other events we hoped to run from the club.

Local leagues fixtures remain suspended at a time when we would normally be forming teams, in readiness for the following season. Local leagues committees appear to be largely waiting until the lockdown situation eases with little to no communication at present. Some leagues in other areas of the country have decided to conclude their seasons prematurely, however none of the local leagues we participate in have yet have confirmed approach. Based on the current situation being fluid, I suspect we will have little guidance on this until timescales associated with returning to the table are better known. This will undoubtedly result in a number of challenges for all clubs who participate in local leagues.

So What does this all mean and what can we expect when the club reopens?

Unfortunately, no one in the club can really answer this question at the moment. The suspension of club activities has already thrown our normal summer activities into chaos and in present state, we do not envisage being able to run any summer league fixtures this year. Based on the information provided by Table Tennis England, I suspect our first opportunity to resurrect activities may be through preplanned 1-2-1 sessions / coaching due to restricted numbers being enforced. As soon as we have any idea or concept for when and how we can return to some level of normality, we will certainly communicate it.

Finally though...

The Covid19 lockdown has impacted us all and I truly hope our members are all fit and well at this time. Although the lockdown is there to protect us and 'stay safe', please give a thought for both your own and others mental health during the lockdown. I know from speaking to a number of our members that people are missing the sport but more so, missing the people that make our club so unique and special. Therefore I would generally encourage people to make that bit of effort and reach out to your friends from the club who you are currently not able to see in person. That message, phone call, video call will generally be well received so why not give it a go? If people need help connecting with other members of the club, please get in touch with one of the clubs coaches and we will endeavour to connect people.

I will communicate further information in the coming weeks / months as we know more about the impact of Covid19 on our club activities and how we may return to normality.

Stay safe!

Mark Nicholls

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