A memorable year in Northop TTC history  

It has been a memorable year for Northop TTC, who have experienced great competition success and encouraging growth, but also said goodbye to a cherished figure who epitomises what they’re about. 


The past year has seen the club grow in its membership, now boating 50 playing members, ten of whom are juniors. 


“Youth engagement is paramount for the club’s present and future vitality,” Howard Satchell from Northop TTC told Table Tennis Wales. 


Collaborative efforts have played a large part in affirming the club’s commitment, with specially arranged taster sessions with local schools and a Venture Scouting Group contributing to a new influx of participants. 


Representing this great work, Northop TTC have been able to boast great youth success. 


Two of their teams compete in the junior cohort of the East Flintshire Table Tennis League, with four of their players even being elevated to the senior leagues during the campaign. 


One of their juniors, Will Parsonage, impressed enough to represent Wales at the British Primary Schools tournament in Jersey earlier this year, while another, Daniel Harrison, earned Cadet Boys Singles bronze at the Welsh National Championships. 


“Our junior successes, including competition medals and progression to senior leagues, are attributable to several key factors,” Howard explained. “Firstly, our dedicated coaching staff provides high-quality training and mentorship to our young players, nurturing their talents and fostering their love for the sport.  


“Juniors also need the support and encouragement of their parents, who are key to keeping them committed to the game. Additionally, our club offers a supportive and inclusive environment where juniors feel empowered to strive for excellence. Collaborations with organisations like TTW and local schools also provide valuable resources and opportunities for our juniors to develop and showcase their skills.  


“Ultimately,” Howard continued, “our commitment to youth engagement and development underpins the remarkable successes of our junior players. The challenge with juniors is to keep their interest alive during their informative years when other interests are constantly bombarding them.” 


Howard went on to confirm how “gratifying” it was to witness the success of community-focused initiates, such as collaborating with local schools. 


“It demonstrates the interest that is out there for playing the game. Beyond being a recreational activity, table tennis brings people together, fosters social connections, and promotes physical and mental well-being.” 


And the club’s commitment to providing that encouraging and fulfilling environment to get children playing and enjoying the game epitomises its whole ethos. 


“Our club revolves around inclusivity, excellence, and community,” Howard stated. “We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment where individuals of all ages and abilities can pursue their passion for table tennis.  


“Our commitment to excellence is evident in our pursuit of success at both the junior and senior levels, as well as our dedication to providing high-quality coaching, training, competitive and social opportunities.” 


As well as the youth success, Northop has enjoyed a good campaign at senior level. With ten teams across three divisions in the the East Flintshire Table Tennis League, one claimed top spot in Division 3 during our Team Championships while another delivered an outstanding performance in the Veterans National Inter County Competition in Wolverhampton. 


Northop’s Head Coach Lynne Harrison also claimed Veteran O40 Women’s silver at the National Championships, reflecting the quality and dedication within the club. 


All these highlights are made possible through that commitment to providing a high-quality yet supportive environment for all their members.  


A Be Active Wales Fund grant from Sport Wales last year enabled the club to extend its offering with a new table as well as funding additional coach training.  


The club now has six Level 1 coaches and one Level 2 coach, a volunteering effort around which the club thrives. 


“Volunteering plays a vital role in the functioning and success of our club,” confirmed Howard. “Our volunteers generously contribute their time, skills, and energy to various aspects of club operations, from coaching and officiating to event planning and community outreach.  


“Their dedication and passion are instrumental in creating a positive and enriching experience for all members. Without our volunteers, many of the club’s activities and initiatives would not be possible, underscoring their indispensable role in our club’s success.” 


The monumental role of volunteers and their sheer impact was epitomised by Northop’s long-time Chair Gerry Hotchkiss, who sadly passed this year. 


“Gerry’s contributions to the club, league, North Wales Association, and table tennis community over many decades were remarkable and invaluable, and he is deeply missed by all who knew him,” Howard stated. 


“It is paramount for both me and the club to remember and honour Gerry and his work, as he played a pivotal role in shaping the identity and spirit of our club.  


“Gerry’s dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment to table tennis exemplify the values that our club holds dear: passion, integrity, and community. His legacy serves as a guiding light, inspiring us to continue his legacy of excellence and service, and to uphold the ideals that he embodied.  


“In honouring Gerry, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where individuals of all backgrounds can come together to enjoy and excel in the sport they love.” 


The past year has been memorably impressive for Northop TTC, as well as difficult.  


It’s brilliant to see the club’s great work in promoting our fantastic sport, and the tangible results that work fosters. The club’s commitment to continuously improving and offering opportunities will only enhance its local community and table tennis in Wales, while also honouring the legacy that a cherished figure has left. 


Head to our Club Finder page to learn more about Northop TTC and other tennis table clubs!