Brighton Table Tennis Club can play again - but they've been busier than ever through lockdown
At last! ‘Limited play’ can resume at Brighton Table Tennis Club.
A spokesman said: “It has to be a staged process, carefully controlled. Members have already been playing outdoors recently, offering free coaching at tables across the city, and in particular the new summer venture on The Level which is a resounding success.
“Next to the club, our own tables are staffed with a coach in club kit providing a confident image and projection that helps optimism and well-being in the direct community.
“Although it has been a difficult time of no revenue and staffing costs, with further expenses for keeping our club safe, we have tried to respond with true BTTC imagination to support and reach out to our players and community.
“From the start of lockdown, because of the sense of insecurity and fearfulness which we knew would take time to reconcile, we wanted to try to provide reassurance combined with a sense of fun.
“Always pro-active with ideas, we pride ourselves on being an innovative and rapid response club and so we were first off the mark to create a Food Hub, using our volunteers and our established partnership with the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Fareshare Sussex, Sussex Gleaning Network, The Real Junk Food Project Brighton, Brighton Food Factory and Brighton and Hove City Council.
“We were one of the first clubs to try to keep our community together during this time through online means. Our Daily Show for BTTC members allowed us to be together, and to be silly, caring and creative In one fun distracted hour; the perfect antidote to self isolation and which also allowed us to invite table tennis legends like Will Bayley, Tin Tin Ho, Paul Drinkhall, David Wetherill as well as local heroes Mark Steel and Paul Richards with others to join us for a Q&A slot.
“Currently on our 90th Show, additional and linked workshops of yoga, keep fit and music enhance this provision throughout the week, making it a lifeline for our vulnerable players especially, we are told, as well as keeping our club community close.
“Making a big impact too have been our own postcards with vibrant photos of the club players which we have sent to people who we know are isolated, in order to keep in touch and make them still feel a part of things. They have been a particular hit with our prisoner player colleagues.
“Locally, we have provided bats and ball to our nearby primary schools, and a number of local charities, recently so that they are well equipped for table tennis when they return.
“Accompanying these are sheets with 50 bat and balls skills that have been created through every session of the Daily Show and with a YouTube link showing them demonstrated by a BTTC coach for schools to use immediately.
“Coming back to our club home, newly cleaned and decorated, is a very special time for us all and we have great plans for new community developments alongside the thrill of playing together once more. We look forward to seeing you there. Guidelines to follow.”