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to the annual general meeting at TTQ, with links to poof:
North Ward, March 9 2011.
To the TTQ Annual General Meeting,
Table Tennis Queensland
The Academy - TTTA problem: The lack of cooperation and use of
Gary Walmsley, who is the Development Manager for Townsville Table
Tennis Associations (TTTA) and also the club coach said in a phone
conversation with me that his association did not want another association
or club in Townsville besides their association; That this was both
his own and the TTTA committee's point of view. This statement is
of course very disappointing for the Academy - and it must of course
also be very disappointing for TTQ; that has as goal to promote
the sport of table tennis! But it explains the lack of co-operation
the Academy has been met with since it was established and even
episodes of hostilities.
Here are some samples showing some of the negativity we have been
met with since we established the Academy in December 2010:
- As soon as we announced the establishment of the Academy then
TTTA made a bye-law telling that you had to be a primary registered
member to play in their Fixtures. The TTQ Board has determined that
this bylaw is not in the best interests of the development of the
sport of table tennis in Townsville and have written to TTTA asking
them to consider amending this bylaw. TTTA still do have this by-law
and have been telling TTQ that they will not be changing it.
- when Olav and me went to sign up with TTTA early in the year 2011,
to be members of both associations, we were told by the President
and the Secretary that it would be no use for us to be members of
TTTA because all sessions in the hall were now strictly club coaching
sessions and I would not be allowed to coach Olav. Everybody would
also have to follow the coaching programs and to just have a hit
with other players was not allowed. They broke this regulation the
same day we were informed about it - and it is no secret that there
have been members having a hit at all sessions and also at other
times and days than set in the TTTA practising schedule.
- As soon as the Academy was announced the President of TTTA sent
out e-mails through the Secretary to all members creating doubt
about the legibility of the Academy with worlds like: "The
Academy's $10 membership fee does not even cover the TTQ and TTA
component. So, I don't know how he will cover his members without
player insurance and what will become of the money. I do not know
how TTQ will see this if the Academy member fee is not paid as required
in the TTQ By laws". His statements were highly inflammatory,
bringing into question the Academy's integrity. Both he and the
Secretary should know the regulations when it comes to run an association
- and they could easily have asked TTQ or me if there were and questions
concerning the establishment of the Academy!
- A senior player who regularly has contact with many of the players
and parents at TTTA has told me that the players/members of TTTA
have been told not to practise with Olav or get associated with
the Academy-players or its activities. I have not asked the TTTA-players
myself about this but quite a number of them have promised to have
a hit with Olav but they have never turned up!
- The Academy wanted to start a team league for our area to have
more activities for the keen players but after getting comments
that TTTA might not show a positive attitude we decided to start
first be inviting them to invited TTTA to what we called "Stockland
Challenge" - a friendly team event between the two associations,
to be played in front of the shopping centre's stage on Thursday
February 24 and Thursday March 3. TTTA declined to take part. Luckily
I managed to get an "Adventist Team" to play but it was
not the way it was meant to be.
- After TTTA declined to take part in the Stockland event then I
sent then an e-mail saying: "When I established Table Tennis
Academy Townsville one of the objectives was to do something good
for all table tennis players in our city - and I hoped for both
cooperation and friendly competition between the two table tennis
associations in our city. TTTA has expressed that you are not interested
in this. Can you please tell me why?" After re-sending the
e-mail a month later I finally got the following reply: "We
thank you for your recent emails on 8th March and 8th April 2011
in relation to friendly competition between the two associations.
Your correspondence was tabled at our Board meeting on 17th March
2011." That was all!
- We invited to TTTA to our first tournament that was held on Sunday
6 March (still 2011) with junior and senior grades. It was only
our own players that turned up.
- We invited TTTA-players to a junior tournament on Saturday 18th
of June, but again: Nobody besides our own members turned up.
- We asked TTTA (and a few other associations), by e-mail in October
2011 if the Academy should try to arrange an invitation tournament
the weekend 17-18 December or the weekend 3-4 December or even the
weekend before or other weekends that were better because there
is a lack of table tennis activities this time of the year. We got
a written reply from TTTA telling that this is a very busy time
leading up to Christmas for their members so they will be unable
to participate. It is a first time I have heard about an association
deciding for its members when they have time to participate in a
- I might also mention that TTTA held an interschool tournament
on Saturday 19 November last year. None of the Academy members were
able to participate because they had not heard about it - even if
players from the same schools, but members of TTTA, played! The
two schools in question are Pimlico (where Olav is) and Belgian
Gardens (where youngest members are) and even if they did not receive
an invitation then TTTA should remember that I was helping out as
contact person for the same two schools at the previous school tournament
(the same schools did not an invitation to the last school tournament
either, held last Sunday, but luckily this time the TTTA Development
Manager remembered in the last minute that I might be able to contact
the students that are members of the Academy - and they participated
and won gold medals for theirs schools in Grade 4-7 and 8-9!).
- When it became clear that we could not use the school venue or
other suitable community venues for our Open Championships planned
for 10 to 11 March we immediately contacted TTTA and asked if we
could hire their venue. We later received a letter telling that
the TTTA-committee had voted unanimously to not hire the centre.
No explanations given.
- We have recently tried to invite TTTA to a cadet team league to
have more activities in the city for the youngest players but got
a reply from TTTA that "Due to the heavy player program and
club tournament schedule up until the end of June we would not be
in a position to partake in your Cadet League." Well, we did
not put any starting date in our suggestion nor did we say that
it should be a heavy schedule for the proposed league, we were simply
suggesting that the two associations could co-operate to get something
I am trying hard to build an association up from the scratch
with very young players, and for them and me it is of course frustrating
to always be met with negativism and lack of co-operation from TTTA
because they only want one association in Townsville. To have two
or more table tennis associations in a city of Townsville's size
should be great for our sport! Other sports here have several associations;
a new sport as soccer have 16 independent clubs in our area (successfully
playing leagues on Saturdays for kids as young as 5 years old)!
I hope that the AGM can look into this matter because it must also
be sad for TTQ that an association clearly is going against the
TTQ objectives and what Trevor Barrett says in the TTQ Presidents
Report for 2011: "New clubs are vital to the development of
table tennis in Queensland, providing greater access to the sport
and improved opportunities for inter-club competition".
What we; players, parents and board-members at the Academy hope
is that the situation in our city can be normalized, hopefully so
that the two associations can start to co-operate in the best interest
of our sport.
Table Tennis Academy Townsville
other related links:
from me to TTTA, 30/01-11, informing of the establishment of the Academy
and wishing for a fruitful co-operation - click here
- Letter to me from the TTTA Committee, 22/12-10, telling that I no
longer can do any form of coaching in their venue - click here.
- E-mail from me to TTTA committee members, 29/07-2010, telling that
I (at that stage) had not established a new club - click here.
from me to TTQ , 28/07-2011, confirming that I am willing to take
part in a mediation discussion with TTTA -
a few thoughts on having more than one association in a city-