Category Archives: News

50th Anniversary brian


The table tennis community will be saddened to learn of the death of Brian Rowlen, Chairman of the Clacton and District Table Tennis League, aged 74 years. Brian was involved in table tennis both locally and nationally for over six decades and it is no exaggeration to say that, for the last 40 years, he has been the mainstay of the Clacton League.

Brian began playing table tennis in 1952 and continued until 2002 when injury intervened to end his playing career. During that time he won a handful of trophies, most notably the Junior Boys Singles in 1956 and 1957, the Mens Doubles in 1959 and the Handicap Singles in 1998. But it is as a volunteer administrator and organiser that Brian made his mark.

He joined the Management Committee of the Clacton League in 1956 and, apart from three years in the 1960s when he worked in the Midlands, he has been a Committee member ever since.

From 1973 until 1984, Brian was the League’s Press and Records Secretary, building up a strong relationship with the local Press, meticulous in ensuring reports were sent in regularly.

In 1976, Brian had also been elected League Vice-Chairman and, on the retirement of Gordon Denton in 1984, Brian became League Chairman, a post he continued to hold until his death.

As Chairman, Brian took an active interest in all aspects of the League (which currently has over 160 players) and was a constant source of sensible advice and encouragement. He was closely involved in the work of the League’s three Sub-Committees (Tournament, Development and Cup) and, with his background as a bank manager, he was a wise head in all matters financial.

But Brian was far more than just a Chairman. For over 30 years, he was the Referee for the League’s three annual Tournaments. This included spending interminable hours scheduling matches beforehand which, for the Closed Championships – with twelve events spread over two full days – was a mammoth organisational task. Until recent years, Brian also compiled the League’s annual fixture list and assembled the League Handbook at the start of the season.

In recognition of his lifetime of service to the League, Brian was made a Vice-President in 2008. In the same year, Tendring District Council recognised Brian’s lifetime of work as a volunteer organiser when they awarded him a trophy for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sport in the Tendring District’. It speaks volumes that he was originally nominated for the category ‘Volunteer of the Year’ but the organisers felt it appropriate to create a brand-new award to recognise Brian’s very special commitment and long service.

As well as his League responsibilities, Brian was Secretary of the Brotherhood Table Tennis Club for 23 years. The Brotherhood, which currently has eleven out of the League’s 39 teams, is one of the three largest Clubs in the League. Brian ran the Club from start to finish, from organising the composition of teams at the beginning of the year to sorting out problems during the course of the playing season. And, rather than take a well-earned summer break, he even organised the Brotherhood Summer League as well.

Brian had also been involved in the Essex County Table Tennis Association (ECTTA) and, at one time, was its Chairman. He was one of only 32 Life Members of the ECTTA and, in 1986, he was presented with the Corti Woodcock Memorial Award by the ECTTA, presented annually in recognition of service to table tennis in Essex.

Brian was a qualified International Umpire, and umpired at many international and European events. The highlights of his umpiring career were officiating at two World Championships – in Birmingham in 1977 and Manchester in 1997 – and at the European Championships held in Birmingham in 1994.

In 1988 and 1989, the National Top 12 Tournament (for the top twelve men and top twelve women players in the country) was held in Clacton. The 1988 Tournament was the first major sporting event held at the newly-built Clacton Leisure Centre and it was largely Brian’s reputation nationally that ensured Clacton hosted the event.

Throughout all this, Brian received the loyal support of his wife, Shirley. For over 25 years Shirley was League Secretary and latterly she was the League’s Minutes Secretary. With both their son Paul and daughter Donna also playing in the League at one time, table tennis became something of a family affair. The thoughts and good wishes of us all go to Shirley, and to Paul, Donna, and their families, at this sad time.

Until his death, Brian continued to be as keen and enthusiastic about table tennis as ever. Without his unstinting effort and devoted dedication over a life-time, League table tennis would not have flourished in the Clacton area. Brian could rightly claim to be ‘Clacton’s Mr Table Tennis’ and he will continue to remembered with affection, respect and gratitude by all those associated with the Clacton and District Table Tennis League.

Brian’s funeral takes place at Weeley Crematorium on Thursday 27th March at 11.00 am.50th Anniversary brian

November Table Tennis Action – in Essex and nearby!!!

