I have worked with Jos for years and I cannot think of anyone better suited to join the TTE board at this time.
Jos is exactly the kind of person we need; credible, likeable and extremely knowledgeable about table tennis.
He has my vote and I would urge everyone to support him.
National Councillor for Shropshire
Former Chair British League
Former Chair National Council
My current roles in Table Tennis·
See the CV page for my professional background
I am standing for election by the membership to be the fourth elected director on the board of Table Tennis England.
I believe it is critical the position is filled by someone willing to support the interests of the membership. At the same time it's vital they have a broad understanding of the sport at all levels and a good grasp of the way the organisation functions.
I have a long-standing passion for table tennis and hold several key positions within the sport and have proven my willingness to stand up for members. I’m a person who makes things happen and have a successful business career at board level that equips me with valuable skills to bring to the role.
For the last seven or eight years the voice of the membership has been increasingly stifled. With only three member elected directors on the board of twelve directors, it meant the interests of the membership could, and often did, get outvoted and their views side-lined.
At the same time, the Government, via the DCMS and Sport England was trying hard to have a much more controlling influence over all sports. For Table Tennis, which had become reliant on significant public funding, this presented a real dilemma. Potentially, if the sport sought to follow the wishes of the members, the funding would stop and the sport could implode and need rebuilding from scratch which, even being optimistic, would take years.
On the other hand, if Sport England were allowed to control the reins, our sport could be changed beyond all recognition. There are examples where this has already happened. As members we have lost the ability to vote for our own Chair, Deputy Chair and Treasurer. We had to relinquish the right to vote on our own affiliation fees. We also had to accept independent directors to the board who haven’t always had any knowledge about the sport or any interest or passion for it.
Certain National Councillors realised this was a huge threat. So, the Select Committee was created to be a more manoeuvrable subcommittee which could look at the issues and find solutions. The most obvious need, identified straightaway, was the requirement for more membership representation on the board. At the 2021 AGM, Select Committee member Pete Charters, who I’m pleased to say is supporting me in this bid, submitted a special resolution to increase the number of member elected directors from three to four. A special resolution needs 75% to pass but is the only way to compel the board to act. Other resolutions are merely advisory. It was felt the board at that time would choose to simply ignore it if they could. Indeed, most of the board, from the non-elected contingent, openly opposed the resolution and campaigned against it. Even with this opposition, the resolution got over 74% support. but it was one percent short of the pass mark. For the 2022 AGM, the board, realising the strength of members’ opinion did a u-turn and hence we now have this vacancy for a fourth Member Elected Director.
What is vital, absolutely vital, is that this vacancy gets filled by someone who will actively and robustly stand for members’ interests. As a member of the select committee that worked so hard behind the scenes to make this happen, along with several other resolutions designed to benefit the membership, I have decided to stand for the role. I can demonstrate a track record of fighting for members’ interests.
As a sport, we are at an important juncture. We have a new and capable CEO and after the last AGM the Sport England Funding is secure. Walking the fine line between satisfying demands laid down by government to receive funding but at the same time ensuring they don’t ruin the sport by over regulation and an over enthusiastic desire to force compliance with the latest social agenda is never going to be easy. It is vital that the CEO’s decisions are made with a full understanding of the implications to members. This is where the member elected director roles are so vital.
Why choose me?
This October company members are voting for a fourth Member Elected Director to join the board of Table Tennis England.
This is a really significant development for our sport, particularly for the membership. A lot of hard work, by some very committed individuals, over a long period of time, has been invested to make this happen.
My number one objective in standing for this position is to try and be a catalyst that gets the membership and the leadership functioning closer together. We need common agreed goals so all those involved with the sport pull in the same direction. Concentrate every effort into growing and improving table tennis rather than different areas pulling in different directions - something we’ve seen far too much of over the last few years.
This is a fantastic sport with enormous benefits for every section of society; let’s not keep that such a big secret.
If you want someone on the board who will strive to ensure the interests of the membership remain central to the decisions being made, then please ask your company members, for both your county and your league, to back me in the upcoming ballot. If you’re not sure who your company member is you can find out here: https://www.tabletennisengland.co.uk/content/uploads/2022/09/Electoral-Register-as-at-5-September-2022.pdf
Table Tennis England have published a document that outlines the core attributes they would like the successful candidate to have. With a long, successful business career at senior levels combined with my years of involvement with Table Tennis, I meet all of the criteria being asked for:
Finance and Audit, you don’t run a £100m corporate operation as I have, without a thorough understanding of the numbers. And in my capacity as a turnaround specialist, the first thing you need to understand when reviewing the issues in a business are the figures.
Revenue Generation: Running commercial operations, both large and small, is all about revenue generation. I have run salesforces in excess of 200 people but I also have experience on the board of charities which gives me the experience of the challenges of generating revenue in a not-for-profit environment.
Marketing and Communication. The heart and soul of every successful business. I have years of experience creating marcoms strategies both on a large scale but also, as someone who specialises in helping people set up companies, I am adept at creating successful strategies even with limited resources.
So why do I want to do it? Quite simply because it’s too important to leave to chance that the right person applies. Pete Charters himself said: ‘I’ve put enormous effort into the creation of this role. If the wrong person fills it, I may regret it for a long long time’.
