Author Archives: Chris Main

NEW Weekly Session – Tuesdays

We have had a good return to table tennis the past few weeks at our new venue, St Peters Church hall in Ardrossan.  As you know we have had sessions running Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon. We will continue to run the sessions there on those days but we now have a bigger Tuesday session organised at the Portal 7.30pm – 9pm.

6 tables will be set up so we can accommodate 12 players and is book-able through Billy Main ( / 07979806571).

This session will run separate to Irvine TTC, as every Tuesday Irvine TTC will run 6pm – 7.20pm. Then NATTC will start at 7.30pm – 9pm.

North Ayrshire TT Session – Portal Info

– Every Tuesday 7.30pm – 9pm

– NATTC players only

– Limited to 12 players

– Book in advance, let Billy know if you are attending

– £4 per session

– No set up or set down of tables

– KA Leisure / TT Scotland Covid-19 rules to be followed and adhered to

– Entrance through main door, exit through fire exit in main hall

– Temperature check on arrival

If you plan to attend this week or the following, drop my dad a message and he will put your name down for the session.

Back in Action

Great first week of table tennis post lockdown and a smooth return to club activity at our new venue, St Peters church hall in Ardrossan. Sessions ran Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and we do the same again this week, with slightly longer days and busier timetable.

All players were great at adhering to the new Covid-19 rules that we have put in place. The hall was looking good with the increased court size and the 3 tables set up. We have opened up our sessions this week to include players from different clubs, such as Irvine TTC and West Kilbride TTC as their venues aren’t open yet.

Our first two weekends have seen over 40+ players walk in the door and we continue to operate a book in advance timetable. Anyone wanting to book a table, confirm times or get more information, please contact Billy Main on 07979806571.

VIDEO : Jamie Johnson playing well after his first weekend back, making the topspin exercises look easy as usual …

Club Update – Sept 9th

Competitions Cancelled
Club sec Jordan McGinlay received an email in last couple of days from WoSTTL stating that the first weekend of SNL in Oct is cancelled, alongside the Perth Open and Scottish Primary School Championships. We will keep you posted with dates that get changed or amended. Still no  confirmed date when WOS Senior League will be back in action, but we know Edinburgh League will be starting back Jan 2021.

We have secured a number of new venues which we will using while St Matthews remain shut and have moved all relevant equipment to those venues. St Peters Church hall we will be using just now which is an ideal hall for 3 tables. Ardrossan Scout Hut, West Kilbride Community Centre are two venues we plan to use for sessions but remain closed just now until later this month. The Portal could be opening in the next couple of weeks so we hope that we can have some bigger club sessions on 6 tables when that does open. Will keep you posted.

1-1 coaching 
I will be slowly organising some sort of weekly schedule with regards to 1-1 coaching. The portal main sports hall is opening soon and we have asked for a couple of nights (Mon, Tue, Wed or Thurs). Chris will be in contact with players regarding the 1-1 times early next week.

Videos / Promo
We have a couple of tripods down with me over the weekend, so if anyone wants to record their training or practice matches, let us know and Chris can give you tripod for your phone. I shared few videos on Instagram of people who put pics up / videos up on their profiles. Any more this week let me know and ill do the same.

British League
British League first weekend which was suppose to be Sept 26/27th has been cancelled by TT England, disappointing news but sort of expected. The remaining fixtures in Dec, Mar and Apr are set to go ahead and possibly another date to add to the calendar. Jordan has been in contact with all our BSL players with venues, divisions and teams we are up against.

ITTF Foundation Grant
We have been successful in applying for the ITTF Foundation grant which helps clubs around the world with all sort of support during the lockdown. We are being sent equipment from ITTF for our club members and people at our sessions to use. Over £2.5k worth of rubbers, blades, clothing and club equipment so we are very thankful for ITTF in supporting us.

Bonus Ball
Again, thanks to everyone who has continued to play and contribute towards club funds by playing the Bonus Ball. Billy has been contacting the winners to arrange prizes. We plan to start a 50/50 club beginning the month of October, so we will be in touch then regarding the set up of it.

