Author Archives: Chris Main

Martin Johnson – Dusseldorf Move

Martin Johnson will be moving to Dusseldorf, Germany to train and compete on a full time basis with top European club Borussia Düsseldorf. Martin will start this new and exciting chapter of his table tennis career at the end of this month and will move out and be based there for the full season. 

The 16 year old comments as he prepares for his move 

“It’s been my dream from a young age to move abroad to play TT full time and to one day compete in one of the top leagues in Europe. In May, I was invited to visit and train with the Borussia Düsseldorf junior squad and was delighted when I was offered the chance to play with them in the German league this coming season. 

“I’m moving to Düsseldorf at the end of August and will be training and playing there for the season ahead. I’m really looking forward to living and playing in Germany. I’m determined that this is the first step to kick start my career as a full time table tennis player.”

Martin who picked up a bat for the first time at a KA Leisure Summer Camp over 8 years, has progressed his way through all the teams that North Ayrshire TTC has to offer, from West of Scotland Junior League to British Premier League. Martin has put in all the hours on the table he possibly can and everyone at the club from players to volunteers are delighted that he has achieved one of main targets of signing for a top European club.

With this opportunity comes player expenses, which has seen a GoFundMe page been set up on Martins behalf to help cover some costs associated with this move. Below is a link to the GoFundMe page which you can donate to if you can/wish.

As you can imagine, the cost of training and travel to and from the hall every day is expensive. I’m making this page in the hope that you can make a donation to help fund the cost of my training that will allow me to work hard and reach the level I’m aiming for.”

Teams For Season 19-20

Teams for the up and coming season are being finalised and if you are wanting involved in a team in the following leagues please let our club secretary know if not done so already.

Confirmed teams so far

2 x British League

4 x Scottish National League

4 x West of Scotland Senior League

2 x West of Scotland Junior League

More teams will hopefully be added if enough players are wanting and committed to play.  We are awaiting further info from British League about a potential 3rd team.

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Club AGM

Club AGM was held at St Matthews Academy on 10th June, thanks to all the members, players, volunteers and parents that attended and contributed. Contact info for all committee members below will be sent to all members email addresses.

Committee Members Elected at Club AGM – 10th June

Alex Hughes – Chairman
Billy Main – Treasurer
Jordan McGinlay – Secretary
Jim Love – Child Protection Officer
Susan McNamara – Press Officer
Ian Macpherson – Committee Member
John Duncan – Committee Member
Kevin Morrison – Committee Member
John McNamara – Committee Member
Andy Macpherson – Committee Member
Bruce McLellan – Committee Member
Chad Duncan – Junior Delegate
Martin Krus – Junior Delegate
Chris Main – Club Coach / Development Officer


Bronze For Martin at British School Championships

Martin Johnson (Auchenharvie Academy) posted a strong weekend of results at the recent British Senior Schools International in Guernsey, returning home with a Bronze medal in the U16 Boys Singles event.

Martin competing in his last Senior Schools event before he moves to Germany, produced a fine performance over the 3 day competition where he only lost out to 2 players. In the team event alongside partner Charlie Morton, Martin and Charlie finished 4th behind England A, England B and Wales after several full distance matches went the way of their opponents.

In the singles event Martin won his opening group of 4 after a decisive 3-1 battle v David Taylor (Ire).  In the last 16 he faced another top Irish player in Ciaran O’Donoghue, Martin won that 3-1 and back it up with a straight set Quarter Final win v English no4 Jacob Evans to put him in the medal positions. Top seed and English no1 Joseph Hee proved too strong in the semi final, who Martin had worried the previous day after their five set battle. Another medal at UK event and rewards his constant hard work at home and also his training trips to Eslov, Dusseldorf and Nantes over the recent months.

Full results from team event and singles available from GTTA website –

Senior Schools International

Six of North Ayrshire TTC’s top performing junior players are heading to Guernsey this weekend to represent their school and the Scottish Schools team in the annual Senior Schools International event.

Martin Johnson – Auchenharvie Academy
Jamie Johnson – Auchenharvie Academy
Nathan Hogg – Largs Academy
Jess Hogg – Largs Academy
Holly McNamara – Ardrossan Academy
Naomi Provan – Arran High School

Martin, Jamie, Nathan, Jess, Holly & Naomi qualified at the Scottish Schools Final which seen all players finish in top 4 of their respective age groups and seen Holly win the U14 Girls Event and Martin win the U16 Boys Event.
Guernsey Table Tennis Club will see the top national players and coaches from Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales Guernsey, Jersey & Isle of Man compete in the team event and singles event throughout the 3 days of play (Fri – Sun).

