May 2022 Issue
Well, we are back! It has been a really difficult period since our last Newsletter in 2020. In that period we have experienced a significant time of closure due to covid 19, and just at a time when things were starting to develop following the acquisition of our new home in the summer of 2019! It is almost like starting again. As a result of the pandemic we sadly lost a few members, but gradually that is changing and new people are coming to us now on a regular basis. We have also seen an amazing leap in our junior numbers, which is really encouraging. We are very grateful to our loyal regulars who have supported the club through thick and thin. A fully summary of the year can be found in the Secretary's annual report, which is repeated below. We are now looking forward to moving on with a vision of consolidation and growth. We do hope that you will want to journey with us.
This is a combined report, with contributions from our Property Manager, Social Secretary and Junior Activators.
What a year! It has been a little like beginning again!
When we re-opened again on the 17 May 2021 following the closures caused by corona virus it was essential that we begin straight away the process of re-building and encouraging our members back to activity. We also had to start the process of preparing for a new table tennis season, having missed a whole season due to the virus. It has not been an easy journey.
Here I think it is really important to pay tribute first to our people. We have an amazing team of volunteers at Marine. This was exemplified and emphasised by one of our volunteers obtaining a Volunteer of the Year recognition from Table Tennis England, I am of course referring to our very own, Keith Hardman. A very deserving award, which absolutely emphasizes the quality of the volunteers that we are privileged to have.
I would also like to pay tribute to you, the members; because the good news was, that when we did re-open, gradually you returned to the club! And have continued to loyally support the club since.
Over the summer of 2021 to get people playing again we were able to restart daytime social table tennis, we were also able to run our club tournament in small groups, culminating with a grand final’s night in August, won by our 1st team captain, Dermot Tierney. To prepare for a new league season we were also able to operate a Marine Mini League involving 6 teams who each played 10 matches over as many weeks and also a cup competition for teams in the Mini League. With Andrew Armstrong’s team doing the double.
To further promote the fact that we were open again we held two highly successful open weekends, which attracted a lot of interest in the club, and we have been delighted to welcome new members.
The autumn brought two highlights of the year! For the first time the club applied to operate a TTKidz programme. TTKidz is a Table Tennis England programme aimed at introducing children aged between 7 – 11 to table tennis. Jenny Givens & Ian Brownrigg led on this and trained to be Activators for this programme. And what a fabulous success the programme was. Fully subscribed, with a high octane, fun programme provided by the team – Jenny, Ian, Lesley, Bob Wolstenholme (who trained to be the on-hand first aider), Colin Mitchell, Ian McElwee and Steve McCormick (who has himself trained this year to be a L1 session coach). This programme is just 8 weeks long. So, the next thing was, what to offer the children after the course?
Because of this course we are now offering 3 after school junior coaching sessions (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and also a Teens session on a Friday evening, with some of our teens going on to compete in the Liverpool League. This is a truly amazing achievement for a club such as ours, whose niche up to now has been the provision of daytime social table tennis for the ‘more mature’ adult! We now have around 40 juniors playing table tennis at the club each and every week!
I said there were two highlights of the autumn. The second was the resumption of league table tennis in the Liverpool League. Due to the impact of covid and some player losses we were only able to field 6 teams in the league for the 2021/22 season, the lowest number for some time. But I am delighted that one of them was a junior team, the second time we have been able to include a junior team in the League. Not only that, but I am delighted to be able to report that the junior team achieved the runners-up spot in Div 5 this season. More about all the teams will appear in our end of year Newsletter which will be available shortly. I would like to say a very big thank you to all the team captains for the way they have managed their teams.
In the league, we struggled a little in the respective Divisional Cup competitions, but our Div 4 team did reach the semi-final of their cup competition.
But I can report that we had much more success in the Liverpool League, Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup competition. For the fourth time in 9 seasons two Bath Street teams made it through to the final. Played at Marine, the final was an excellent match which a number of you will have watched. It was won in style by our all-1st division team led by Dermot Tierney, of Clare Peers, Colin Turner & himself. In the last 10 years our club has now won this trophy 6 times!
One of the significant impacts of covid was its effect on the social life of our club! But with the gradual lifting of restrictions in 2021 we were at last able to hold social occasions once again. Two excellent events were held in December. The Social Night at Marine starring Elvis Presley! A complete sell out. And an excellent Christmas Dinner at the Royal Hotel. Whilst table tennis is our main objective and focus it is great to be able to say that there is far more to this club than just table tennis. All credit to our social team, ably led by our Social Secretary, the tireless Keith Hardman. Keith and Bernard make a great duo when it comes to these social occasions. And thank you for supporting them.
