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May 23, 2021

Bishop Auckland Table Tennis Club Champion Their Community

Bishop Auckland Table Tennis Club prides itself on being a community orientated club but it’s been a tough year coping with the pandemic.

That’s why the club was quick to sign up to GiveToLocal after seeing that the ’21 for 2021 campaign’ was supporting Table Tennis.

This newly announced support for the sport will mean Bishop Auckland TTC has the opportunity to secure sustainable funding and hit the ground running when restrictions are eased.

And club chairman Matthew Porter is keen to get the club back to its old ways.

“It’s been really difficult dealing with the impact of the pandemic,” he said.

“We were very much a club based around people seeing each other. The social aspect of the sport and the wellbeing that comes with it are important to us.

“We’re not a sport that’s easily transferable online — we’ve been trying to keep up engagement with people but it’s been difficult.

“We’ll almost be starting afresh when we’re allowed back!”

Matthew founded the club back in 2012. He started with a weekly one-hour session before the club quickly expanded to a six times a week schedule with 350 people accessing the club each week.

Community has always been central to Bishop Auckland TTC. Pre-pandemic the club ran various programmes in schools, at leisure centres and community centres, welcoming everyone in that they could.

“We try to cover every aspect of the community and promote as many opportunities as we can,” said Matthew.

“We ran over 50s sessions, worked with disability groups, ran volunteer development programmes and hosted regular sessions in schools. We’ve also got players in both the Paralympic GB pathway and England pathway squads.

“We strive to be as accessible as possible really.”

This is one of the main reasons Matthew signed up his club to GiveToLocal as soon as he had the chance.

A sustainable source of funding would give him the ability to make the club that much more accessible.

“It would be massive for us to secure that sustainable income and get back to providing what we were providing,” he said.

“We’re very aware of the deprivation within the area and it’s almost a challenge to keep every opportunity open for everybody as much as possible.

“Being able to provide that same opportunity for everybody — without the stress of finding the funding — would mean we aren’t closing doors on people who don’t have that disposable income to spend on sport.”

To begin the registration process for your club visit www.givetolocal.com/clubs

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