Tag: sport

Former Olympian Desmond Douglas in support of PenkhullTTC’s open day

Table Tennis legend Desmond Douglas believes that more and more table tennis clubs should be following the example set by PenkhullTTC’s open day in their attempt to get more people into the sport.

On Saturday March 29th the former Olympian and 11 time English National Champion attended the club’s open day as a special guest, hoping to pass on some valuable advice to attendees.IMG_0408[1]

And despite being in support of the open day and what PenkhullTTC is trying to achieve, Douglas admitted it wasn’t normally an event he would attend:

“It’s not something I would normally do. I usually coach in the regional areas at a slightly higher level.

“This has been sort of a one off thing for me as it’s normally the regional coaches who would attend open days like this.”

“Though without a doubt, I think you need more open days and events like this one to show people that table tennis is a fantastic sport and that they should come along and see if they enjoy it.” He added.

“You can never really tell whether how an open day is going to go when you consider there may be some other activities going on in the area, but I think the turnout has been pretty good, and I think it’s been quite a good day.

“There’s been a little bit of promise from what I’ve seen today, and it depends on whether they carry on playing or get involved in another sport.”

Douglas took part in a demonstration session at the beginning of the day where he went through a number of playing techniques and then held a number of one on one sessions with both kids and adults.IMG_0424

And the former World no.7 and European no.3 felt events similar to PenkhullTTC’s can increase the profile of the sport in local areas such as Staffordshire:

“Table Tennis is a fantastic sport, anybody from any sort of background can come along and just try it if they haven’t already.

“You never know they might like it, they might not, but at least you’ve given them the opportunity.”

“There’s a lot of other sports that can be expensive to get involved in, whereas for table tennis all you need is a table, some paddles and you can try it out.”

Our interview with Desmond can be seen by clicking here:

Highlights of the day can be seen by clicking here:

Penkhull Table Tennis Club Open day: 29th March 10am-1pm

Penkhull Table Tennis Club are holding an open day on March 29th, as they aim to encourage more youngsters to play table tennis and boost the sport’s popularity within Staffordshire.


The open day will be held at the club’s home venue, Clayton Business and Language College and take place between 10am and 1pm.


On the day, a number of the club’s coaches will be offering helpful playing tips as well as running various fun games for attendees to play.


To round off the event, there will also be a tournament for attendants to enter and put into practise the skills they’ve learnt from the day.


Penkhull TTC are also excited to announce that 11 time English Table Tennis Champion and former Olympian Desmond Douglas will be attending the event.


Since Desmond’s retirement, he has continued his involvement in table tennis, coaching throughout the country and training some of England’s most exciting prospects.


Following the club’s move to their new venue in November 2013, they have been trying to boost membership numbers over the past few months.


And Penkhull TTC chairman Robert Rhodes sees the open day as the perfect opportunity to entice more people to join the club:


“When we moved to the venue we are at now, we lost quite a lot of members and most of them were juniors.” He said.


“This open day will hopefully attract more youngsters to pick up a paddle and play table tennis and hopefully continue playing with club.


“Whilst we’d love to get more junior members, if we can get more kids playing table tennis and getting involved in the sport then it will have been a success.” He added.


“We really want to boost the popularity of this great sport and increase the levels of participation in the county of Staffordshire.”


The English Table Tennis Association is fully supportive of the club’s open day and is providing an array of equipment for the club to use.


They are also offering up some freebies for those that attend and providing a number of prizes for the tournament.


And ETTA West Midlands Regional Development Manager Chris Newton believes the open day will aid the profile of table tennis in Staffordshire:


“It will be a fantastic occasion, and it will be great to see the profile of table tennis grow as a result of PenkhullTTC’s open day.


“Table Tennis is a sport that can be played by anyone of any age, but it will good to see more youngsters get involved.


“The ETTA is fully in support of PenkhullTTC’s open day and I’m sure it will prove to be a great success.”


For any further information about the open day contact Tom Keating via email: tom.keating@hotmail.co.uk or via mobile: 07917 835 073