We wrote the first of these blogs way back on September 3rd. The intention? Keep the membership (and ourselves!) engaged for a few weeks before we got back into the hall again. The reality? 15 blog posts and sadly still no light at the end of the increasingly long tunnel. It has been like waiting for the ball to drop and allowing us to play a serve……… but the ball has been replaced with a balloon….. filled with helium.
That has sadly been the headline story of the year across the world. The pandemic hitting back in March provided a significant dose of perspective. One of those is there is much more to life than table tennis, but equally, also acknowledging the importance of clubs and the people we see there within our lives. We are a small club that on the face of it have a purpose to increase table tennis participation in the area. But below that is a great value of kinship and connection. We have replaced warm ups with wellbeing, drills with discovered new ways of working, and Waldner with Virtual……
However as we reflect in this final blog, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the most different year of our 43 in existence. Back in April we moved online quickly and hosted eight weeks of sessions from quizzes, to parents challenges. The clubs first ‘virtual rally’, and the small note of pioneering the Stephen Gertsen online workshop!
Our coaching groups and committees have maintained momentum and kept an essential core to our club that will see us back in 2021, and you bet we are ready and raring to go. We have welcomed two club COVID-19 officers who have done a tremendous job in preparing our clubs risk assessment for a safe return to the sport. Booking system? Completed that too in another first for the club as we look to the future. More recently, these blogs have been a joy to put together and lift the lid a bit on the inner processes of the club. Our virtual club nights have also enabled us to engage players in elite table tennis and analysis like we have never done before. Just last month we have also welcomed two third year sport students from UWS who are going to be helping us develop and deliver: Coach & Player pathways, greater social media presence, and ways to engage and reach out to our community so they can all enjoy the sport when we return.
So after a challenging year we feel more prepared than ever for what 2021 will bring. All of the above could not have been possible without the support of so many coaches, parents, supporters of the club and of course the readers of this blog. We are extremely grateful and lucky to have you. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at EKTTC.