BTTAD would like to hear the views of its members. Any comments or suggestions will be placed below with a response from the Chairman on behalf of the committee.
Suggestions and Replies from July 2013
What about hardbat table tennis?. It is just a suggestion but would bring out the technical players instead of people relying on an expensive rubber.
An interesting idea but at present, would it be practical to run it in within a tournament? Making time for it would be difficult as well as the problem of athletes having to adapt between the two events.
More likely to be effective as a stand alone event if anyone is prepared to organise and fund it.
Training/Practise up north and down south – I am not sure if BTTAD will buy this idea now because after giving it a good chew over, there is the development camp and then the elite squad which is ran and controlled by BTTAD in Sheffield but it is still my suggestion to rotate it to ones in a while up north and then the next time down south. There are players who are not in the development camp or the elite squad like myself who are still members of BTTAD so being able to have regional or zonal training/practise day/weekend camps will be good. I will be more than happy to do organising at my door step if needs be.
It is important to remember what the role of BTTAD is. BTTAD is responsible to UK Sport for the organisation of the UK Disability Table Tennis World Class Performance Programme. The funding received from UK Sport must be used to maximise the number of medals won at the World Championships and Paralympics. The Performance Squads run in Sheffield by BTTAD are part of that World Class Programme in accordance with the centralisation policy funded by UK Sport.
The BTTAD will support the development of disability table tennis in the United Kingdom in co-operation with Disability Sports Organisations and any other relevant agency and the National Governing Bodies for table tennis whose role it is to develop the grass roots. Shaun Marples, is our newly appointed Performance Pathway coach responsible for the links with such bodies but not to do the grass root development. In the case of England, the ETTA have set up Regional Squads containing a mixture of adult and junior players. Talk to the Regional Coaching Officer or contact Judy Rogers at ETTA.
If BTTAD members wanted to, players could organise and self -fund their own weekend or day training camps . The important thing is to ensure that all the costs are covered. BTTAD can’t help with costs for this out of its subscription income or the WCP funding.
Tournaments – There was some partnership/integration mentioned about 2 to 3 years ago now about hosting a tournament in Scotland but nothing has developed ever since. We need more than 2 tournaments a year, we want more tournaments for our money, this will give us more competitive experience that most of us lack because we cannot afford to pay thousands of pounds to attend international tournaments.
It is important to remember that BTTAD only have responsibility to run the annual National Championships. The BTTAD Nationals at present run at a deficit of around £1500. This cost to BTTAD is at present being covered by the Michael Hawkesworth Legacy but that fund will not last forever, especially if reduced by around £1500 each year. The DSE and Mencap Championships cost the organisations at least that each time an event is run. More tournaments are being organised with disability sports organisations and a calendar of events for people with disabilities will be available shortly on the BTTAD, ETTA and disability sports organisations websites.
Table Tennis Voucher award with or without medals – This will serve as an even more incentive for competitors, create that even more competitive edge, an even more fighting spirit when it comes to medal/prize matches from the semis onwards in all categories. Our equipments are not getting cheaper so this will assist in some of the costs we incur with travelling, hotel, Carer and Equipment costs. I personally feel that the BTTAD Ranking list counts for nothing, it is not used for any form of selection by the GB selection committee to invite players to attend international tournaments so winning and being number one on the BTTAD ranking list will not guarantee a place in the development camp or in the elite squad. Voucher/Prize at tournament might just compensate a little for this.
Table Tennis vouchers may seem attractive but who pays for them? Any sponsorship obtained would likely to first be used to cut the costs to the organisation. Medals are less expensive and more practical considering the numbers involved. At the 2013 BTTAD nationals, a total of 103 medals were awarded to athletes who reached the final or the semi-finals in all categories of the events run.
Re the Ranking List, the selectors do use it as an indicator of up and coming players. The aim is always to make it more accurate as regards playing standard. For the WCP squad, it is true that the Ranking list is not taken into account. That is because the ITTF ParaTT Ranking only applies to Para TT events. Unfortunately, the BTTAD have had difficulty in finding someone to take over from Peter Taylor the production of the BTTAD Ranking List . It is currently being worked on as a priority and will be on BTTAD website and sent to all members as soon as possible.