You can’t fix a dilapidated house by lobbing TNT through the windows. You have to roll up your sleeves, go inside and get to work.
Most members believe that Table Tennis in England has lost direction over the last decade. The performance results have been consistently poor and steadily declining further. Pitchford and Drinkhall are amazing players but they’re athletes produced under previous regimes. Since then, Table Tennis England has struggled to find any way to develop homegrown talent and as a consequence, England has pretty much fallen off the international TT map, especially at junior and cadet level. In all this time though, the same people have been doing the same things just hoping they’ll get different results!
The tournament landscape has declined, whatever area of the country you look at. TTE, instead of trying to pull together to fix the issue seem to exacerbate it by encouraging junior players to enter competitions in Europe rather than at home – an enormous and often unnecessary cost for players’ families – even if they can afford it which of course many simply cannot. English tournaments barely get a mention on the website with no recognition or gratitude for the time and effort our dedicated volunteers put in to host these events whereas a player attending even a small-scale European event can make the headlines. We need to start focussing on how we can build the long-term future for the sport – in this country! We’re probably past the point of quick fixes but we must stop repeating the same mistakes over and over.
As an organisation, Table Tennis England seems to have been running on the spot – some would even say going backwards. Lots of activity but going nowhere. Lots of committees and advisory groups, lots of meetings but little useful output. The sport is kept going by dedicated volunteers who in the main just get on with it under the radar, with very little support or resource. The new CEO has published very encouraging plans for how he wants to move the organisation, and the sport, forward. What’s vital is that the membership remain at the heart of all these plans and their interests are always factored in. Members are the sport.
There will no doubt be other capable candidates that company members will have the option to vote for. We all want the right person to get this role. If after you’ve reviewed all the candidates, there are better ones than me then please vote for them. But what I can demonstrate is a track record of always having put members’ interests’ first and a willingness to roll my sleeves up and get on with the job: Currently I am: Chair of the Table Tennis England South West Region, I am National Councillor/Company Member for Somerset and a member of the Select Committee, I am General Secretary and Vice Chair of the Somerset County Association, and I am co-founder and General Secretary of the Somerset Sabres TTC
In all the roles I have taken, I always strive to deliver results and if elected to this role I will ensure I deliver the right results for the membership. As part of the Select Committee I was active in submitting propositions to this year’s AGM to try and strengthen the membership’s influence and ensure members remain at the heart of the sport. But I am also a pragmatist and I campaigned hard to ensure the voting went the right way for two crucial propositions that were needed to ensure £11m Sport England funding for our sport didn’t get withdrawn.
As well as campaigning for a fourth elected director role to be created, we submitted resolutions to make members THE key stakeholders in the sport and not just a.n.other interested party. We sought to strengthen the pathways for volunteers and to increase the levels of TT knowledge in the organisation as a whole. We sought to have the negative impact from the Portas report looked at and raised with Sport England to try and undo some of the negative impact it had. We also sought to have the ITTF ranking override abolished. This was having the effect that junior players in particular had to play abroad to get to the top of the English rankings. Domestic results had become second class and it was not only causing bizarre distortions of the ranking system but also encouraging junior players to avoid English competitions.
As an individual I have been involved with Table Tennis for most of my life in one form or another: from a TT loving family, growing up with a dedicated Table Tennis room in the house and hence playing since I could hold a bat; a brother who represented the county and an enthusiastic mother who broke her hip diving to return a ball when in her seventies! My involvement in the sport expanded through local league to the county committee, running county championships and schools’ tournaments, county General Secretary, National Councillor, and member of the National Council Select Committee plus for the last five years I have been the South West Regional Chair. In 2018 I co-founded the Somerset Sabres Table Tennis Club running in a local school and which has seen a great deal of success fielding teams from local league, through to Junior British League, Senior British League, right through to competing in the Europe Trophy competition and now being ranked inside the top 50 European clubs.
I am also a TT parent. With my encouragement, all three of my sons took up the sport and did very well, winning numerous competitions and titles between them in both singles, doubles and team events. My youngest has won various national titles too and has been inside the top 10 for something like nine years. It means I have travelled regularly, all over the country, attending every type of tournament from one stars to National Championships, from British League to Grand Prix. This exposure has given me excellent visibility of the sport and a pretty good understanding of what goes on and the challenges, and frustrations, of making this sport happen. It shows my personal passion for, and commitment to, seeing Table Tennis grow and flourish.
I am and always will be, a vocal advocate for the membership, I’m no shrinking violet when I believe an issue needs confronting. I have challenged TTE on more than one occasion and have had quite robust interactions, even having the dubious honour of having had TTE set their QC lawyer on me when I was trying to support a mother and her children in a safeguarding matter.
Outside of my involvement with Table Tennis, I have a long and successful professional business career that equips me with a wide range of skills and experience to complement those already possessed by the board. My board level experience ranges from global multi-national corporations through small start-ups, to charities fighting child trafficking; from heading up £100million+ operations to brand new start-ups. Among my core professional strengths are strategic development skills to achieve key business objectives and getting the best out of people, who should be any organisation’s most valued assets. Nowadays I work for myself, predominantly as an independent business consultant. This gives me the flexibility to expand my involvement with Table Tennis and the time to devote to this role with commitment.