Disability Sport NI and Table Tennis Ulster have been working in partnership since 2009 to develop opportunities for players with a disability to get involved in Table Tennis and to support the performance pathways available.
Table Tennis was included in the first Paralympic Games in 1960, athletes from all physical impairment groups, aside from the visually impaired, are allowed to compete in standing or sitting classes. Athletes with a Learning Disability are also allowed to compete.
Men and women can participate in individual, doubles or team events, and matches consist of five sets of 11 points each, and are played in a best-of-five format. The governing body for Table Tennis is the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) through the ITTF Para Table Tennis Committee. The rules of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) apply to the Paralympic Table Tennis competitions with slight modifications regarding the serve rules for athletes competing in a wheelchair.
In Northern Ireland level athletes with disabilities are currently encouraged to join their local mainstream club in order to access regular coaching. Talented athletes who demonstrate potential in the sport are invited to join the Ulster Para Table Tennis Squad based in Belfast organised by Table Tennis Ulster where they gain access to high performance coaching and performance pathways.
Locally many players play in mainstream club competitions along with Ulster and Irish Junior Disability Opens. Table Tennis Ulster annually provide players for the UK School Games. This competition is open to players who are Under 19 in the year of competition and who fall under one of the 3 disability classes: standing, wheelchair and learning disability.
Further details on Table Tennis clubs and Performance Pathways in Northern Ireland can be obtained from:
Odhran Doherty, Disability Sport NI, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 02890469925 Textphone: 028 9046 3494
Amanda Mogey Table Tennis Ulster, Email: email@example.com