Mike Smith, ETTA Vice President : I am very pleased to have been asked to stand as Deputy Chairman in support of Alan Ransome as Chairman. Alan ‘s vast experience and immense ability have continued to be plainly evident in his comments and proposals to National Council on a wide array of issues in the six years since 2003; his desire to ensure that opportunities are grasped effectively and fully while issues are handled sensibly and sensitively remains undiminished or even enhanced.
My experience is also wide ranging as indicated in local, regional and national roles over the last 30 years. While Vice Chairman (Administration) from 1997-2003, the most important achievement was the realisation of the incorporation of the Association into a Company - an outcome which had been discussed for about 40 years previously. I brought to this role my professional knowledge as a Senior Administrator in a very large and progressive University looking after multi million pound budgets and hundreds of staff in my Service area. My other interests are mainly related to Development - as a Regional Committee officer mainly while also serving the interests of the Universities and the Disabled at a British level.
The latter interest has led to considerable involvement in recent years with managing the GB Paralympic squad which has been awarded a 78%increase in its 2012 Funding. I remain active locally in running Junior League and schools events as well as a disability group while developing opportunities within the National Competition Managers Programme-all growth areas. So why do I feel the need to stand?
I believe that Table Tennis in England needs to be more successful in addressing the issues raised by the grass roots in Leagues and Competitions. I do not believe in wishful thinking or speculation but want issues to be considered fully and clearly in a rounded way using active consultation so that decisions are owned – a mantra of listening and understanding by working together is absolutely central to my normal activity - and it would be my hope that this would be a crucial role as Deputy Chairman serving the membership.
Much was made of the need for change in 2003 and much was said about what would be done; of course there have been developments and initiatives and these are to be welcomed. However most have occurred because of the valued efforts of the staff of the ETTA as well as of dedicated able committee members; as sadly seen only too often at National Council there is a lack of clear leadership and insufficient appreciation or forethought of issues raised by Councillors ; examples recently on glue testing and racket covering come to mind readily with League and Competition Players ill served while the very public selection issues in not sending English players to Doha and the strange selection for the Europeans raise doubts.
What has happened to the various reviews started but not yet resulting in action? Competitions, Finance , Governance come to mind over the past 2 years. Much has been made of statements of action within 60 or 90 days but the topic seems to fade away into some black hole .....
The challenge to embrace new approaches to bring increased numbers into the table tennis community requires a positive approach - balancing retaining the best of the current ways while refreshing by engaging different groups more actively.
Player in Hastings and for 40 years in Leicester League*, Knighton Park Premier Club Development Officer *, Leicester League Officer including Chairman and Secretary*, Leicestershire County Development Officer*, Leicestershire Schools Secretary* and Competitions Organiser *, Leicestershire and Rutland County Sports Board - Associate Member*, Leicestershire and Rutland Competitions Board Steering Group Chairman*
East Midlands Regional Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman *, East Midlands Regional Co-ordinator, Special Olympics*
Vice-Chairman (Administration) 1997-2003 National Councillor, Leicestershire*, Chairman Membership and English League Championships Committees *, Committee Member - Rules*, Archives*, National Events, Honours British Universities and Colleges Sports - Table Tennis Management Group Member and representative at National Council and National Development Committee*, British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities - Secretary* and Paralympic Performance Management Group Member* *currently held offices.
Organiser and Assistant Organiser at National, Regional and Local levels Officiated at Commonwealth Games, European, World Veterans and World Championships
ETTA Vice - President, Malcolm Scott Award, Ivor Montagu Award, Honourary Life Member, Leicestershire Vice-President, Leicester League