Sat 5th Sept Winner – Jim Love
Sat 29th Aug Winner – John McNamara
Sat 22nd Aug Winner – John McNamara
Sat 15th Aug WInner – Ian Macpherson
Sat 8th Aug Winner – Pete Hay

Support from ITTF Foundation

The ITTF Foundation has been set up specifically to promote humanitarian projects around the globe, creating positive social change and solidarity through table tennis. Events such as World Table Tennis Day and the first ever ITTF World Parkinson;s Table Tennis Championships have been organised by the Foundation and are growing year on year. They have focused mainly on projects involving women, refugees, and people with disabilities.

New for 2020, and in response to the COVID-19, comes TABLE TENNIS UNITED. Those involved in table tennis affected by the pandemic, can apply to the scheme for support. Support can be in the form of financial, equipment or knowledge that is deemed helpful to the applicant. Club member, Graeme Stevenson, learned of the project through the ITTF website and suggested that our club, North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club apply for funding.

We set about collating information on how the pandemic had affected our club. The cancellation of the North Ayrshire Open and several other planned activities significantly reduced our income over this recent period. We applied to the ITTF TABLE TENNIS UNITED Fund for support and a few weeks later we were delighted to be offered some $3,500 worth of equipment for the club. This donation in kind will without doubt help the club continue now with many activities, including kids pre and after school clubs, and also a planned promotion of women and girls in table tennis. Whilst we are aware the pandemic will still cause some disruption to our future plans we are very grateful to ITTF Foundation and their partners for the support we have been given.

Return to TT

North Ayrshire TT – Return to TT – Friday 4th Sept

NATTC will be back in action and return to limited club activity from this Friday 4th September at one of our newly secured venues, St Peters Church Hall in Ardrossan.

Club coaches / volunteers have been working hard over the past couple of weeks sorting out our return to table tennis. We have secured a number of venues where we have moved tables and equipment too. However, some remain shut for a few weeks and while they are in the process of re-opening, we will be using St Peters main hall starting with sessions running this Friday 4th Sept, Sat 5th, Sun 6th and Mon 7th.

– The main hall is perfect size and will hold 3 tables (5m x 10m court size) where 6 players can play at the same time. 1 coach will be in attendance who will not enter the playing area.

–  Session times will be emailed to members tomorrow and people can contact Billy Main to book their session. Each session will be an hour and a half with 20 mins between sessions to clean the equipment and change over to the next slot.

– 2 players per court at one time and we will provide new balls for each session for each table.

– Cost will be £5 per session, with upfront online payment preferred. When booking sessions with Billy let him know if you intend to transfer online. Makes it so easy if people continue to use online payments.

– All TTS and Scottish Govt policy and procedures will be met with temperature check, hand sanitiser and register for each member’s details for track and trace on entry. Graeme Stevenston is our Covid Officer who has been doing risk assessments of venues and purchasing all relevant PPE equipment.

– Table Tennis Scotland – Ready to Return guidelines are available to read on their website on the link below which has all the procedures / policies we will be following.


Martin Johnson Moves to Archway

17 year old Martin Johnson continues his full time table tennis, moving to Archway Peterborough for the season of 2019-2020. Martin who is a former Auchenharvie Academy pupil, was training at Borussia Dusseldorf in Germany for the season 2018-2019 will be hoping to build on his recent results pre lockdown and getting back into the swing of things. A full year training full time at Archway, representing North Ayrshire in British Premier League and Division 1 of Scottish League will be a tough task, but a task he motivated and ready for.

Archway Peterborough have built up a top reputation in the UK TT scene and now have one of the highest class training on offer with top class international players based their and top coaches running their daily session. Gareth Herbert who won Gold at Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002 is Academy director and comments this about Martin moving to Archway

” We would like to welcome Scotland’s Martin Johnson to the club. Martin has spent the past year at the prestigious Dussledorf table tennis club in Germany where many champions have been made. We welcome Martin to Archway where he will continue his development with us. Welcome Martin.”

VIDEO : Watch Martin train and sign his contract –

Player Spotlight – Ryan Henry

Ryan Henry features in our latest Player Spotlight article where he answers questions on his tt career, what international competitions he has played in and what its like to be part of the GB Para squad. Ryan who is ranked no5 in Britain in the Class 8 category, currently plays for NATTC in three different leagues, studies Sports Coaching and Developement at UWS and coaches at the club and in local schools.

