ANNUAL REPORT for 2012-2013



The last year has been a period of consolidation. Membership continues to rise and we now have a record number of both junior and senior members both continuing to grow as more respond to the publicity for our sport arising from last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and the various PING events. Casual table tennis sessions now take place regularly, and we have added coaching sessions for disabled table tennis players, for whom there are no other playing facilities in our area. If our bid for the funding to improve our facilities for the disabled is successful, this is one area of our activities that we intend to expand.

Our small team of painters and decorators, ably led by Pete Roddy and Roy Prosser, have helped to keep the club looking spic and span, but the necessary repairs to our deteriorating roof have been held back pending the results of our application to the Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund for a grant to facilitate its complete replacement, details of which are described later in this report.

A highlight this year was the presentation to Colebridge by Warwickshire Clubs for Young People, at their AGM, of the Ken Hitchman Trophy for ‘Club of the Year’, the first time that Colebridge has received this prestigious award.

A double success for Table Tennis, including one for a hard working Colebridge member, was the highlight of the 32nd annual Birmingham Sports Awards. The awards, hosted by the Birmingham Sports Association, are held to recognise people, clubs and projects in Birmingham that not only demonstrate high performance on the international sporting stage, but also those who give up countless hours to support the development of sport within the many communities of Birmingham.

Ping Brum was successful in the Governing Body Project of the Year for its extremely well supported Festival of Ping Pong that took place throughout the City from 6th July to 13th August. Surveys done at the time, revealed that 109,000 people played on the 64 tables and that 4000 bats were supplied (many distributed by Inky Moss, no doubt!).

Our man in the spotlight was Youth Leader and Coach, Edward Lynn, who was named Participation Coach of the Year, for his tireless work on Ping, the Premier League 4 Sport Programme with Aston Villa FC, and his formation and successful running of the North Birmingham 2 Aside League.

Colebridge also did its bit to help make the Solihull Gets Active event on 29th August a success. This was designed as a follow-up to the Paralympic games and members of various sports clubs in Solihull gathered at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre to demonstrate that anyone with a disability can play sport successfully. As a result of atrocious weather, the outdoor events were cancelled, so the Colebridge manned table tennis table and the supporting members, Edward Lynn, Neil Wheatley, Lee Holtham, Todd Marshall, Vishaal Dhokiya and Sam Henderson were kept very busy. We were very pleased when one young man who played for a while, subsequently joined the Club and now attends our Friday sessions regularly.

Prior to that event, a small party of young members, led by Inky Moss and Neil Wheatley took advantage of free tickets kindly donated to the Club by NCYP to attend a session of the Paralympic games table tennis at London’s ExCel Exhibition Centre.


Overall, membership has increased and by the end of the year stood at 144, made up as follows (the age range statistics are those required annually by NCYP):

7 to 10 years213
11 to 12 years505
13 to 16 years38442
17 to 19 years909
20-25 years415



Once again Colebridge members dominated Warwickshire Clubs for Young People’s annual table tennis championships held at Nuneaton on 13th April, in terms of both the number of entries and success.

This year, the Club was able to include 3 girls in the squad of 13 and although they had to play the boys in their age groups in order to enjoy more matches, all 3 gained entry to June’s National Championships – Emma Kilpatrick as the Under 12 Girls Champion, with Sophie Rinnhofer runner-up, and Sophie’s sister, Lisa, as the Under 14 Girls Champion.

Colebridge boys were also very successful. In the Under 12 event, Charlie Tucki was runner-up. Todd Marshall retained his Under 14 Champion title, with Matthew Benson as runner-up. Sam Henderson was Under 16 Champion, with Sam Minton runner-up and the Under 19 Champion was Dapo Balogun, with Jamie Fellows runner-up. All qualified for free entry to the National Championships.

Chairman Inky Moss performed his usual umpire’s role and presented the certificates.

The National Clubs for Young People has been rebranded as Ambition UK and its table tennis championships took place on 15th June.

12 of our young members made the journey to Widnes and with players in almost every event we had high hopes of a few titles. We were not disappointed, but it was our under 15s, the girls especially, that stole the show.

The Rinnhofer sisters led the way, Lisa winning the Under 14 Girls title against a strong opponent, producing two flashing counter hits to clinch an 11-9 win in the last game of a very exciting Final.  8 year old Sophie won the Under 12 Plate event in another 5 game nail biter, showing amazing composure for one so young.

At one stage it looked as though Colebridge might also have an Under 12 Girls Singles champion, as Emma Kilpatrick, fought her way to the final in convincing fashion, but there she met a more experienced opponent, whose steady hitting she was unable to match.

