TABLE TENNIS: Grantham club youngsters take first steps to officialdom

Pictured from left, back - Chloe Moore, Trafford Mason, Darran Leete, Joseph Marlor, Alex Robinson, Benjamin Rigby, Viren Panchal, Aalhad Kulkarni, Tom Konarski, Sam Wright and Alex Mercer; front - Gregory Kay, James Hobbs and William Carson.
Pictured from left, back - Chloe Moore, Trafford Mason, Darran Leete, Joseph Marlor, Alex Robinson, Benjamin Rigby, Viren Panchal, Aalhad Kulkarni, Tom Konarski, Sam Wright and Alex Mercer; front - Gregory Kay, James Hobbs and William Carson.

A group of Cliffedale Chandlers Cadet and Junior players took their first steps to becoming county-qualified umpires when they enrolled on to a Junior Officials Course held by the club on Saturday.

The aim of the course was to give the youngsters a more rounded knowledge of the sport they play and a route into becoming a full County Qualified Official. It will also stand them in good stead for the upcoming National Cadet and Junior Leagues season when they will be expected to umpire matches for themselves.

Alex Mercer was the course leader and shared his experience as an umpire. He was assisted by Cathy Steeples, who is a qualified referee, and three of the club’s most recently qualified umpires – Darran Leete, Benjamin Rigby and Alexandra Robinson.

The participants studied the theory and fundamentals of the game before going on to put what they had learnt into practice by sitting a test paper, and then umpiring a best-of-three sets match where they were assessed on their decision making, interpretation and enforcement of the rules and their overall control.

After a long day, all passed the course successfully and some may hopefully go on to complete the next stage and increase the club’s number of qualified umpires from the current 10.

Cliffedale Chandlers don’t just offer the chance to play table tennis, they also encourage players to challenge themselves to learn new skills that will enhance their experience of the game and may lead them in a direction in life they never even considered – whether it may be being an official or a coach.

If you would like to find out more about Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club, visit and message their Facebook page or go to www.cliffedalechandlers.org.uk