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All the latest news and events will appear here first. If there is anything you would like to see included please contact our Publicity Officer
We are always happy to hear from members old and new, or just anyone with an interest in Table Tennis. Any feedback or suggestions are particularly welcome!
May 2017 - Club Tournament
The finals of the Clubs annual tournament took place on Sat 6th May at St Peters Church Hall in Stowmarket. As always it was good to see friends and family there supporting the players. As has become customary Chris Smith acted as Master of Ceremonies, prizes were presented to the winners and runners-up by new Club Chairman Richard Stokes. A full set of results for the qualifying rounds and finals can be found in the results file.
Play began with the Open Singles semi-finals, in the first of these Junior player James Davies-Stokes took on a more mature Scott Day on this occasion youth won out over experience with James winning comfortably 11-4 11-6 11-8. The second match was an all Pumas clash between Luke Davies-Stokes and Martin Chamberlain, this proved to be much closer with Luke winning the first game comfortably before Martin fought back to win the next two. Luke again turned on the magic to win the final two games and so was the winner by three games to two.
The first final of the afternoon was the Restricted Junior Singles which was open to Juniors not having a County ranking. It was contested by Joseph Kulesa and Jamie Hyde both of whom have been club members for some years now. Jamie got off to a good start winning the first game 11-7, the second game was much closer but again Jamie came out on top by 13-11. Jamie then sealed victory by winning the third 11-9.
The last match before the break was the Hardbat final between Chris Smith, temporarily relinquishing his M.C duties and another appearance from Scott Day. For those of you not familiar with the ins and outs of the hardbat game have a look at our hardbat corner. This proved to be an exciting and entertaining match with Scott coming out on top by three games to one.
It was then time for refreshments and a chance for a chat and catch-up. Thanks to all those that bought along snacks to share. Due to some car issues the timetable was slightly changed and the first match after the break was the Junior Singles final.
The final was contested between brothers James and Luke Davies-Stokes both club members for some years now. Luke has attained a National ranking of 20 at under-13 level and older brother James is currently ranked 78 in the National Juniors. James took the first game by 11-8, then Luke the next by a much closer 17-15 margin, the next two games went to James by 11-7 and 11-6, so James was the Junior Singles Champion. The prizes were presented by ex-Chairman Lee Balaam and this gave the Club the opportunity to than Lee for all his efforts on the Club's behalf over the years.
Our Club isn't just about the Juniors with the vast majority of our membership being over 50, so the next match was an opportunity to see some of those that regularly attend the Thurs Over-50's session at St Peter's in action. This was also the only doubles match of the afternoon, Lynn Allen and Phil Rampley taking on Tom Bennett and Richard Armitage. The first two games proved to be comfortable wins for Tom and Richard 11-8 and 11-4 before Lynn & Phil fought back to take an early lead in the third, however, they weren't able to hang on and Tom & Richard ran out winners and Senior Doubles Champions 14-12 in the third game.
The penultimate final of the afternoon was the Restricted for players not playing in the Bury League Div 1, this was contested by Leopard Keith George and Tiger David Aldous. Keith took the first game 11-6 and the scores were then reversed, David winning the second also 11-6, again the scores reversed, the third was 11-6 to Keith who finally beat the sequence to win the fourth and the match by 11-9.
The afternoon finished on a high with the Open Singles final between James and Luke Davies-Stokes, these were the players that had earlier contested the Junior Singles final. The Open followed a similar pattern with James comfortably winning the first before Luke fought back to win a much closer second game. The spectators were clapping the exciting play between the two brothers, with James eventually winning 11-1 10-12 11-6 11-5.
Photographs and video of the event were taken by Tony Mooney and can be seen in the gallery
Finally the Club would like to thank Bob Watts for acting as Umpire for all the matches.
Feb 2017 - GoRaise
We’ve signed up to a great new way to raise funds for Stowmarket TTC and we hope you’ll support us by taking part. Doing the weekly grocery shop? Booking a holiday? Buying anything at all online? Over 3,000 retailers – including M&S, John Lewis, Argos, Sports Direct, & Expedia - will give Stowmarket TTC a free donation every time you shop with them, at no additional cost to you!
How does it work?
Simply visit our GoRaise page and sign up for free. Click through to all your favourite online retailers and shop as normal. A donation is generated automatically when you make a purchase, and Go Raise will pass this on to us. No catches or extra costs.
If everyone took part we could raise £1000’s every year, simply in retailer donations generated by ordinary, everyday shopping. Remember - don’t just buy it, raise funds with it!
