Good afternoon Brighton this is this is a local story and there’s no prizes for being the most local story and TEDx Brighton but this this place here is 200 metres up Edward Street on the Left it’s the Brighton News Centre where ten years ago we founded Brighton Table Tennis Club this picture was within a month of us opening.
And half of these 15 year olds at the time most of them were 1415 they were still involved and this is when we got our first grant and we’ve got some new tables.
And some shirts and it was one evening a week in the Brighton youth center for the local kids to give some local kids an opportunity that they otherwise wouldn’t have so table tennis is cheap space efficient the ultimate level up everyone can play against everybody and there’s something uniquely intimate about table tennis is the table tennis has lots of unique features.
That make it such a wonderful thing for for communities so this is.
10 years ago and this is now so now we have.
In the middle of Kemp town a seven day a week 12 hours a day full-time Table Tennis Club and yeah and thank you every every every Tuesday.
After school we have a session where unaccompanied refugee minors from Afghanistan and and Sudan and coaches that have down syndrom run a session for Irish Traveller kids every Tuesday for the last year so I don’t know where else and how else that could happen but to me and that is a utopian ping-pong Wonderland devices yeah thank you so these are our four core values so we have a minibus with those four values on the side of the bus we took.
The ladder off the bus so the kids can’t get on anymore but community respect solidarity and competition I’m going to give a little story for each each of our values we’ve got some fantastic local players and legends to come play a little exhibition at the end but the the.
Origins of the club are in me as a seven or eight year old being taught to play by the most patient youth worker in.
London guy called Laurel Aiken who ran table tennis clubs in the Isle of Dogs for 30 years and in Willesden as a teenager there’s a table tennis club called London progress Table Tennis Club they were the British champions for ten years in a row and they had hundreds and hundreds of local kids from Willesden that through table tennis went on to become doctors and teachers and lawyers so that was that was an amazing place and that was run by John.
Kaufmann so those two people.
Childhood heroes and then I moved to Brighton met a really good player it’s little bit older than me he’s called Harry McCartney and we co-founded the Table Tennis Club and if I’m the sort of face of the club then he is the brains so round of applause please.
For Harry McCarney over there thank you so this is.
The fitz herbert census we’ve got a 12-year lease on this unbelievable space in Kempton that Tesco’s were interested in and property developers are interested in and the the catholic priest there said he gave us a key.
And the community there is unique uniquely diverse and close-knit and we.
Have a boy Brandon seventeen year old boy from from Queens Park who last someone came into the club with two Afghan boys forehead and the key and I said oh where have you got come from and they’ve been swimming and playing pool together so that without anyone asking them to do that it’s.
The friendships that are made in the club they transcend the doors of the club and there’s that’s just one example of thousands of friendship so two people coming on stage later are Harry Fairchild the first.
The world of any sport with Down syndrome a 26 year old from William Dean and when we.
From 63 sorry from Shan Shanghai and their brothers they identify as brothers so it’s Table Tennis as a platform for people to make these four chips so that’s that that’s the strength of the community the the the respect this woman Betty is 98 and she plays in patching LOD sheltered housing schemes just up the road and she can hit them all back three hundred times against whenwe.
She’s an absolute star so that is something to be respected Table Tennis has to be played in a respectful way if you get a net or an.
Edge you have to apologize this I think sport gives people that respect I think the Table Tennis Club normalizes the presence of old people to young people of young people to old people of Irish travelers of Afghan refugees or people with bouncy drove everyone is just identifying as a table tennis player and as a person some of the partnerships that we’ve made in the last year that we’re most proud of.
Are with the Brighton Housing Trust so street homeless lots and lots of good table tennis players in the street owners community in with the friends and families of travelers really good local charity in HMP high down and down view prison.
So in in prisons table tennis has the potential to have a huge impact and with Millview psychiatric hospital in Hove so all of these places have table tennis but with a little bit of structure and some some some coaches going in it can become more than just a youth club.
Game of table tennis so this this is a great picture of some of our young Irish travelers that come every Tuesday the idea of solidarity which is our third value in the club is that there’s an informal support network people help each other move house people people help each other find.
Jobs for advice and support network is is what the the Solidarity is about in the club lastly and not least the competition our senior British League first team is in the national a who just been promoted into the national a division British League and all of those all of that all of the members of that team are involved in the grassroots of the club.
And working at the club and table tennis has to be about competitive sport it.
Isn’t just the community space where people can come and just hang out people come to the club to improve on their game get good at table tennis and this was last weekend been to quite a lot of competitions for adults with lone disabilities where it isn’t.
Really competitive it’s not competitive enough everyone gets a medal this one in Portugal was the world Down syndrome.
