Darlington Table Tennis Academy, which was set up in 2013, has received a grant of £2,500 from Darlington Building Society as part of its 5% pledge, which will fund a coach to train the association’s volunteers and participants.
The Academy, which has 88 members between the ages of eight and 85, holds ten sessions a week, as well as offering coaching in schools.
The Society has also donated a number of practice targets featuring its mascot, Darly the train, to help younger players learn the basics of the sport.
Membership manager Jason Crowther said: “The support we’ve received from Darlington Building Society is invaluable.
“The funding has allowed us to bring in an experienced instructor to work with our volunteer coaches and help them become more confident in developing our players.
“As a result, the standard of coaching will improve, delivering a consistent approach across all sessions at the Academy. And as our players start to win awards, the boost to our profile will help to attract even more members.
“The Darly training targets are a fun way to support the beginners’ group, as they help with hand-eye co-ordination and mastering the stroke technique. They are also really eye-catching when we take them to our fundraising events, such as the recent Festival of Ingenuity, which will help us attract new members.”
The funding was facilitated through County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF), which manages some of the Society’s charitable donations.
Joshua Palin, brand and customer insight officer at Darlington Building Society, said: “We work closely with CDCF to support projects in Darlington and County Durham as its values align so closely with our ethos, and they put us in touch with the table tennis association.
“One of our core values is to share with the local community, which we achieve through our pledge to donate 5% of our profits back to the local area.
“We are delighted to be able to support the association – the group does a great job in the town, bringing players of all ages together and creating a real sense of community.”
For more information about Darlington Table Tennis Academy, or to get involved, find them on Facebook at ‘Darlington Table Tennis Academy’.