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Martin Hughes - A Table Tennis Fanatic

Meet Martin Hughes - Table Tennis Fanatic - and discover how he can help you with all your table tennis questions

Picture of Martin Hughes - owner and author of AllAboutTableTennis.com

My name's Martin Hughes and I love table tennis.

Have done since 1971.

It's a bit of an obsession.

Playing it, watching it, organising it, writing about it - that's what I love to do.

And yet, when I started playing table tennis it never occurred to me that I'd be so fanatical about it nearly 50 years later.

But that's exactly what's happened.


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AllAboutTableTennis.com

In 2007, I started this web site - AllAboutTableTennis.com

There were hardly any table tennis web sites back then, so this was a great way to share my table tennis passion and expertise with people all around the world.

And it's still just me here - writing all the articles and keeping everything updated.

I'm also a bit obsessive about keeping things neat and tidy, so I try my hardest to make sure that everything's up to date on my web site. (If you spot anything that's not - please let me know!)

So whether you're looking to improve your playing skills, get to grips with the rules, uncover the facts or just discover more about this fantastic sport, I've probably got it covered here on my web site.

There's hundreds of pages of information arranged into easy-to-follow sections so you can go straight to the information you need.

But if you can't find what you need, just contact me and I'll try to help.


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My table tennis passion and expertise

Well, let's start at the beginning...

I live in England and I started playing table tennis in 1971 - first by playing at home, then at school and at our local youth club.

My national junior skills badge - Bronze level
My national junior skills badge - Silver level My national junior skills badges

Very soon after this, I was fortunate enough to go to junior coaching sessions and my game quickly improved.

Our coaches would also decide which players had mastered the necessary table tennis skills and were good enough to take the national junior skills tests.

So in the early 1970s they asked me to take the Bronze and Silver tests and after successfully passing these tests, I was presented with my sew-on patches (pictured right).

These were very prestigious to junior players at that time and I remember wearing my badges with pride.

You can see what's involved in these skill tests here.

I then started playing in my local table tennis league and quickly progressed through the divisions, winning some trophies along the way, and reaching the premier division within a couple of years.


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Then I received my first selection...

My Town's crest My Town's Crest

It was at this point that I was first selected to play for my Town team - representing them within a county based, Inter-Town league.

This meant travelling further afield to play against other Town representative teams and our team was very successful - being champions on several occasions.

Within a short period of time I also took over the role of organiser (as well as playing in the team).

So now I was selecting the team, making the necessary travel arrangements and liaising with our opponents.

For home matches I'd organise a suitable venue, arrange refreshments, arrange umpires and ensure that the matches went smoothly.


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Moving on up...

My County's crest My County's Crest

The next phase of my table tennis journey was being selected to represent my County.

Again, this involved further travelling to play matches, and we won our respective division a number of times.

A pattern was now beginning to emerge because, as with the Inter-Town league, I later became the organiser of our County team, as well as playing.

At the same time I also joined my County's Executive Committee as Press Officer. After six years I was also elected as General Secretary.

Of course, all this was unpaid, voluntary work.

In addition, I was travelling the country playing in national tournaments at the weekends.


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Another level up...

British League logo British League logo

In parallel with playing and being part of the Executive Committee for my County, I also started playing in the National League - later renamed the British League.

This is the top competition in the UK, and although the rules stated that we had to start in the lowest division, we progressed to Division One within a few years.

As before, whilst playing in the team I was also heavily involved in the administration.

I secured sponsorship, wrote all the press coverage, organised the venues, the equipment, the umpires and many other jobs too.

Again, all unpaid voluntary work.


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Administration starts to take over...

So as well as being a player and practising with ex-England Internationals and an ex-England national coach, I was also heavily involved in the administrative side of the game.

And in 1993 I set up a Super League in our local area.

I brought together the top twenty players and, after securing a large grant and a sponsorship deal, I played in and organised the league for 20 years.

As well as playing, I also wrote all the press coverage and collated all the results and statistics, and it was extremely successful.


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The Internet beckons...

When the internet started to become popular in the late 1990s I created a web site to showcase all our local table tennis.

And in 2007, I started this web site - AllAboutTableTennis.com

Since 1971, when I first started playing, I've played table tennis every year without a break. And since about 1982 I've been heavily involved in the organisation and administration side of the sport too.

I've attended and spoken at numerous national conferences and annual general meetings and I've also been able to tap into the knowledge of several ex-England Internationals who are close friends of mine.

I've also been to watch Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships and I still watch the latest international tournaments.

It's such a great sport that anyone can play - whatever your age or physical abilities.

I hope you enjoy my web site.

Martin Hughes

Martin Hughes
www.AllAboutTableTennis.com


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