By Calum Rutter
UK table tennis aces will be showing off their ping pong skills in Brighton this year for National Table Tennis Day on Thursday, July 14.
Table Tennis England chose the city to host its flagship event, which will be attended by number one senior England woman Kelly Sibley and current two-time ping pong world champion Andrew Baggaley.
Clubs around the country will be serving up celebrations to promote the sport.
Last year’s event saw more than 200 events nationwide, coverage on Sky Sports and it reached more than four million people on social media.
Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) received national recognition recently for its work over the last 18 months with 15 unaccompanied refugee minors from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan and Vietnam.
One of minors is now a qualified coach and another is training for his coach’s badge.
It became the first UK sports club to be awarded Club of Sanctuary status, being awarded by Brighton and Hove’s Sanctuary on Sea organisation, part of the nation-wide City of Sanctuary movement of over 70 member cities and towns.
Tim Holtam, BTTC Director, said: “We are greatly honoured to be the first club to achieve this recognition. We believe sport has a critical role to play in helping these young people to become part of our society.”
This followed the club receiving Table Tennis England’s 2016 Equality Award, for its work with unaccompanied minors, looked after children and people with learning difficulties, in March this year.