TABLE TENNIS: Grantham club members start umpiring course

Viren Panchal, Flynn Connolly, Benjamin Rigby and Alex Mercer umpired at Blackpool.
Viren Panchal, Flynn Connolly, Benjamin Rigby and Alex Mercer umpired at Blackpool.
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Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club does not just pride itself on its playing achievements.

Over the last few years, the club has also encouraged members to extend and challenge themselves.

To carry this theme on, seven club members have embarked on a journey some of their clubmates took a couple of years ago by starting a County Umpires Course.

The members started with the basic rules of the game and the role of the umpire before moving on to practical exercises involving game situations.

Two of the group, Flynn Connolly and Viren Panchal, got to taste the life of an umpire quite early by joining Alex Mercer, who has had the honour of umpiring at the 2012 London Olympics, and Benjamin Rigby (a clubmate who passed the previous course held by the club), in putting they newly acquired skills to the test at the Blackpool 4* competition.

The pressure was on the pair as the 4* competitions usually attracts the top cadet and junior competitors, but they coped extremely well according to Alex Mercer. He said: “There was a few nerves from them and some really small errors, but for their first tournament like this it’s all about the experience.

“It’s great we are getting more of the younger players involved on this side of things.”

l Cliffedale Chandlers is always looking for new members, young or old. Check out their Facebook page for more information.