The people behind Corby’s newest table tennis club say they have surpassed all expectations after celebrating its first anniversary.
Corby Smash TTC, based in Marconi Courtyard in Brunel Road, has seen more than 600 visitors in its first year, including Corby Parliamentary candidate Tom Pursglove.
Colin Wilson, managing director at Corby Smash, said: “Our first year as a table tennis centre in Corby has been exhilarating and exhausting.
“Our club has achieved more in its first year than any other in England’s history.
“We could not have done this without the help of Table Tennis England, Corby Enterprise, Corby Leisure Services, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Corby Town Table Tennis Club in Kingswood.
“Tony West and Henry Arthur have been brilliant throughout in building the club and doing the coaching, and Sidney Wright has been a great female coach asset in our first year.
“We have hit more targets than we could have imagined in terms of using table tennis to create social benefits.
“We have more female players, disabled players, people losing weight who didn’t expect to, crime reduction, and so on. It’s been amazing.
“We also bought a trophy cabinet for ‘one day’ and we’ve already had to buy a second one to hold all the trophies that the kids have won.”
In a report outlining the club’s successes to date, the club says it has:
- trained three Paralympians for Tokyo 2020
- provided work experience placements for local pupils
- hosted regular after-school clubs and competitions
- seen a number of youngsters rocket up the England rankings
- won Division Two and Division Three in the Kettering and District Table Tennis League
- entered youngsters in national and regional competitions.
Mr Wilson, a former Commonwealth Games medallist, added that he wants to build the ‘best club in Europe’.
He said: “This year we are focusing even more on youth and on workplace table tennis, and creating feeder centres in local hubs around the Corby and Kettering areas.
“We hope Corby and district parents know now that we are able to support their parental aspirations by producing really confident, independent young people with very good mental strength and who are well-prepared to be successful in business one day with high employment prospects.
“As they train with us, the kids will often be recognised throughout Northamptonshire and England for their ability and achievements in our great sport, but the benefits to the young people are much wider than just sport.
“We now have a 10-year lease and we want to build the best club in Europe.
“We receive no funding for ongoing costs so we run day-to-day as a business. Let’s hope we can keep increasing our player base.
“Call us on 0333 566 0032 to see what we can do for you.”