The Guernsey Table Tennis Association’s (GTTA) development programme has received a welcome start to the season after it agreed a new two year sponsorship extension with Deutsche Bank.
The new deal, which is worth a total of over £10,000 over the next two years, runs until the end of the 2015/16 season and means that Deutsche Bank, which first established a relationship with the GTTA in 2004, will be supporting table tennis development continuously in Guernsey for over a decade.
The announcement coincides with the development squad’s recent success in the opening games of the 2013/14 season in the Junior British League (12th and 13th October). Two Junior Boys teams from Guernsey played in the season opener in Lilleshall, which involved over 300 junior players from all over the UK. Competing in Division 3, ‘Deutsche Bank Guernsey 1’ (Alex Robinson, Lawrence Stacey and Joshua Stacey) finished the weekend top of the table, whilst ‘Deutsche Bank Guernsey 2’ (Joshua Butler, Sam King and Ben Foss) took second position in Division 4 after the opening fixtures. The next round of Junior British League matches takes place in February 2014.
The GTTA has developed a robust development plan over the years, which has guided a number of players from beginner to island standard within only a few years. This was demonstrated in 2010 when three of those who had come through the programme competed in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, something that it is hoped will be repeated for the games in Glasgow in 2014.
As part of the development programme for the coming year, young Guernsey players will be given the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the national and international game, with senior players attending up to seven events and juniors playing in up to five events during the year. In addition, they will also able to take part in one-off tournaments and training camps throughout the year, whilst this autumn will also see the launch of the first Junior Deutsche Bank Development Tournament.
Becks O’Keefe, GTTA Development Officer, said:
“Having Deutsche Bank as such a long term sponsor has enabled our development programme to grow significantly over the years. Their renewed backing is extremely welcome news at the start of the season, giving us the stability we need to maintain our momentum. We had some fantastic results in the opening weekend of the Junior British League, made all the more impressive as it was our players’ first experience of playing at that level, and we are also really excited about launching the new Junior Deutsche Bank Development Programme this autumn.”
Brian Conway, Head of Global Trust Solutions at Deutsche Bank, added:
“Deutsche Bank’s support of the GTTA started in 2004 and since then we have seen many young players come through the programme, develop as players, compete at the highest level and, most importantly, enjoy playing the sport. Thanks to the hard work of the GTTA, the success of the development programme is phenomenal and we hope to see this continue over the coming months. The programme is all about making opportunities available to our young people, and with that in mindI’m delighted that we have been able to extend our support for a further two years.”