Club Treasurer Billy Main comments ‘ All the best to the Scottish Team and to our players who have  competed brilliantly throughout the season, put in the hours on the table and trained hard in recent weeks building up to this event. To have 6 players from our club up against the very best of British players is a great achievement for all involved and hope the players deservingly pick up some big wins and bring home some medals’

Results and Photos available on GTTA website – 

Ryan Henry Medal Haul

A busy and successful end to the season for Ryan Henry who has won several medals recently at prestigious national and international events. In the last 12 months, Ryan has been taking all the training and competition opportunities he possibly can. Competing for North Ayrshire in WoS Senior League, Scottish National League, British League and competing / training for the Paralympic GB team abroad and in Sheffield.

The rewards for his hard work and efforts have came towards the end of the season, which seen Ryan win Gold and Silver medals at the 1st Scottish Disability Championships, Bronze medal at the Mexican Open and Bronze medal at the Costa Brava Open. See below for more detailed results

Scottish Disability Championships
Mens Singles – Winner
Mens Physical Standing – Runner Up

Mexico Open 
Bronze Medal – TM8
Partner – Jamie Jara Hernandez (CHI)

Costa Brava Open 
Bronze Medal – TM8
Partner – Roy Van Der Burg (NED)

British Para Nationals
Class 8 – Semi Finals
Standing Doubles – Semi Finals
Partner – Jack Stockdale

Mexican Open – Excerpt from British Para TT Website
They lost 2-0 to the Asian Para Games team bronze medallist Takumi Shukunobe and US Open bronze medallist Hiromi Sato from Japan but secured the bronze medal with a 2-0 win against Costa Rica, Henry beating the class 8 singles gold medallist and Pan-American champion Steven Roman Chinchilla in the first singles match.

“I’m happy to win a bronze in the team event,” said Henry. “It’s been a good competition for me overall with some good wins in the singles and team events. I’m looking forward to working hard back home towards my next international competition.”

Spanish Open – Excerpt from British Para TT Website
Henry and Van Der Burg reached the semi-finals with a 2-0 win against Korea/Japan having earlier lost 2-0 to the very experienced Belgian/Italian combination of Marc Ledoux and Samuel De Chiara. After losing the doubles to Andrianus Van Amerongen and Devin Wassink, Van Der Burg levelled the semi-final with a 3-1 win against Van Amerongen and Wassink was just too strong for 18 year old Henry in the final singles, taking it 3-1 to send Netherlands into the final.

“I’m happy with how I played throughout the tournament and pleased to win bronze,” said Henry. “I had chances to win my last match and my opponent played very well. I feel I’ve learnt a lot from the last few days and know what I need to work on to achieve more in the future.”


New Qualified Coaches

Since January 2019, North Ayrshire  TTC have invested funding from our club and from partners the Sporting Chance Foundation in our coach education, which has seen club coaches go through Safe Guarding Children courses, First Aid courses and UKCC Level 1 courses.

A two day UKCC Level 1 course was held at the Portal, Irvine which had coaches from NATTC, Irvine TTC and West Kilbride TTC on it. Table Tennis Scotland Coach Educators, Paul Jackson and Senga Thomson delivered the course  and work with the candidates on passing the course.

Our club are delighted with the support of the Sporting Chance Foundation which has enabled a number of volunteers and junior players from the North Ayrshire area to gain their first coaching badge. Also supporting the additional courses required to attend and pass before their coaching license is obtained.

Pictured is newly qualified Level 1 coaches Ryan Henry, Owen Phillips, Martin Krus and Alex Gracie, receiving the cheque from SCF.

Sporting Chance Foundation comments below ;

Now in its 15th year, North Ayrshire Table Tennis has introduced 3000 people to a new sport with a strong emphasis on fun and participation.

We want to continue this success, by facilitating more opportunities for young people in deprived areas to get active and join this inspiring community.

Nourishing the grassroots of sport; Transforming Junior players into coaches

A new generation of young people have grown up through the club, with more than100 playing table tennis regularly at NATTC centres. This community is empowering young people to improve their lives and futures through sport however, we want to keep them involved in sport for longer.

Together with NATTC we facilitate juniors to become qualified in their UKCC Level 1 and Level 2 Coaching Courses.

Our impact means young players are feeding their talent and positivity back into the clubs and areas that supported their development. By enabling young people to attain sporting qualifications, we hope to develop the skills they need for their future.

WoS League & Cup Division 4 Winners

North Ayrshire C team of Jordan McGinlay, Kevin Morrison, Martin Krus, Kayser Collins and Holly McNamara had a successful season in Division 4 of West of Scotland League. The team won the league title 6 points ahead of closest rivals Croft and 10 points ahead of third place Glasgow South. The league which runs from September to the end of March, went right down to the last match, but a convincing 8-1 win v Boys Brigade meant a 6 point gap was kept to secure the title.

The team of Holly, Martin and Kevin beat Brunswick E 5-0 at Drumchapel in the final of the Divisional Cup to secure the Cup and league double. As added bonus, Kevin Morrison also won the Division 4 player of the season with 37 wins out of 39 (94.87%).