Hannah Hicks selected for Senior Six Nations at Basildon

Senior Six Nations – 11th – 13th November – Basildon Sporting Village, Basildon               -              FREE ENTRY

English Cadet and Junior National Championships – 19th – 20th November – Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield          -                FREE ENTRY

ITTF Pro Tour – 24th – 27th November – Excel Centre, London

There is a very full calendar if you looking to watch some live Table Tennis in November. It all kicks off on the 11th/12th/13th November at Basildon Sporting Village, Gloucester Park North, Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3GR. The event starts on Friday evening, 6pm – 9pm, then Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 9am – 4pm. All the teams have been announced with the exception of Isle of Man.

The players selected for England are:-

Men: Darius Knight and Chris Doran
Women: Hannah Hicks and Emily Bates
Coaches: Jia Yi Liu and Alan Cooke

See a full preview here.

The following weekend it’s the turn of our younger players with the English Cadet and Junior National Championships taking place in Hatfield at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, De Havilland Campus, Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9EU. It is a full two days of play on the 19th and 20th November with many up and coming cadets and juniors from the East Region taking part. Once again free entry to this event so please come along enjoy some great table tennis and support our local players.

THIS, is the big one. The ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.

Watch the world’s top table tennis players in the London 2012 venue of ExCeL, from Thursday 24th until Sunday 27th November 2011. Run as a test event prior to next year’s Olympics, the players will be competing for the largest ever prize fund pot in English table tennis history, $325,000.

The English Table Tennis Association is managing the event on behalf of the ITTF.

Running alongside the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals will also be a Team GB v World All Stars match for both the men and women, to help mirror the set up of next year’s Olympics.

 Men Women
Paul Drinkhall Joanna Parker
Andrew Baggaley Kelly Sibley
Liam Pitchford Liu Na

Riding on a crest of a wave, Kelly Sibley and Joanna Parker were part of the undefeated European Championships team which gained promotion to the top division. Liam Pitchford will also be hoping to continue his run of form after outstanding wins against the World number 9 and 20 in the championships.

Be sure not to miss out on your chance to watch World and Olympic champions competing in London prior to London 2012.

Schedule & Ticket Prices
Day Adult Concession
Thursday £15 £10
Friday £20
£12 after 17:00
Saturday £25 £20
Sunday £25 £20
Thursday & Friday £25 £20
Saturday & Sunday £40 £30
All four days £55 £40

View the schedule for a full order of play.

Find out more about the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals at


Essex Junior Secretary reports on the Junior assessment trials held recently

The Essex Junior Assessment Trials were held at BATTS, Harlow on the weekend of 01/02 October. All the Girls events were played on the Sunday, but with no girls entering the Under 11 event there was obviously no event. In the Under 11 Boys event there were only three entries and one withdrew on the day so they ended up playing one another in the Under 13 and Under 11 events, each winning once. There were ten tables in play on both days.

The Saturday was devoted to the Under 18 Boys event and the results would form the basis of selection for Essex’s two junior teams, one less than last year. With 46 entries, 4 more than last year, the players were divided in to six groups of six players and two groups of five players based roughly on national rankings. With the top ranked Alex Holland withdrawing with a broken toe just a few days before event, second ranked Scott Dowsett attending a work induction day, another entrant also injured, four others not turning up on the day and one entry accepted on the day we then had eight groups of five players. This meant we finished two hours ahead of schedule. The next two players in the ETTA Ranking Order were moved up before matches started to fill the vacant seed spaces left by Alex and Scott and three other players moved to create the five equal Groups.

In the first round of matches all the Group seeds came top of their Group. Closest match was that between Aaron Crisp (Southend) and Elliott Attrill (Clacton) where Elliott came back from 2-1 down to win 12-10, 15-13 and take third place in the Group. In second round of matches every one of the eight players in the Group winners Group lost at least two matches giving a headache for sorting out the Essex rankings where National rankings also have to be taken in to account. There were three equal firsts, two equal fourths and two equal sixths and an odd point here and there in deuce games could have made a considerable difference to the Group finishing order. On count back of the three equal firsts James Denyer (Clacton) was first, Robert Shrimpton (Chelmsford) second and Charlie Bates (Southend) third.

Sunday saw the remaining events. There was more interest than in past years in the Under 15 Boys event as Essex had entered a cadet team in the County Championships this season. Ryan Williams and Ben Holland withdrew some three or four weeks beforehand, Ryan to take part in the Milton Keynes Two Star Tournament which he won. This left the top seed as Charlie Williams but he did not turn up on the day and I later found out this was because he had no transport. From three Groups of six and two of five in the first round we ended up with four Groups of five and one of four. The only Group seed not to win his Group was Navdeep Panesar (Mossford) beaten 11-8 in the fifth game by Neil Mendoza (Eastbury). In the second round matches Kleber Silva (Eastbury) won his four matches comfortably to head the Group with Livingstone Nadarajah (also Eastbury) second and Samuel Lowman (BATTS) third, Samuel missing out on second place by losing the fifth game to Livingstone 15-13 in the closest match of the event.

