East Kilbride Table Tennis Club (EKTTC) has a heritage of over 40 years as a local sports club attracting youth players from East Kilbride and the surrounding area.
The club has two regular training nights, starting at 7pm on a Tuesday at Alistair McCoist Complex and on a Friday at John Wright Sports Centre, The club regularly enters several teams into the West of Scotland Junior League competition. The club and its coaches are registered with Table Tennis Scotland, the sport’s governing body. The club also organises two tournaments every year – the East Kilbride Shield, for EKTTC club members and the East Kilbride Open which is open to all.
The club currently has great support from 10 volunteer coaches (1 x UKCC L2 & 9 x UKCC L1), adult helpers (3) and some more senior players (age 16-18) who help develop younger players at the club. In the last 2 years the club has embraced SportScotland’s Positive Coaching Scotland ethos and methods – the first Table Tennis Club in Scotland to do this.
The club has supported and developed several players over the years participating at inter-league and national level. The club currently has one player training with the Para Table Tennis Development squad and is hoping to progress this year to the Pathway squad.
The club also works closely with South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture (SLLC) and East Kilbride Sports Council and is an active member of the local Community Sports Hub. As part of its relationship with SLLC, the club has reviewed and updated its structure and has achieved Bronze level status within SLLC’s Club SL programme.
The club now supports senior players and has ambitions to create satellite clubs in other parts of South Lanarkshire and increase local participation in the sport.
The Club has an Organising Committee which meets bi-monthly and conducts an Annual General Meeting in December each year.
Now, from the archives, a little bit of club history from 1977 to the present day….…
East Kilbride Table Tennis Club was founded on the 7th of September 1977, with our first training session held in the John Wright Sports Centre (JWSC). The idea of establishing a club followed a successful come-and-try promotion held in the JWSC earlier that year. Although the club’s activities have expanded at various times to other locations in the town the JWSC has remained the main base since its formation.
The Club was formed by Greg Taylor, a local player and coach who had the aim of providing quality coaching and competitive opportunities for all our members. To this end training sessions for all standards were arranged every week and teams entered into the Lanarkshire and West of Scotland leagues. The club were also responsible for organising an annual tournament for schools, and a senior competition as part of the East Kilbride Sports Festival, which was held every May.
Greg Taylor and Willie Keys were the first coaches to be involved in the club. Greg is from East Kilbride and for many years played in the Redpath Table Tennis Club in Division 1 of the West of Scotland League. Willie Keys came from Motherwell and had a long association with coaching in that area as well as being the coach at Redpath TT Club in Hamilton. Other coaches who have been involved with the club include Bill Cummings, Peter Stewart, Ian Morrison and the current coaching team led by Peter Connolly.
The East Kilbride Club has always had links with the Strathaven Table Tennis Club where Derek and Jean Schofield have organised clubs for over 25 years.
The club has been affiliated to the East Kilbride Sports Council since 1979 and through this affiliation was able to establish a twinning link with Ballerup Bordtennis Klub from Denmark in 1981. Between 1982 and 1996 there were biannual visits between the clubs. During these visits players stayed with host families and were involved in a full programme of table tennis competitions, sightseeing tours of Scotland and Denmark and many other social events.
Since our formation, a number of players from East Kilbride have established themselves in the Scottish National Squad and represented Scotland at junior and senior international level. These include Euan Walker, Gordon Cummings, Douglas Winslow, Stuart Dunn, Blair Walker and Steven Proctor. Most of these players developed their skills at East Kilbride before seeking further experience by competing and training in Glasgow. Through the 1980′s and early 1990′s this was generally at the Central Table Tennis Club and Bellahouston Sports Centre under the guidance of coach Andy Fleming. Latterly, players travelled to Drumchapel Sports Centre for extra training and some were given the opportunity to represent this club in the British League.
In 1995, five local players (Steven Proctor, Blair Walker, David Sweeney, Martin Lappin and Alan McKenna) were given the opportunity to compete in a high quality international tournament when East Kilbride were asked to represent Scotland at the Karlsborg Festival in Sweden. East Kilbride teams have always competed in the West of Scotland Junior League which is now well established in the Scottish Table Tennis Calendar. Andrew Sheilds and Michael Connolly representing East Kilbride were winners of the league in it’s first season (2001-2002). Since then players of all ages and abilities have represented East Kilbride in the league divisions and through this a number of players have represented West of Scotland in the Scottish Interleague.
UKCC L2 Coach, Peter Connolly, currently runs the club on a Friday evening at the John Wright Sport Centre with an additional session organised at Alastair McCosist Complex on a Tuesday evening.