How did you first get involved in TT and what club did you go to first ?

I first got involved with TT when I was 11, a friend of mine was going to the club ran by Jordan and Chris in Dalry so i went to give it a try. I instantly enjoyed the sport and started going to club nights on a Monday at St Matthews Academy.

How long have you been training with the British Para Squad?

I started off only playing able bodied table tennis as I never realised I qualified to play para TT, I only went to my first para comp in December 2015 when I played in Liverpool, I then played my first international comp at the Spanish Open in June 2016 where I was officially classified and placed in class 8.

What countries have you competed and trained in?

I regularly travel to Sheffield to train with the GB pathway squad and around different parts of the UK for comps and training camps.

I have played a total of 13 international competition in 9 different countries. And have been to international training camps 3 times in 2 different countries.

I have played in Barcelona (Spain), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Lignano Sabbisdoro (Italy), Cluj de Napoca (Romania), Sint Niklaas (Belgium), Malmo (Sweden), Las Vegas (USA), Cancún (Mexico) and San José (Costa Rica).

I have also been to training camps in Oslo (Norway) and Previdza (Slovakia).

Hows the lockdown been for you? Have you been able to keep active and keep in touch with players and coaches at both NATTC and BPTT?

Lockdown has affected my training as I don’t have a table so I can’t train in that sense. I have been doing what I can to stay in shape though so my game suffers as little as possible. I have been doing shadow play sessions often both with the para GB squad on zoom calls and by myself, as well as doing hiit sessions with NATTC and going out runs. I also have a meeting once a week with GB pathway coach Shaun Marples to stay in touch and communicate what I’m doing and what I can be doing to help my game throughout this lockdown.

Pre-lockdown, what does your usual weeks training look like? 

Before lockdown my schedule consisted of 3 training sessions a week on the table, 1 league match and usually competitions at the weekends. During the peak season I can be playing table tennis every night of the week plus travelling to competitions which is what I enjoy but also tough going.

Biggest achievement with NATTC?

My biggest achievement with NATTC has to be winning Scottish Para National Championships in 2019, this was my first time playing Nationals and I played well particularly in the final to win it. Jamie Johnson, Ian Macpherson and I got promoted to Division 1 of Scottish National League so I am looking forward to competing in Div 1 next season.

Biggest achievement internationally with British Para team?

My biggest achievement with GB para squad would be gaining a bronze medal in the team event in Mexico, I was playing in tough conditions and it was tough playing all day due to the time difference as it was tough to stay energised and not get too tired. I played particularly well in this event winning 4/5 of my singles matches and winning the bronze medal match against the Gold medallist in the singles event 14:12 in the 5th set.

You are currently studying Sports Coaching / Development at UWS whats its like combining education with training and what tips do you have on managing them both ?

I currently study Sports Coaching and Development at the University of the West of Scotland. I fit in uni work throughout the day to avoid it affecting my training at nights. Table tennis suits in well with my course as I can use personal experience competing and coaching for my course. From Jan – March I completed 60 hours coaching table tennis in local primary schools which was organised through my uni and NA active schools.

You are active in coaching at the club, both at competitions at weekends and delivering school classes / 1-1s during the week. What do you get out of coaching and what parts of it do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy coaching with the club as it allows me to look at the game from others perspectives and can help my own game. I also enjoy it as I love to see the the improvement of those I’m coaching it very rewarding seeing they’re hard work paying off and them getting results in competition.

Ryan was a finalist in the OSC Young Sportsperson of the year awards 2017 and travelled to London for the prestigious event. OSC came to our club to interview Ryan and see him play which you can watch below on Vimeo.


Club Update – July 19th

See below email sent out to members of our club. We have listed some workshops, meetings to get involved in and articles to have a read through.

Table Tennis Scotland – COVID Update July 10th
“Table Tennis Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government update of 9th July on the move to Phase Three of the route map out of lockdown, however, we do wish to reiterate what this means for table tennis clubs, facilities and players across the country.”