Talking of December, we were delighted to be able to offer some teenagers from Holy Family High School in Thornton facilities for a day out from school! I think we had something like 35 teens in two sessions visit us for some light-hearted table tennis. It was quite a challenge, and I am very grateful to those who helped manage that occasion!
The New Year has brought further new developments for the club. We were introduced to the Sefton Children’s University. The Children’s University promotes out of school activities for primary school aged children, so Bath Street Marine has become a Learning Destination. Any children who participate in the CU programme and who attends a junior coaching session at Marine can have their learning passport stamped to show their engagement in out of school affiliated activities. Through our participation in this programme, we were put in touch with a local primary school, Lander Road Primary, in Litherland. So, now some of our TTKidz team, led by Jenny & Ian are going back to school! We are currently running a 6-week introduction to table tennis programme in the school.
We don’t yet know what the outcome of that will be. Whether the school will continue to offer table tennis as an after-school club, or whether any of the children taking part will be sufficiently enthused that they want to start attending a table tennis club. We certainly plan to advertise one excellent club they could look at! And a further opportunity has also arisen out of the involvement with the CU. Recently the TTKidz team were able to attend a school fayre, at Hope Rimrose Church of England primary school in Seaforth, which showcased to parents and children many of the local out of school activities that might interest the children, including table tennis!
We are a very privileged club! A thriving and growing youth section, a strong competitive league playing contingent, and a vibrant and growing social table tennis section. Although we have had a few losses of members over the last year it is encouraging that we still have an adult membership of nearly 90. And capacity for more. We could not do this if it wasn’t for the excellent facilities we have. It is hard work maintaining facilities such as these and keeping them open and available 7 days a week. We have had a few issues with the building over this period. Issues with the roof perhaps being the most significant! And here I pay tribute to our property management team, once again led by,,,,, yes, you’ve guessed it, Keith Hardman. It is appropriate to also recognise the efforts of the housekeeping team, led by Lesley Blanchard, who have worked tirelessly to keep the inside of the building clean and fresh. This has been so important over these covid times.
So, what of the future? In my opinion, we should continue to drive forward to show that we are open (not just to members), Inclusive, accessible and diverse. We need to try and optimise the use of our premises, and especially seek to grow weekend use. There is a need for fresh blood to develop and grow our agenda for junior, social, and competitive table tennis and extend the range of our offering. We need to increase the number of active, qualified coaches to build on the excellent development work that has occurred in this past year or so. And, we need to continue to show that there is more to our club than just table tennis, that we are an inclusive body interested in the mental and physical well being of all of our members and any others who come through our doors; offering welcome, friendship, social engagement as well as healthy physical activity at a level best suited to individual needs.
In my view, these are big ambitions, but this is a big club! This is not a time to sit back and pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘well done’. Better we say, ‘let’s go on’ there is more to do, this great club can be even better and with your positive help and support big ambitions can be achieved.
Audited accounts for the year to 30 April 2022 were presented to the Club AGM and approved by it. The Treasurer's full report on those accounts can be found in the Minutes of the AGM, and a copy of the accounts can be obtained from the Club Secretary. The accounts show a surplus for the year of £6,815 after the addition of a further £7,000 to the property fund and refunds due to the covid closures of £4,484. The Treasurer was pleased to say that, despite the restrictions which were still in place during a large period of the year due to the pandemic, the club is in a sound financial state.
Ron Georgeson Memorial Trophy
The 2020/21 Club Tournament was held over the summer of 2021 in small groups due to covid restrictions. With Finals Night at Marine on the 18 August 2021. Despite the piecemeal approach it was an excellent event with the only disappointment being that no doubles contest was allowed. A full report can be found under News Stories. The winners were:
Ron Georgeson Trophy:
Winner: Dermot Tierney
Runner-Up: Graham Turner
Winner: Euan Mason
Runner-Up: Keith Dudley
Liverpool & District Table Tennis League - 2021/22 Season
With covid 19 still very much around, the Liverpool League took the brave decision to resume league play! The Club was only able to enter 6 teams into the League for the 2021/22 season, but were also able to offer a home venue to Anfield 1stTeam, effectively meaning that 7 teams were able to play from Marine. All also took part in the respective Divisional trophies. In addition the Club entered 6 teams into the Frank Murphy Memorial Trophy (the Veterans Handicap Cup). Each division was reduced to 10 teams and there were 5 divisions altogether, a report on each of the club's teams is below.
