Table Tennis Invite
Thursday 14th January 2016 @ 16:19 by Mark Phillip

Table tennis is emerging as one of Glossop’s fastest growing sports with more young players than ever taking up the game.

The Glossop and District League is holding its annual closed championships at St Philip Howard Sports Centre on Sunday.

The vast majority of the teen-agers taking part will have been introduced to the sport by paid head coach Denis Bradshaw and his
assistant Barry Fordham.

Both run the Saturday afternoon Glossop Table Tennis Club coaching sessions (2-4pm) at the St Mary’s Road academy.

League development officer Mike Flynn has seen the rapid development in the league and table tennis generally since the club began.

He said: “It is the only Table Tennis England Premier Club in the area.

“It is a feeder club for the league, although it is totally independent from the league and is run by the committee.”

The club grew, with the help of a £5,000 grant, from a table tennis school of excellence.

But the club is forever raising money to keep it totally operational.

Although there was some coaching in the past, there was often a difficulty getting players into league clubs. That’s now all but disappeared with players graduating to set-ups such as Glossop Band Room TTC where the emphasis is very much on youth.

Glossop Table Tennis Club, voted Derbyshire Club of the Year two years ago, also encourages players to take part in outside tournaments.

Saturday afternoon sessions, although heavy with young developing players, are open to all ages and abilities.

Denis stresses he does not set out to radically alter an established player’s game, just show them how to improve it.

The demise of youth clubs where 30 or 40 years ago youngsters learned table tennis, had meant fewer young players joining the league in the 1980s and 90s.

Now they are, with the Glossop league also attracting teams from Hyde, Romiley, Stalybridge, Hollingworth and Strines.

Spectators are welcome at Sunday’s championships, which runs between 9am-4pm, and there will be plenty of people willing to talk about the joining the three-division league or the club.