TJS helps local community club

TJS helps local community club

It's an unfortunate reality that since the advent of COVID, local sports clubs throughout the UK have witnessed a massive decline in membership numbers. People, for whatever reason, are choosing not to get out and participate to anywhere near pre-pandemic levels, which in turn puts more pressure on clubs to balance the books and continue to survive.

Tetford Table Tennis Club has been established for many years, and whilst it too struggled with the challenges of COVID and social distancing once restrictions were eased, I'm pleased to report that they have continued to slowly grow in number.

With members ranging from age 15 up to 75+ there's a great range of ages and abilities. Club competitions are aplenty and there's always a lot of encouragement for the more experienced players to help pass on their skill and knowledge to the newer members.

To this end, there is no greater way to improve than by going back to basics. This is where I quickly understood the fundamental difference between 'Table Tennis' and 'Ping Pong'! 

Whereas Table Tennis tends to focus on the latest (and often very expensive) soft rubbers on the bat, generating incredible spin, 'Ping Pong' takes things back to its early Chinese origins, where simple wooden bats, sometimes with nothing on the faces ('hard bats' or 'sandpaper bats') are used to create a great 'leveller' of a game. With Ping Pong it's very difficult to generate a lot of spin like you can with a fancy rubber coated bat, so the player's skill has to come in other forms.

So, as a way to bring everyone's game along, the club looked to purchase some of these 'sandpaper bats' to encourage and nurture members' talent.

As the club adds so much to the local sense of community, the least TJS could do was to help provide a small token in the form of some much needed equipment!

Many members have now played for the first time with this very different discipline / style of play, and have confimed how much fun it is. Being such a great leveller, it's a great way to establish how much skill you've actually acquired over the years, rather than how your expensive rubber bat helped make you look good!