To inspire everyone to be a champion, instil a lifelong love for table tennis and a positive sense of community within all our players



An integrated community where people from all backgrounds play table tennis together while breaking down barriers and prejudice




At BTTC, equality means that not every player gets the same, but every player gets what they need.

Many challenges face BTTC as we rebuild carefully following the road map out of the pandemic. Among them is the opportunity to reflect on our values, re-imagine them and revise what we do in a new context. Fundamental to this must be the principle of generating social value to tackle inequalities and change for the better the lives of the people and communities we work with, to liberate their talents and increase their opportunities.

Social value has always been central to our club philosophy, but we must take extra steps to ensure it is the driving force in all we do. This is entirely in concert with the new Sport England strategy, which stresses that tackling inequalities must be a major focus for all sports organisations to provide and offer easier access to under-represented and marginalised groups.

BTTC is already leading on this agenda, but we must target our work even more carefully to achieve a significant number of players from these groups in every session where possible.

With the development of our new community hub, we are in a very strong position to integrate and collaborate with even more organisations and make further exciting and fruitful links. BTTC will continue to be at the forefront of establishing innovative community action to achieve positive social cohesion that has fragmented inevitably over the last year and we see it as a great opportunity for the club and the community.

About Brighton Table Tennis Club

Founded in 2007 by Tim Holtam, Harry McCarney and Wen Wei Xu, BTTC started small with two worn out tables in the Brighton Youth Centre but with the strong belief that table tennis can be used as a powerful tool in engaging people of all ages and transforming lives. Now a registered charity, today the club has its own full time centre with ten tables in Kemptown and runs over 200 tables across the city in parks, squares, schools, sheltered housing schemes, a centre for homeless people, sports centres and a psychiatric hospital. It works in three prisons outside the city.

…BTTC is a place brimming with optimism, excitement and energy.

Brighton Table Tennis Club is the world’s first recognised Club of Sanctuary, for its work with refugees

More than 1,500 people play in the club’s weekly sessions. As well as nationally ranked table tennis players, the number includes people with learning disabilities, people from the Brighton Travellers site, Looked After Children, people with physical disabilities, people from the LGBT community and young asylum seekers. The youngest player is 2 and the oldest is over 100.

Table tennis is known to be one of the most accessible and exciting sports, helping both physical and mental agility for all ages. As well as being a centre of sporting excellence with national championship players, the coaching training programme is remarkable, uniquely qualifying a wide range of people as coaches, including those with Down’s Syndrome, prisoners, refugees, people living with long-term health conditions, as well as high performance players.

The club is the world’s first recognised Club of Sanctuary, for its work with refugees. In 2019 it won the national Daily Mirror/TSB Sports Club of the Year.

The club is the world’s first recognised Club of Sanctuary, for its work with refugees. In 2019 it won the national Daily Mirror/TSB Sports Club of the Year.

Always innovative and outward facing, lockdown did not stop the club from invention. BTTC were one of the first off the mark to create a Food Hub, using their many volunteers and established partners such as the Real Junk Food Project. BTTC was also one of the first nationally to keep the community together through online means. The Daily Show allowed people to be together, and to be caring, silly and creative in one fun distracted hour; the perfect antidote to isolation. Well over 100 shows were completed with additional workshops of yoga, keep fit, art and music, before return to play at the club was allowed, making it a lifeline for vulnerable and sedentary people especially.

Every town and city should have a BTTC

Mike Diaper. Executive Director of Children, Young People & Tackling Inactivity, Sport England

During the school holidays BTTC organised successful sessions at Moulsecoomb to provide activities for SEND children across the city. The club has also created a national course for other clubs and organisations called “ Building a Grassroots Community” commissioned by Sport England and have launched AllStarsTT, a mass participation competition which is completely free and for anyone to play, anywhere in the world.

BTTC reaches out positively with ping pong power, welcoming everyone. Fundamental to the club’s work is the principle of social value and BTTC is actively committed to create provision and easier access for under represented people in addition to be a busy local community hub. The guiding principles of the club are respect and solidarity through combining competitive sport with community building and BTTC is a place brimming with optimism, excitement and energy.

Brighton Table Tennis Club timeline