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TABLE TENNIS: League creates talent pathway
6:20pm Monday 9th June 2014 in Sport
THE Frank Reynolds Institute played host to the Weymouth & District League AGM.
And, as well as reflecting on the last 12 months, those present were informed of the league’s plans for the next year.
Chairman Neil Hardisty, retiring treasurer Steve Rook and development officer/secretary Andy Millar all spoke at the annual meeting, while president Brian Copp presented the competition trophies.
Rook reported that the league is in a healthy financial position and that a grant of £9,600 from Sport England had all but been spent on developing the sport for junior players in the area.
He spoke about the pathway that the league had created for youngsters to progress through the ranks.
He thanked Sai Maganti, Kailan Deadman-Spall, Trevor Dead-man-Spall, Alec Brown, Andy Crouch and Lee Stainer for their help.
And he gave special thanks to the senior youth players – Lily Cherry, Tom Cherry, Sam Millar, Ben Graham, Brad Burroughs, Jamie Blair, Will Jolliffe and Ethan Gear – who volunteer their time to help the younger ones.
Millar also expressed the league’s gratitude towards the Taylor and Burke families and Dot and Heather Dowell for their sponsorship support.
With Millar stepping down as secretary the league is desperately looking for someone to fill the role.
Malcolm Smith is the league’s new treasurer and Stephen Blair has taken over from the former as press officer.
As well as giving awards to the teams that performed the best this year, the president also presented the Mainstop Trophy to Rook.
The accolade is given to any member the committee has deemed to have given the most to the sport during the past year or more – Rook retires as treasurer after 19 years in the post.
Also at the meeting, the following plans were made for 2014-15:
- Another year at All Saints has been agreed and the number of training sessions will be increased.
- A new process of putting together a funding bid for schools to develop further, to be looked at this month.
- Expanding training opportunities, particularly to younger players and girls.
- Introducing a regional training venue in Weymouth which feeds into Christchurch.
- Continuing to help schools deliver table tennis in curriculum time and after-school clubs.
- Working with Table Tennis England to introduce new initiatives.
- Introducing a new National Junior League side at under-18 level.
- Expanding the coaching team.
- Holding table tennis events again at the Weymouth beach festival (July 26-27).
ROLL OF HONOUR
- Four teams in the National Cadet League (Weymouth A finished third in Division One).
- A key link with Rowden Fullen at Bourne-mouth Sports to compete in the Bournemouth Junior League.
- County cadet and junior representation – April Heasman, Snigdha Maganti, Ben Graham and Jamie Blair (Dorset under-15s), and Lily Cherry (under-18s).
- Dorset Schools’ individual tournament – top three placing in every event entered and Lily Cherry qualified for the National Schools Championships by winning the girls’ under-16 competition.
- Dorset Schools’ team events – Budmouth girls’ under-16s and Wey Valley Girls under-13s qualified for the South West zonal and regional finals as Dorset champions. The Budmouth boys’ teams reached the semi-finals.
- English Nationals qualifying – Jamie Blair qualified for the under-12 national finals.
- Weymouth Schools’ Individual Championship – Ben Graham (u16), Ben Hannigan (u13), Tom Lydford (u11), Lily Cherry (u16), April Heasman (u13) and Rosa Mckechnie (u11) were the winners.
- Increased entry into other national competitions.
- Schools’ Junior League – Budmouth retained the Ron Burke Memorial Trophy.
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