“Whilst TTS appreciated this continues to be a frustrating time for clubs, facilities and players across Scotland, the updated guidance has confirmed that no indoor gyms and sports facilities will not be able to re-open before Friday 31st July 2020. An update will be provided on 30th July. Read full TTS update here” –

Stephen Gertsen – NATTC Workshop – Thursday 23rd July 7pm
Stephen Gertsen is running a club workshop for all members, coaches and parents to join this Thurday at 7pm. The workshop will be based in “Cornering in matches” which will cover coaching at the end of games and what sort of tactics you should be looking to implement during it.

This workshop has been organised via TTS, covers a great topic and will be beneficial for everyone at the club. Stephen will be delivering it and ideal for anyone who coaches team mates, friends and sons / daughters at WoS league matches and or national competitions. It will be done on Zoom and I will send out email with link to join on Wednesday evening. Please let us know if you would like to join by message / email.  

Equipment Check-Up
We have sorted all nets and posts from NATTC recently after picking them up from venues our equipment are stored in and obviously St Matthews Academy. John Smith has spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks welding parts together, fixing all broken parts and fitting new parts to existing posts. 

We have also repaired over 10 tables which were broken / damaged and can add these tables to the fleet of tables where we can use as we see fit.  This has been a slow and time consuming job but our equipment has never been in better shape.

I have written up a clubs asset sheet which details how much equipment the club owns and where its stored. Ill send this on once finalised.

Player Spotlight – Ryan Henry
Ryan Henry features in our latest Player Spotlight. Ryan who currently plays in the WoS Senior League, British league and Scottish national league answer questions on his tt career so far, where he has played international competitions and highlights some of his best achievements. He has been part of the British Para Squad for a number of years now and has been active coaching at the club both at competitions and 1-1s. Read his player spotlight here –

Bonus Ball Winners
Thanks to everyone who signed up and has paid for the Bonus ball competition for the month of July. Few guys still to pay, so if you need to find out how much you owe, give my dad a message and he’ll let you know. Winners are as follows ;

Sat 4th July – Ann Alcock with No13, prize bottle of whiskey
Sat July 11th – Ian Macpherson with No22, prize TBC
Sat July 18th – Colin Dalgleish with No18, prize TBC

Club Zoom Meetings – British League and WoS Senior League
I have pencilled in two dates for the next club zoom meetings, British league update where we will speak to the players involved with the most recent info we have had. Chris and Billy were involved in a meeting on Sunday with TT England and British League discussing the possibilities for next season and the make up of the divisions.

Zoom meeting to discuss (as best we can) west senior league teams for next season. We know roughly what divisions our teams will be in next season so can plan the best we can for the season ahead. Please put dates in diaries.

British League meeting – Monday 27th July 6pm
WoS Senior League meeting – Monday 3rd Aug 6pm


TTS Q&A with Martin Johnson and Danny Bajwa
Tune in this coming Monday (20th July) to watch Martin Johnson and Dumfries’s Danny Bajwa chat and answer questions about their time training full time at Borussia Dusseldorf. David Fairholm hosts the weekly show on TTS Youtube channel and the boys will be joined by their coaches Chris Main and Dylan DeSilva. Can watch the video here –


Stephen Gertsen – TTS Club Workshop

Stephen Gertsen is running a club workshop for all members / coaches / parents to join this Thursday 23rd July at 7pm. The workshop will be based on “Cornering in Matches” which will cover coaching at the end of games and what sort of tactics you should be looking to implement during it.

This workshop has been organised via TTS, covers a great topic and will be beneficial for everyone at the club. Stephen will be delivering it and ideal for anyone who coaches team mates, friends and sons / daughters at league matches and competitions.

It will be done on Zoom and I will send out email with link to join on Wednesday evening. Please let us know if you would like to join by message / email. 

TTS Youtube Q&A – Featuring Martin Johnson

Tune in this coming Monday (20th July) to watch Martin Johnson and Dumfries’s Danny Bajwa chat and answer questions about their time training full time at Borussia Dusseldorf. David Fairholm hosts the weekly show on TTS Youtube channel and the boys will be joined by their coaches Chris Main and Dylan DeSilva.

From Dunbar, Dumfries to Dusseldorf

Watch live and ask questions below on the TTS YouTube channel