Not to be outdone, our high hope for the Under 14 Boys title, Callum Anthrobus, did not let us down. Showing that he too will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come, Callum sailed through to the Final with some ease and had little difficulty in recording the first of what should be many future titles.

Our top junior Sam Henderson was unlucky to find himself in the strongest half of the draw in the Under 16 Boys Singles, which included two boys with higher ETTA rankings. Having seen off the challenge of the second of the two, Sam reached the semi-final in which he was unlucky to lose out to the highest ranked boy in the final game of the day’s most exciting match.

Dapo Balogun, also made it to a semi-final – of the Under 19 Boys Singles. Here he met Jack Hunter-Spivey, a junior member of the England Disability team, whose speed and skill at countering the heavy spinning shots thrown at him, despite playing from his wheelchair, proved too much for Dapo.

None of our other boys were able to return with trophies, but the two youngest, Aaryan Deshpande and Charlie Tucki, aged 10 and 11 respectively, won several matches, as did the older ones, Jamie Fellows, Ben Matthews, Sam Minton and Luke Truman, all of whom got through the group stages.

All of our juniors should be congratulated for their excellent behaviour and the support they gave to their team mates. Well done! All were a credit to our Club and to Warwickshire Clubs for Young People, whom they were also representing. Emma Kilpatrick and Charlie Tucki obtained their junior umpire certificates at this event.

A special mention should be made for the Colebridge coaches, who are being amply repaid for their long hours of work at the Club. Ed Lynn, in particular on this day, stepped in with the right advice at crucial moments, despite feeling unwell.  Also for the parents, Mike, Carolyn and Gig, who helped  with the transport, Inky Moss who used his umpiring skills and helped to adjudicate in the Junior Umpire Awards, and for Roy and Evelyn Prosser, who travelled to help cheer everyone on.

National Cadet League

With Todd Marshall recovering from a serious leg operation, we had difficulty fielding a strong side for the early matches in this League and in one session, we had only two players, Sam Minton and Ben Matthews. Even so, the team secured a place in Division 2 and on the final day, with Todd back in the team and in good form, managed to win all of its matches and only just failed to finish in first place.

Two other Colebridge members played in other teams and managed to win individual awards. Lisa Rinnhofer, on this occasion playing for the Burton Uxbridge C team, was declared ‘Most Improved Player’ in Division 3, and Callum Anthrobus, representing his school, Hamstead Hall, the ‘Most Improved Player of Division 1.

National Junior League

Our team of Sam Henderson, Dapo Balogun, Jamie Fellows and Todd Marshall finished a creditable 3rd in Division 1, with Sam winning 37 of his 42 matches.

Heart of England Cadet League

This is a useful competition in which to give young players an early taste of competitive table tennis, and the Colebridge team, playing as Birmingham Solihull, thanks to sponsorship by the BSDTTA, had several novices, regular cadets Ben Matthews and Sam Minton being supported on different days by Lisa Rinnhofer, Nick Parmar and Nicholas and James Hunt. The team eventually finished 10th.

Several young members entered our local tournaments and the following enjoyed success.

Warwickshire Closed Championships

Junior Boys singles – Sam Henderson runner-up.

Birmingham Closed Championships

This year’s competition was cancelled due to the bad weather in February and is being held in September.

Leamington Closed Championships

Under 11 Girls Singles – Sophie Rinnhofer – runner-up

Under 13 Girls singles – Lisa Rinnhofer – winner

Cadet Girls Singles – Lisa Rinnhofer – winner

Junior Girls Singles – Lisa Rinnhofer – runner-up

Parent / Child Doubles – Lisa and Michael Rinnhofer – runners-up

ETTA Under 11-14 National Championships

With our youngest boys lacking experience of competitive play, the Club had to rely on the Rinnhofer sisters, for representation in the Regional Qualifying Tournament held at Wood Green in April. Both Sophie, 3rd in the Under 11, and Lisa, 1st in the Under 13  and 2nd in the Under 14 Girls Singles qualified for the National Finals, where Lisa reached the knock out stage of the Under 13 event.

Representative Players

Sam Henderson, Dapo Balogun, Jamie Fellows and Todd Marshall represented Birmingham in the Midland League Junior Tournament organised by the Oxford League, finishing in 3rd place.

Other notable performances by our Juniors

In the inaugural 15 team West Midlands 2 Aside Team Tournament, run by Ed Lynn, Colebridge players, Sam Henderson and Dapo Balogun, were runners-up to a very strong Lillington duo.