Many thanks - Stowmarket TTC
Oct 2016 - Keeping Fit
Veteran club member Terry Betts has recently appeared in the national magazine Get Fit With Healthy Food praising the fitness benefits of table tennis.
The article itself is a cut down version of one that first appeared in The Healthy Food Guide some four years ago - the food and table tennis is continuing to work well!
Sep 2016 - Beginners session
The Club is restarting the beginners coaching sessions in Oct. These sessions will be led by UKCC Level 3 coach Aad Kwakkelstein, and are aimed at juniors new to table tennis or who have just started playing.
Aug 2016 - New members
If you have been inspired by the Olympic table tennis, please come along and give it a go. We always welcome new members for a free taster session.
This season we particularly want to attract young beginners to our new Fri 5:30pm session at Stowupland, we have secured the services of UKCC Level 3 coach Aad Kwakkelstein who will be running these sessions in addition to an advanced Junior session later in the evening.
Here are the details of the full playing programme and costs.
Jul 2016 - Keep it in the family
Club member Di Mitchell has obviously passed her table tennis talent on to grand daughter Holly Nicolas. Holly recently finished as silver medallist in the Australian U18 girls tournament held at Alice Springs. As a consequence Holly is now ranked No 1 in Aus at U18 level.
The attached newspaper cutting shows that it's not just her opponents that Holly has had to battle against; let's hope she can reach her goals of representing Australia in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. I'm sure Grandma Di would echo Holly's father when he says "She's incredible."
May 2016 - Ping Pong Champs
The BSE & District League hardbat tournament was held at KEGS in Bury on Fri 6th May. There were 3 representatives from Stowmarket; Nigel Howe and Ian Bridgeman were drawn in the same group for Round one and both made it through to round 2. Chris Smith also got through the first round and then comfortably beat Martin O'Leary in the next. Round 2 was as far as Ian got, losing in 2 straight games to Dave Unwin.
Nigel reached the final by first beating Sam Taylor and then Dave Unwin to join him there Chris had a tough match against Colin Baxter which he narrowly won by 2 games to 1.
The third player to reach the final, which was played on a round-robin basis was Mark James from British Sugar. The first match was between Nigel and Mark with Nigel winning 2-0. The next match was a replay of the Club hardbat final with Nigel playing Chris. This time, however, Chris was able to avenge his defeat in the Club final by beating Nigel in a close and exciting match by 2 games to 1. In the final match, after going behind by a few points Chris was able to pull things back and ended up winning 2-0. This meant Chris was the 'Ping Pong' Champion and collected the cash prize, Nigel was runner-up and Mark James finished third.
Thanks to Tim Jolly and the Bury Club for putting on a great event
May 2016 - Tournament Finals
The Finals of the 2016 Club Tournament took place at St Peter's Church Hall in Stowmarket on Sat 16th April between 2 & 6pm. These were very well attended by club members and their families; Chris Smith again acted as MC all be it slightly more casually dressed this time. Trophies and chocolates were presented to the winners and runners-up by Club Chairman Lee Balaam. A full set of results can be found in the results file.
Photographs of the event were taken by Tony Mooney and can be seen in the gallery
Finally the Club would like to thank Bob Watts for acting as Umpire for all the matches, and all those that contributed snacks
Apr 2016 - Tournament Finals
The Finals of the 2016 Club Tournament takes place at St Peter's Church Hall in Stowmarket on Sat 16th April from 2 - 6pm. Qualifying rounds have been in progress for the last 3 weeks. All members and their families are welcome to come and watch the Finals, there is no charge for this but we would like to invite donations of cake, biscuits or other light snacks. Please let a committee member know if you intend bringing anything.
To put you in the mood, below is some video action from the 2015 Finals, filmed by Club Treasurer Tony Mooney
Jan 2016 - Suffolk Schools Champs
The Suffolk Schools individual table tennis championships took place at Stowupland on Sun 24th Jan. There were 81 entrants representing 37 different schools who took part in U11, U13, U16 and U19 events.
The event medallists are shown below with Club members in italics
|Under 11 Boys||McKenzie Lowe||William Bettley||Henry Shaw|
|Under 13 Boys||Luke Davies-Stokes||Leo Saiu-Bell||Albert Roberts|
|Under 16 Boys||Kian Burgess||James Davies-Stokes||Jack Pengelly|
|Under 19 Boys||Daniel Shelley||Jack Samson||Efan Akbarpour|
|Under 11 Girls||Isobel McGerty||Tilly McLoughlin||Eva Asemota|
|Under 13 Girls||Maddie Mcloughlin||Isobel Bettley||Lucy Curtis|
|Under 16 Girls||Holly McGerty||Georgina Lister||Hannah Page|
|Under 19 Girls||Natalie Wills||Megan Bollen||Not Contested|
The winners now go on to represent Suffolk in the National Schools Championships in Wolverhampton.
