The Jersey Table Tennis Association (JTTA) has seen a total of 250 children progress from the Appleby Schools Programme to the Appleby Junior Academy since 2008. The scheme which is sponsored by Appleby is aimed at identifying and nurturing young talent, preparing children to first represent their club in the Jersey League and then onto representing Jersey in Channel Island, National and International Competitions.
The Appleby squad has had magnificent performances winning many British Titles and International Medals for Jersey, over the last four years (please see notes to editor for more information).
Craig Gascoyne, JTTA Development Officer said: “It is incredible considering the young age of these children. Some of them have only been playing for 3 years and they are now winning British Titles and International Medals. Table Tennis is a fine skilled sport and takes on average a year of focused training to just learn the four basic strokes and serves before moving onto the more advanced looping strokes and disguised spin serves. Like any sport it takes 10 years and 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to reach an Olympic standard. It’s truly amazing what they are achieving at a very early stage in their careers, this is down to the Appleby Academy structure and coaching programmes in place for the players to learn new skills and dedicate their many hours of great effort. I hope we can gain some much needed funding to send the Academy Elite Squad to play in competitions in France and Great Britain so they can continue to aspire to the highest levels.”
Chris Band, President of the JTTA commented: “The JTTA is incredibly grateful to Appleby for their fantastic hands on support of the Schools Programme and the Academy. Without their commitment, vision and backing for the academy youngsters, our table tennis players would not have achieved the many fantastic performances and titles that they have done so far. Our sport is becoming more and more popular in Jersey and this is thanks in no small way to the wonderful contribution made by Appleby with their time and expertise. It also shows how much dedicated hard work Craig Gascoyne has put in with the children. He has been a major factor in the success of the programme!”
David Benest, Managing Partner of Appleby in Jersey added: “We are very proud to support the great work being done by the JTTA in raising the quality and profile of table tennis throughout the Island and overseas. It is fantastic that so many children are able to participate in the sport and benefit from the dedication and hard work of everyone at the JTTA.