League Table –

Player Averages –


Community Table Tennis

North Ayrshire TTC alongside active schools, community groups and local primary schools have been setting up blocks of table tennis coaching for people young and old to get involved in table tennis and try it out.

Since the start of 2019, we have delivered more than 20 tables plus the essential bats, nets and balls to various schools, church halls, community centres and venues to give as many people the opportunity to get active and try out table tennis.

Our team of coaches and volunteers have delivered hundreds of hours of coaching to various groups of beginners and have put their newly gained qualifications to great use and gained valuable coaching experience. Teaching them the basics of table tennis, the scoring system and showing them how its played properly.

St Cuthberts Church Hall, St Peters Primary, St Anthonys Primary, West Kilbride Primary, West Kilbride Community Centre, St Matthews Academy, Ardrossan Academy, Mayfield Primary, Garnock Campus, Blacklands Primary, Dalry Campus, Kilwinning Sports Club.

North Ayrshire Continue National League Dominance

North Ayrshire Continue National League Dominance.

North Ayrshire have again won Division One of the Scottish National League; their 6thtitle in 8 seasons. They did so with two clear cut wins on the final day, taking the title by a highly convincing margin of 5 points over the runners up Murrayfield A and 3rdplaced South Ayrshire. All 5 divisions of the newly expanded league were in action on Saturday (9thFebruary) with play taking place across the 19 tables at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth.


Division 1 Action.

The clash between South Ayrshire A and North Ayrshire A produced a highly competitive match. The battle of the left-handers saw Zak Wilson and Dylan Curry fight it out over 4 high quality sets- with the South Ayrshire player eventually winning 3-1. Two Aberdeen based players Colin Dalgleish and Dylan Curry produced an intriguing match. A fault serve at 9-10 didn’t help Curry’s cause but a lovely sweeping backhand return help him clinch the 3rd before Dalgleish closed it out 11-5 in the 4thwith some crunching winners.

Though the match eventually finished 6-0, Yao Tang (Drumchapel A’s key player) ensured that was not plain sailing for North Ayrshire A as she took their number one Colin Dalgleish to 5 sets in an engaging match of clashing styles. Yao Tang also had a good tussle with Zak Wilson whose spectacular around the net winner was a highlight of the match and one of the highlights of the day. Two wins for Yao Tang and a good win for Zaid Khalid against Martin Johnson secured a vital draw for their side (vs North Ayrshire B) as they did just enough to finish above North Ayrshire B (for whom Ethan Chapman picked up 2 wins) and avoid relegation.

For Dumfries, Keir Morton overcame a slow start against Gordon Muir (0-7 down in the first), to win and contribute to his team’s 4- 2 victory over Murrayfield B. For Murrayfield B Faye Leggett was the clear star, producing a good win against Dylan de Silva and also taking Danny Bajwa to five sets before his big sweeping strokes on both wings helped him take the final set. Leggett also produced a good win against Ethan Chapman of North Ayrshire B and performed creditably in losing out narrowly to Andy Macpherson, as North Ayrshire B won 5-1.

A boring win?

North Ayrshire’s player-coach Chris Main rejected the idea that winning the National League had become boring, it had been a real challenge: this is ‘the season where the depth has been the greatest with strong teams throughout the top division’. While ‘in previous years the division was a bit weaker at the bottom’ this has changed. (North Ayrshire’s B team relegation backs this up-they were a highly competitive outfit and can consider themselves unfortunate to drop back down to Division 2). Even the 5-1 and 6-0 victories that North Ayrshire A gained on the final day against South Ayrshire and Drumchapel were full of tight individual matches- ‘the scorelines may look easy but they were absolutely not easy matches, with plenty of 5 and 4 setters…every single match with played this year has been super tough’.

Main picked out the contribution of Zac Wilson who had been ‘excellent’ throughout the season; he had really fitted well into the club and had been ‘a great signing’. Martin Johnson had, Main believed, also made an important contribution in winning three of his four matches when he came in to cover an absent Colin Dalgleish.  Main praised the efforts of Dalgleish (now in his seventh season with North Ayrshire) for his vital contribution to the club’s National League successes. His game has ‘now reached an excellent level’ and he is now producing ‘big big wins’ such as his recent success against Danny Reed in the British League: ‘he’s been taking two or three big scalps every season for the past few years’ and had again maintained a 100% record in the Scottish National League. Main himself went through the season undefeated and felt that he was ‘still playing decently’ and still enjoyed competing (alongside his coaching).

Winning the top division gives his club another chance of competing in the ETTU Cup and it again he’s hoping that the club can attract enough sponsorship to the club in order to bid to host matches as they did before so successfully in 2015.

Main believes that ‘because the ETTU know it went well last time…it gives us a decent chance of hosting again’.