Jan 2016 - Adult Coaching
UKCC Level 2 Coach Stuart Laws visited the Club on Jan 17th to lead an adult coaching session. The session was attended by 8 more mature Club members keen to improve their game. Stuart led a warm-up followed by some different drills, service and return practice and finally ending with a useful discussion on match tactics.
Normally the emphasis is on Junior development so it was a pleasant change to do something aimed at adults. Everyone attending said how much they enjoyed it and looked forward to another session in the not too distant future
There are some more photos in the gallery
Dec 2015 - County Junior Champs
The Club was well represented at the County Junior Singles tournament which took place recently at Stowupland. There was also success in several of the events. Lewis Roberts was winner of the U11 Boys event; both finalists were from Stowmarket in the U13 Boys event, with Luke Davies-Stokes beating Albert Roberts.
James Davies-Stokes was runner-up in the U15 & U18 events, on both occassions he was beaten by Kian Burgess; however, he did turn the tables by beating Kian in the final of the handicap singles.
Luke Davies-Stokes and Lewis Roberts were the winners of the Pot Luck Doubles. Wayne Shaw has produced a full report of the days play.
Dec 2015 - Club Shirt
Following enquiries from several members, the Club has ordered new shirts. These have arrived with the Club name and team or player on the back. First reports from those that have received theirs are very positive with players commenting not only on the 'look' but also the 'feel' of the new shirt. Any further enquiries to Club Chairman Lee.
Nov 2015 - Club Badge
The Club has just got a new badge which has been designed by Chris Smith. A free badge will be given to all members; further badges may be purchased from Tony Mooney.
Jun 2015 - Summer Barbecue
The Clubs summer barbecue took place on Sat 27th June in the garden of St Peter's Church Hall in Stowmarket. The weather was kind and the event was attended by over 50 members and their families; everyone that attended said they thoroughly enjoyed the day and hoped there would be another next year.
The event also marked the end of Lee Balaam's stint as Club Captain; Lee is taking some time away from the competitive side of things but will continue playing and also his role as Club Chairman. In the photo you can see new Captain David Gough presenting Lee with a tankard as a mark of appreciation for all his efforts.
Jun 2015 - County Player of the Year
At the County AGM, held in Stowupland on 23rd June, James Davies-Stokes was awarded the Doris Fox Trophy for the outstanding player of the year in the County. The award was presented by County Chairman Paul Burgess. A quick look over the news items on this page will show you what a successful year it has been for James and what a worthy winner of the award he was.
Other awards given out at the AGM were for the young improver of the year, which was presented to Jess Pengelly and the Dennis Barrett trophy for outstanding services to table tennis in the County which went to Jack Perkins.
Jun 2015 - National U11 - U14 Championships
Junior Club members James and Luke Davies Stokes recently took part in the National Championships which was held in Sheffield. Luke progressed out of the group stages in the U11 event and then got a bye to the second KO round, in this he narrowly lost by 3 games to 2. Unfortunately James didn't get passed the group stage of his age group event, but he reached the quarter-final stages of the doubles event partnered by Kian Burgess.
This was an excellent performance by both boys, who are still young enough to return to the event in future seasons
Each session all the matches on one table were recorded so you can see James' match against at 1:25:00 in the YouTube video below. There is also a delightful cameo appearance by dad Richard at 0:56:00
Jun 2015 - In the News
This article about our teams performance in the Bury St Edmunds & District League this season, appeared in Stowmarket In Touch recently.
Apr 2015 - Championships Finals Night
After several weeks of qualifying matches the Clubs finals night got under way on Sat 18 April at St Peter's Church Hall in Stowmarket. The first two matches were the semi-finals of the open-singles, these featured husband & wife, Lee and Sandra Balaam, but fortunately not against each other!
In the first semi-final, Sandra took on Nigel Howe, who got off to a good start winning the first game, Sandra immediately pulled a game back to level the score, the third game proved decisive with Nigel narrowly winning 11-8 after a good start from Sandra, Nigel then went on to win the 4th game 11-7 and the match .
The second semi-final had an unexpected start with cadet James Davies-Stokes beating Club Captain Lee Balaam 12-10, unfortunately for him he just couldn't hang on and Lees experience proved vital in winning the next 3 games and the match.
In the Junior Singles, James took on his younger brother Luke and on this occasion the match went with age, James winning 3-0.