Championships and it was a proper tournament knockout groups and then the knockout stage and everyone involved got so much more out of it so without more of me can I please welcome to the stage all over the table tennis.
Players that are coming on today so and you can’t please radicals don’t get you back okay so if Damon’s Damon’s at the front like you having stands just behind and in a mean and then Jodi like this so you’re gonna play one back end one forehand go to the back of the queue so one two go to the back of the queue so when way there’s been in Brighton for 15 years this man is a legend of Brighton and of table decades to here this man the.
Chinese champion of the UK Chinese community ping-pong champion 63 still beats everyone so just play and I’ll just talk while you’re playing yeah so one back down one forehand hit the ball on the table Damon go Harry unlucky forehand one to go no problem.
So I mean good Jodi Elise and Rosemarie so far.
Heard then we go back to the beginning so Damon lives across the road from the.
Table Tennis Club he’s 11 he’s got ADHD and every morning before he goes to school he is.
Given some ritalin so he can concentrate at school he’s come away on residential week-long training camps with the National national team and hasn’t needed it table tennis is the ultimate way of channeling all his energies he’s so bright and Sparky and.
Rose Marie came to the Table Tennis Club a year ago to a session that was funded by Macmillan ricochet plus for people affected by cancer to deal with having cancer and deal with the recovery through playing table tennis and on the back of.
That started a club in Denton near New Haven and she has 80 people playing a week kids adults all people in Fenton amazing fantastic ripple Farhat this guy here farhad Barakzai is walked here from Helmand province.
And come through the Calais jungle he’s been at the club for.
Two and a half years 20 hours a week unbelievable man 20 hours a week voluntarily coaching in the club playing at a really high level and just generally being an amazing man I mean coming after Harry he’s coming in three months ago from Darfur on his own and in three months he’s become an absolutely top player and he’s doing his level.
One coaching course Nick’s mom so I mean it’s like a signal and hope Harry is next but we’re gonna save Harry to the end Jody’s coming after.
A mean Jody was in my tutor group at patch him high school in year 7 three years ago picked up table tennis played with whenwe at school loads and then.
Made the transition to the table tennis club now Jody’s top 20 in England for her age and she’s the best young player we’ve got Brighton and Elise lives next door to Damon across the road from.
The Table Tennis Club in Camp town and lease is in year ten at home park she’s only been playing for a year but from having you know few problems.
At score or Thea’s at school through Table Tennis she’s now flying she’s playing for Sussex winning all the matches for Sussex and sir and he’s part of this this family that we’ve got at the club so as you can see of course relief right last one smash bank right Jodie and Harry.
Jodie and Harry when they just does a few lobs there’s no there’s not much space there when made but just few smashes so one ball for Jodie one before you change into change in it’s more space okay one ball each rallies yeah good good yes yes huh all right everyone come around please everybody turn around onto this red carpet.
In the middle Harry need to get the microphone now how you’re gonna have a little speech don’t get your okay so.
Harry Fairchild has been in the club for four years and last weekend this this.
Team this is Team GB Down syndrome squad through it the three boys are all from our club in Brighton and Jenny’s from Cheshire very quickly how you’ve got a minute so everyone in here what happened in Portugal and what and what what we got to say hello I am vulnerable chubby from Team GB so.
We told our teachers our China team I shall be doing in a painting party too already it was amazing Masha and I did our playing in pttt another one with you and Tim Haram and another one is a big majority and your surprise is about I chose my own interface it’s a curious person and improve our cutie patooties okay thank you thank you so much purchase a tortilla I know I will pass it over to the man the.
Manager property he Timothy Martin huh drama well I put one more slide definitely I want you but as many as you like go so this is the first we hope of many world champions from from BT TC so amazing that last week and Harry best best competition ever the world Down syndrome champion men’s doubles.
Next year’s gonna win the singles.
As well if he keeps getting better so round of applause for Harry again please nobody likes suck so um what the kind.
Of message that we want to give everyone in here is find your passion find find something that you are passionate.
About I think for the last ten years the first seven or eight people just what I was a bit mad always talking about table tennis too much yeah but now it’s happened yeah so fight find what you’re passionate about.
Start small share share it share that idea and share that passion with people that can help you and then just don’t stop just keep going right so we are making a network of clubs with Cardiff London is a few in London Nottingham Malmo Berlin there is and we’re gonna link all of these people together doing.
Progressive things through Table Tennis whether it’s with in prisons or whether it’s with refugees or whether it’s with anyone table tennis for everyone so in our club we have it big on the wall and this is testament to that quote Helen Keller once said that alone we can do so little but.
Together we can do so much thank you very much.