In the Warwickshire Schools Individual Championships, Emma Kilpatrick won the Under 13 Girls singles.

In the Birmingham Schools Individual Championships, Sam Henderson won the Under 16 Boys singles.


The Club’s team of coaches was joined this year by Ian Scott, who has replaced Edward Lynn at Hamstead Hall School, after Ed had been appointed West Midlands Region Disability and Club Support Officer. He and Mike Browne are part of our back up team for regular coaches Kate Hughes, Ed Lynn and Ian Ferguson.

The increased number attending the junior coaching sessions on Fridays and Saturdays necessitated some changes, with the pupils being split into groups based on ability. It is difficult to coach a large number of pupils with such a great mixture of ability at one time, especially when they have to be split into two rooms, so the changes have provided better coaching for all concerned and hopefully will allow the keener and more able pupils to progress more quickly.

Kate Hughes’s Girls and Ladies session on Fridays continues to be well supported and its success has been mentioned earlier. If we are lucky enough to receive funding to improve their toilet and changing facilities, it may be possible to increase our female membership.

The Coaching Committee is constantly looking at new ways of improving this most important aspect of our Club’s activities and recently participated in a Coach Education and Update session run at Colebridge by West Midlands Regional Coach, Helen Lower.


Special mention must be made and congratulations go to Amann Ubhi, who with Radek Mlynarczyk (Hamstead) represented the Birmingham and Solihull League in this year’s Wilmott Cup. Inter-League competition. They battled though to the Final in which they defeated Sheffield 3-0. This was the first time that Birmingham have won this competition since 1978, when another Colebridge member, Desmond Douglas, was a member of the team.

The Ladies equivalent to the Wilmott Cup is the Rose Bowl and in this year’s competition, Leamington’s League team of Kate Hughes and Charlotte Spencer (Free Church) finished in 3rd place.

10 teams took part in the Birmingham & District Three Aside League, two less than last season.. The two top teams were handicapped by their squad members’ other commitments, which meant that they could not always field their strongest players in key matches. In the circumstances a second place spot was a good performance for both teams.

We had two winning teams in the Birmingham, Solihull & District League. With 6 Colebridge teams out of 9 in Division 2, there were many exciting and very competitive matches, resulting in 3 teams in places 1-3 and 3 in places 7-9. Chiefs’ Sam Henderson and Eagles’ spiky veteran Bernard Oliver were the star players in the division, Sam being just behind the eventual individual winner, whom he beat twice.

Knaves, once again ably led by Alan Buttle, won Division 5, with yet another of our juniors shining upon debut, Jamie Fellows winning the Individual title.

Team records are as follows:


Leading individual performers were:

Premier –Edward Lynn (2nd) and Amit Ubhi (8th) – both Aces; Lee Holtham – Braves (4th),

Division 2 – Sam Henderson (Chiefs) 2nd, Bernard Oliver (3rd), Mike Evetts (7th) – both Eagles; Dan Ranford (4th) and Jim Connor (5th), both Dinosaurs

Division 4 –Tim Fell (2nd)

Division 5 –Jamie Fellows (1st)

Several teams played in the Handicap Cup Competitions. Knaves went furthest, being runners-up in the Catherine Smith Cup.

The Birmingham season came to a fine end when at their Presentation Evening, our team of Edward Lynn, Navinder Matharu and Amit Ubhi defeated the President’s team to win the Maurice Goldstein Cup and our 75 year old star player, Bernard Oliver was awarded the Association’s A O Hill Trophy for the most outstanding performer of the year.

Two teams took part in Division 1 of the Leamington & District 3 Aside League. Aces were runners up to a very strong Rugby team, with Ian Ferguson winning 100% of his 38 matches during the season. Braves continued their yo-yo performance between Divisions 1 and 2, this time downwards.

DIVISION 1ACES2218131632nd

ACES – Ian Ferguson 38/38, Kate Hughes 36/58, Michael Browne 15/20 Ed Lynn 13/15,Navinder Matharu 8/13, Sarra Wang 8/11, Alan Hewitt 8/17.

BRAVES – Mike Rinnhofer 18/39, John Taylor 12/35. Vikas Bakhshi11/44, John Chandler 5/51.

Birmingham Summer League 2012

Two teams again took part, the A team finishing 3rd in Division 2 and the B team winning Division 3 . The latter’s Glen Truman, making a welcome return to the sport, was undefeated, although the Individual honours went to Sam Henderson, then representing his former club, Maypole.

Representative honours were gained by Colebridge Players, as follows

Warwickshire teams in the ETTA County Championships

Senior A (Division 1A) – Kate Hughes, Ian Ferguson. The team finished runners up, which was the highest finish for 25 years.