1st Team (Div 1)
Members: Dermot Tierney (Cap't), Clare Peers, Keith Williams & Colin Turner
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
5 18 10 7 97 83 97
Team Captain, Dermot Tierney, says, “After a long absence due to the pandemic, we formed back much the same! A team of Dermot Tierney (Captain), Clare Peers and Keith Williams but with the addition of Colin Turner joining from the old BSM A team. The team was run as a four-person rotating team throughout the season. Even before the season started, on paper it was somewhat predictable how the season might go for the 1st team. The top three teams in the division of Crosby High Jnr, Merseyside Police and Maghull, with high quality players throughout, would compete for the top three places. It was likely that our team would again fight it out with Jaguar Land Rover for 4th & 5th place. JLR had also strengthened their team with Mal McEvoy returning to the team for this season.
We started the season with a great 8-2 home win against JLR. Clare and Keith taking all three of their games. After this our games generally went in a predictable pattern, losing against the top three teams and mostly winning against all other teams. The exception was a draw game with Bootle, due to player availability. What sealed our fate and left us with 5th place was an 8-2 loss away to JLR in the return fixture.
Overall, I think a steady season for the 1st team. Looking forward? The goal would be a better showing against the top 4 teams, which the team is more than capable of.”
A Team (Div 1)
Members: Brian Crolley (Cap't), Barry Davis, Mal Kent and Colin Mitchell
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
5 18 7 10 85 95 85
Captain Crolley reports, "the “A” TEAM consisted of Barry Davis, Mal Kent, Colin Mitchell with Brian Crolley as Captain and 1st reserve. The team played well all season and only needed to use the captain as a reserve on a few occasions. Ray Hibbs also played 1 match for us at the last-minute, all the way from Southport. Thank you, Ray. These occasions were caused by holiday commitments, and a few Covid related problems! We were fortunate to be able to sign Barry and he proved to be our best player. But he was well backed up by Mal and Colin. Even the captain won a few matches, much to the surprise of everybody! Can I just highlight the wonderful conditions that we play in at Marine? We all love it, and I have to say so do our opponents! The conditions also seem to bring out the best behavior of both home and away players! I think that this is very important. I congratulate the Committee, and our Secretary Graham Turner, on what they have done for us this season. Thank you also to the Liverpool District Table Tennis League, for getting us all playing again, they deserve a mention!“
B Team (Div 2)
Members: Dave Stoddern (Cap't), Euan Mason, Dave McMahon, Dave Noden & Ken Jackson .
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
9 18 3 12 70 110 70
We started the season with confidence with a solid 5-5 draw against Harold House, which included a great 3 from Dave N. The second match, at eventual champions East Wavertree, proved costly when we lost Dave Mc to injury until early February, a costly miss. Although we fought back with a couple of good wins, it was then made worse by the loss of Euan because of his A levels, just as he was starting to find his form at this higher level with several great 5 setters. The lowest point of the season came during this time when, having only one player available and no subs, we had to concede a match; the first time this has ever happened to a team I have been involved with! The new year, however, brought new optimism by the return to competitive table tennis of Ken Jackson, whose first game was probably the best one we have seen, when winning in the 5th set 12-10 from being 10-4 down. Having Dave Mc back meant we had 4 players again, only for us to then lose Dave N for the rest of season! We plugged away with Ken winning most of his games, Dave Mc & Dave S picking up the odd ones, and Fred Bainbridge coming in for a good double at CADWA. We also found a few good doubles wins with Dave Mc teaming up with Ken, some very close exciting games. We were always just ahead of Merseyside Police A, who were in the final relegation spot, but they brought their big guns back for the last few games and overtook us at the death. So, we finished 2nd bottom, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. We had a couple of decent runs in both Divisional & Vets Cups, but all in all, a very frustrating season. I would like to thank all my teammates for their support. I would also like to thank Andrew Armstrong for his continued support both on and off the table.
Below, the members of the 1st Team: Clare Peers, Keith Williams & Dermot Tierney. With Colin Turner joining the top team for the first time.
Effectively a new team to Div 2, the A team of Barry Davis, Mal Kent, Colin Mitchell and Cap't Brian Crolley.
A tough year for the B Team, where player losses had such a significant impact. The return of Ken Jackson late in the season making a big difference.
C Team (Div 4)
Members: Andrew Armstrong (Cap't), Sam Pierce, Steve Rees, Keith Dudley & Mark Benson.
