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TABLE TENNIS: Andy in the chair
WILTSHIRE table tennis stalwart Andy Seward wants to shape the future of his sport after being named as the next chairman of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).
Seward, 68, who lives in Corsley, will officially begin his duties in July.
An international-class umpire who was England’s only official at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Seward is eyeing improvements at the top and bottom of the sport in England.
“It’s been an amazing campaign and being named the chairman is a great honour,” said Seward.
“The previous chairman had been in the role for ten years and I believe that things can get a bit stale if you stay in the position for that long.
“I’d like to change things at both ends of the pyramid. Where we play is important to look at because we’re losing venues for table tennis in this country and it’s sometimes being kicked out in favour of other sports.
“We need to try and get children between the ages of 12-16 taking up the sport and the best way for them to get involved would be to bring it into more schools.
“But we also need to improve at the top of the pyramid. We’re so far behind the Chinese, and may never get to where they are, but our only chance of getting better would be to get in more high level international coaches.
“I’ve been thinking about these things for a long time and I can’t wait to get started.”
Seward, a retired computer projects manager, played for Somerset at county level and has been the ETTA’s vice-president and Wiltshire’s national council member since 2004.
He is a member of the West Wilts League committee and, as an umpire, also officiated at four world championships.