After a brief rest it was time for Nigel to put down his modern, sponge & rubber plated bat and return to the old days using a sandpaper bat provided by the Club for the Hardbat final, his opponent was David Gough using a similar bat; as etiquette dictates they swapped bats with ends but Nigel was again a comfortable winner.
As the evening was intended as much to be a social occasion as a competitive one, play stopped so everyone could tuck into a buffet provided by Pickwick's, this was a chance for different parts of the Club to mingle and get to know each other. All too soon, it was time to put the plates down and return to the match table.
The first match of the second half was a senior doubles featuring Phil Rampley and Margaret Burch against Lynn Allen and Peggy Took. This match confirmed that table tennis is definitely a sport for all ages; Lynn & Peggy eventually winning a very close match by 3-1.
Next it was the turn of the Juniors to demonstrate their doubles skills; James Davies-Stokes and Lewis Roberts took on Jack Samson & Luke Davies-Stokes, James & Lewis again winning 3-1
The penultimate match of the night was the Restricted Singles featuring Scott Day and Pete Bernard; Scott had all his family supporting him and this proved too much for Pete.
The evening closed with the Final of the Open Singles and what a match it was between Nigel Howe and Lee Balaam. Lee just edged the first game 13-11 but Nigel fought back to win the next 11-9 and then it was Lee's turn to win the next also 11-9, but Nigel then pulled out all the stops to win the next 2 games 11-5 and 11-6 to take the match after an exciting 5 sets.
Our thanks to Bob Watts who umpired all the matches and to Chris Smith who was MC for the night, Tony Mooney took the photographs which can be seen in the Gallery. All the results from the tournament are here
Mar 2015 - BSE & District TTL Tournament
The League's annual tournament took place in the Dome at King Edward VI Grammar School in Bury on Sun 22nd Mar. There were a record number of entrants - 47 which meant a very long day for some of the players and the organisers!
Our Club was also very well represented with 11 players taking part and in a day of unprecented success the Club had at least one player in the final of every event
|2-a-Side||Runner-up - Luke Davies-Stokes|
|Div 2||Winner - Malcolm Collins Runner-up - James Davies-Stokes|
|Cadets||Winner - James Davies-Stokes|
|Juniors||Winner - James Davies-Stokes|
|Handicap||Winner - James Davies-Stokes|
|Restricted||Winner - James Davies-Stokes|
|Ladies||Winner - Sandra Balaam|
|Ladies Doubles||Winners - Sandra Balaam & Megan Bollen Runner-up Lynn Allen & Sonia Talbot|
|Mixed Doubles||Winners - Lee & Sandra Balaam|
|Mens Doubles||Runners-up - Martin Chamberlain & Andy Dosher|
|Veterans||Runner-up - Malcolm Collins|
|Mens||Runner-up - Lee Balaam|
As you can see James Davies-Stokes had a very successful day, playing a phenomenal number of matches, he still finished the day with a smile. I'm not sure all his homework got done though...
Finally, many thanks are due to the tournament organisers Mark James and Phil Sinclair for all their hardwork in putting together a great day for so many people.
Jan 2015 - Suffolk Schools Competition
The competition took place at Stowupland on Sun 25th Jan. With both the main hall & Gym in use there were a lot of matches to get through.
7 of our young players took part and 5 of them got medals. James Davies Stokes got gold in the Boys Under 13 as did his brother Luke in the Under 11s. Albert Roberts got bronze in the Under 11s and Megan Bollen got silver in the Girls Under 19. Jack Samson won bronze in the Boys Under 19s. Lewis Roberts won his group in the Boys Under 11s but lost in the the quarter final to his brother Albert. The other player was Joseph Kulesa who won one of his group matches in Boys Under 13s. He is at the bottom of the age range playing against some players who were up to 2 years older; so he should do even better next time.
June 2014 - Coach CPD at Stowmarket
A coach Continuous Professional Development course was held at the Club on Sunday 1st June. The course was tutored by Helen Lower, a previous National Champion, and focused on Service and Return. All qualified coaches wishing to renew their coach license must attend an appropriate CPD course before 1st August and this course was set up so our coaches can fulfil this requirement.
A number of coaches from neighbouring clubs also attended, as did some adult members that assist at the Junior coaching sessions on a Friday night by acting as feeding partners.
May 2014 Suffolk Cadet & Junior Champs
This event was held over the weekend of the 17/18 May at the Britannia Club in Ipswich. Our Club was represented by brothers James & Luke Davies-Stokes. James was runner-up in the Under-13 Boys competition.
Luke was awarded the Under 13 special award for winning his group by beating 2 higher ranked players. Bearing in mind Luke is only 10 years old he has a few more years at this age group to really make his mark!