In the Under 13 Boys event, the first event of the day, there were originally three Groups of four players but two players withdrew. The three Group winners, Sidney Dorn (Southend), James Knudsen (BATTS) and Ryan Gooday (Chelmsford) won easily but it was much closer in the second round between the three. Had Ryan have been able to clinch one of the match points he held when losing the fourth game of his match with Sidney 18-16 there would have been a three way tie.

In the Under 11 Boys event Rahul Jindal (Mossford) beat Sam Fullick (Southend) 11-8 in the fifth game having earlier in the day lost to Sam 3-0 in the Under 13 event.

There were good entries in the Girls events, 5 in the Under 13’s and 9 in the Under 15’s and Under 18’s. With all events to be played as round robins Jane Li (Colchester), who entered all three events, would have had to play 20 matches in the day. I considered this too many for any player and thus restricted the girls to only playing one another once during the day with the result of any match between the two players in the first event of the day counting as the result in later events where the two players were again due to meet.

The first girls event of the day was the Under 15’s and with Sarah Austin withdrawing injured and Lucy Burton withdrawing two days beforehand the Group was reduced to seven players. Stephanie Cross (BATTS), seeded 3, saved a match point against her in the fourth game of the match against Shannon Conway (Eastbury) before winning the deciding game and thereafter won her remaining matches 3-0 to top the Group. Top seed Jane Li also lost to Lara Esquivel (BATTS) in five and this result gave three equal runners up with Cheridan Thompson (Mossford) who had only lost to Jane as well as Stephanie.

In the Under 13 Girls event Stephanie and Jane only had to play Zoe Davies and Rebecca Parker (both Southend) and won all four matches 3-0. Thus the Under 15 match between them was the match that determined the top two positions.

The Under 18 Girls event also ended up as a Group of seven. Emily Godfrey (Southend) came back from 2-1 down to defeat Jane and head the Group, having won all her other matches. Lara Esquivel only lost to Emily and therefore finished runner up in the Group by virtue of her earlier win over Jane in the Under 15 event but had had to come back from 2-1 down in a fluctuating match to defeat Shannon Rolfe (Southend).

In the issued Essex Junior Ranking List those players who did not turn up on the day and did not subsequently give a valid reason have not been ranked. Those players who were off injured or who gave an acceptable valid reason for absence were considered for ranking and ranked as appropriate.

Success for Essex Clubs in ETTA Club of the year awards

Essex County Table Tennis Association would like to congratulate the Essex based clubs who achieved success at the ETTA club of the Year awards.

Mossford TTC based in Woodford Green were runners-up in the Advanced PremierClub of the Year award and were winners of that award for the London Region. For more information about Mossford visit their website at Mossford TTC

NETTS based at Earls Colne near Halstead were the East Region Excellence PremierClub of the year.  For more information about NETTS visit their website at NETTS

BATTS based at Old Harlow were the East Region Advanced PremierClub of the year.  For more information about BATTS visit their website at BATTS

BNCA TTC based at Black Notley near Braintree were the East Region PremierClub Mark Club of the year.  For more information about BNCA visit their website at BNCA TTC

To see the full list of winners across the county visit  Coaching, Volunteer & Club Awards 2011

Essex Life Member, Ron Gore

You will all be saddened to hear that Ron Gore, Essex County Table Tennis Association Life Member and a winner of the Corti Woodcock award passed away last week at a nursing home in Ashford Kent. Ron had suffered a severe stroke a year earlier. He was 80 years of age.

Ron was County Coaching Officer through the late seventies and early eighties and responsible for the setting up of an effective county squad training system. He was also responsible for training many coaches in and around the Essex area.

Amongst those Ron coached were David Newman, Kenny Jackson, Stuart Kimm, Steve Tilson (former Southend United FC player and Manager) David Cole, Peter Hayden, Rik James and Steve Kerns. Ron’s daughter Helen was also a top county junior player.

Ron moved to Kent in the early 1980s where he continued to coach county wide and was still coaching in after school clubs until the week before his stroke.

He will be sadly missed by all his family, friends and those he coached.