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
3 18 12 5 121 59 121
Andrew reports "in any other season this group of players looked like a winning team at this level. The return to league play of Sam Pierce and Steve Rees adding real strength to the squad. Indeed, playing at No.1, Sam finished the season unbeaten! A tremendous achievement. He will certainly be ready to play at a higher-level next season. But this season division 4 had some extremely strong players in it, and two other outstanding teams in the form of Crosby High C and Wavertree Labour D. Despite close battles with both our team were unable to get the better of either, leaving us in third place overall. Everyone contributed to the team’s performances, and it was great to see Steve making quite an improvement as the season went on. We also did well in the divisional cup, reaching the semi-final, where once again we came up against the top side, Crosby High C, with the same outcome! Overall a very enjoyable season albeit with a slightly disappointing outcome!"
D Team (Div 5)
Members: Graham Turner (Cap't), Henry Sinker, Ellis Parry, Eleanor Sinker, Luca Bonato, Daniel Duncan, Rory Downing & Isobell Boyd.
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
2 18 11 3 108 72 108
What a season! And what a privilege to be able to operate a ‘junior’ team in the League! To encourage junior players the Liverpool League makes it possible for a team, that satisfies the conditions to be classified as a ‘junior’ team, to play all of its matches at their home venue and allows play on two tables where space permits to try and ensure the match finishes at a reasonable time for junior players. That of course has an advantage for the team, but there are also disadvantages! For example, the fact that young, inexperienced, junior players must face adults, and often far more experienced players every week! The juniors really rose to the challenge this season, despite 4 members of the squad experiencing league play for the very first time! To say this team exceeded expectations would certainly be an understatement! The effort everyone put in is best demonstrated by the outcome in the doubles matches, where the team won 24 out of 36 doubles sets, including 7 occasions when we won both doubles, and only 1 occasion when we won none of the doubles! There were some excellent individual performances throughout the team. Every week Henry had to face the opposing No.1 – and there were some very good No.1’s in division 5 this season. He kept his head up throughout, and by the end of the season was not only matching them but also picking up wins. An overall average of just below 50% was an excellent achievement. Playing lower down the order, Ellis and Luca were both able to pick up wins and the team were helped by cameo appearances from Eleanor, Daniel & Rory. I am also grateful to our youngest squad member Isobell. Although she didn’t play this season, on more than one occasion she was on standby at the last minute, ready to play, when it seemed an expected team member may be unable to play for one reason or another. Every member of the squad was a credit to the club and to their families, who provided tremendous support over the season. And what of the outcome? There was a clear winning team to the division and a clear bottom team! The other 8 teams were divided effectively into two groups of 4. Four teams battled it out for the runner-up spot, of which the junior team was one. Somehow, they just managed to get their noses in front in the final two matches of the season. Just 3 points separating the teams vying for second spot, and top of those 4 was the D Team! An amazing effort and an excellent achievement.
E Team (Div 5)
Members: Keith Hardman (Cap't), Dave Aimson, Steve McCormick, Stuart Reid, Tony Rimmer, Sue Young, Ian Brownrigg, Bernard Cooney, Bobby Vint, Robert Wolstenholme, Tony Mitchell, Martin Joyce & Jenny Givens.
Position in Div P W L SF SA Pts
9 18 5 10 72 108 72
Captain Keith says, "As Captain of our E team I would like to congratulate all of our players who have contributed to our best season so far in Div5. We used quite a few players throughout the season due to one thing or another and the players that have stepped in showed how they have improved over the season. We managed to accumulate our highest points tally since I’ve captained the squad over the last 4 years. Well done to every player. We may not be the best team in the league, but we have really enjoyed the spirit among the team and have made every visiting team to Marine welcome. With so many players to choose from it is often difficult to know who to select for each match! The addition of Dave Aimson to our squad has made a real difference and he has given strong support to Steve at the top of the order which helped us pick up additional points. We also pulled off some really good doubles results and have been competitive in every match we played. A most enjoyable season."
Who is who?
And to finish with here is a mini picture quiz for you!
See if you can answer these ???
Which of these team captains led his team to success in both the Marine Mini-League and Cup, 3rd place in his Liverpool League Division and a Divisional Cup semi-final?
Which junior, after playing league table tennis for the first time in 2021/22 decided life might be better in Florida (his Dad did some great video recording for us, we really miss both!)?
Which team captain won the club tournament for the first time in 2021?
Below the members of the C Team, a very strong line-up, but in what proved to be an exceptionally strong division this season.
Our juniors played well beyond expectations this season, and showed real improvement, quality and nerve! Excellent, sporting, behavior throughout the season and tremendous support from family. We were really sorry to lose Luca, who, with his family moved to Florida! We have asked for a team visit to his new home!! Somehow, the girls seem to be missing from our pictures!?
Below: Some of the regulars for the E Team!
And last ?
This team captain, celebrated a special birthday, and won an award as a Table tennis England Volunteer of the Year?