"A GOOD season - but we must and can do better."

That was the message from chairman Peter White at the Clacton and District League's AGM.

The 2018/19 season had seen good competition in the league, an excellent cup final and Closed Championships which had produced high-quality table tennis.

White urged everyone to encourage more people to take part in the sport to ensure it continues to thrive in north-east Essex.

League secretary Lyn White thanked Paul Newbould Building and Design Services for their generous sponsorship of the Closed Championships for the past 26 years.

She welcomed new sponsors for 2020, The Survey Initiative, courtesy of Gary Cattermole.

In his first report as treasurer, John Barton said that, despite a small loss, the league's finances remained in a healthy state.

Press and records secretary Tony Oswick said the allocation of teams into three divisions had again proved problematical but thereafter the league had progressed well.

In his tournament officer's report, Graham Parkes stated that both the handicap singles tournament, run this year on a group basis, and the Closed Championships had been successful.

Development officer Ferdy Rodriguez reported that the 'come and try' would be repeated this year, while the league would also be represented at July's Tendring Show.

Martin Edwards, who has taken over responsibility for coaching, said the Monday night sessions continued but more juniors were needed.

He thanked Felipe, Ferdy and Viv Rodriguez for keeping the Monday coaching going and also Isabel and John Barton for running after-school sessions at Clacton County High School.

The Bob Phillips Trophy for services to the league was made to Colin Dearman, a loyal player for nearly 50 years and Walton club secretary for the last eight.

Dearman also held what must be a league record, having played 349 out of a possible 351 league matches between 1990 and 2009, including an 11-year period when he played in 218 consecutive league matches.

The Brian Hogg Trophy, presented to a junior of whom the league is proud, went to 14-year-old Liam Harris.

Liam has shown outstanding improvement in his four years in the league, winning the division three singles title in 2018 and the division two singles in 2019.

He has impeccable manners on and off the table and an infectious enthusiasm for table tennis - a player genuinely liked by everyone.

Officers elected for 2019/20: President, Shirley Rowlen; Chairman, Peter White; Vice-chairman, Graham Parkes; Secretary, Lyn White; Treasurer, John Barton; Press and records secretary, Tony Oswick; Tournament officer, Graham Parkes; Development officer, Ferdy Rodriguez; Coaching officer, Martin Edwards; Minutes secretary, Isabel Barton; TT365 administrator, Gavin Price; Committee members, Doug Green, Jenny Higgins, Mark Gale, Jason Lloyd, Felipe Rodriguez, Gill Locke; Independent financial examiner, vacant.

Trophies for the 2018/19 season were presented by president Shirley Rowlen.

The league's ‘come and try’ sessions continue every Thursday in June at the Brotherhood Hall from 7.30pm.

For details contact Ferdy or Viv Rodriguez on 01255 830951.