Veterans – Division 2A – Michael Browne

Over 60s – (in Division 1A) – John Taylor

Birmingham teams in the Midland League.

Veterans Division 2 – Michael Browne, Michael Rinnhofer, Dean Hicks


The following senior members were successful in local championships:

Warwickshire Closed Championships

Mens Singles – Navinder Matharu – runner-up

Womens Singles – Kate Hughes – runner-up

Mens Doubles – Ian Ferguson / Alan Hewitt – runners-up

Womens Doubles – Kate Hughes (with Charlotte Spencer – Free Church) – winners

Mixed Doubles – Kate Hughes / Ian Ferguson – winners

Over 50 Singles – Michael Browne – winner

Over 60s Singles – John Chandler – winner

Leamington Closed Championships

Mens Singles – Ian Ferguson winner.

Womens Singles – Kate Hughes – winner

Womens Doubles – Kate Hughes (with Jo Outhwaite – Rugby) – winner

Mens Doubles – Ian Ferguson (with Jesse Kendrick-Hill – Rugby) – runners-up

Mixed Doubles – Kate Hughes / Ian Ferguson – winners

John Taylor – Veteran’s Over 60 Singles winner

Grade 1 Singles – Kate Hughes – runner-up


A lively and well attended pre-Christmas Social Evening was held on 21st December, with several members and wives taking the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills. Our thanks go to them and to everyone else who contributed to the evening’s entertainment.

A second Hard Bat Tournament was again run by Kate Hughes on 23rd June, the winner being Edward Lynn with Kate herself as runner-up. Neil Wheatley won the Single Point Competition that provided an amusing interlude. Our thanks must go to Kate for her wonderful organisation of a most enjoyable event.


With John Swinburne’s business commitments severely limiting his time, no special fund raising events have taken place. However, recognising the urgent need to deal with our deteriorating roof, several sources of funding were investigated before the decision to submit an application to Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund was reached. The fund considers applications between £10,000 and £50,000 for inter alia, refurbishment of club premises and we were advised that by linking our application for a new roof with development of toilet and changing facilities for the disabled and ladies, our application would ‘’tick all of the boxes’ We were also advised to consider energy efficiency, so a quotation for adding solar energy panels to a new roof was added to our bid, which totalled £46,793. Sport England’s decision on our application is awaited.

Once again, our annual application to Baron Davenport’s Charity was well received and we are grateful to them for their £800 donation.

Additionally an application for a Lloyds Banking Group Community Funding Award for up to £3000 was made by Ian Ferguson and Neil Wheatley. The application has been currently shortlisted for the award.


As is shown by our 2012-2013 Income and Expenditure Account we have effectively balanced the books this year, so no rise in the annual subscriptions for next year is thought to be necessary, apart from a £5 increase in the Adult Casual subscription to cover the cost of the necessary ETTA Associate Membership which we feel will be easier for the Club to arrange rather than individual members. Once again the junior coaching fees have been more than sufficient to cover the coaches’ expenses.

Our sincere thanks go to our Hon Treasurer, Mark Hadley for his efficient handling of our finances and to member Chris Allen, who kindly offered to review our accounts following the resignation of last year’s auditor, Mrs Debra Evetts.


The Club’s website still attracts a good following and has been a useful source for the recruitment of new members. Our thanks go to our enthusiastic Webmaster, Mike Evetts and to those members who have submitted news and other items to keep it interesting. Our two Facebook pages –‘Fans of Colebridge Table Tennis Club’ and ‘Colebridge-Friday & Saturday Crew’ also continue to attract much support.


Much now depends upon the result of our Sport England funding application and if that is unsuccessful, we shall pursue other sources, perhaps with the help of a professional fund raiser. Speaking personally, I would like us to seek funding to enable us to employ an architect to draw plans for a new playing room on that part of our site currently occupied by Blue Dane. A larger and undivided building would open up far more opportunities to promote our sport, but planning permission would be necessary before consideration of any redevelopment of that nature can take place. Plans and the approval of our local council should therefore be given priority.

Finally, this will be my last Annual Report. I have been Honorary Secretary since 1995 since when Colebridge has grown beyond my dreams, but I now wish to take a break from administration to spend my remaining years, enjoying playing more and using my experience to develop our sport in the Birmingham and Solihull area. We have a great team at Colebridge and I am sure that there are younger members out there who are more than capable of stepping into my shoes and making their own mark on this wonderful club.

Neil Wheatley – Leader & Secretary.