THE development of a dedicated table tennis centre has long been high on the agenda of the Huddersfield League, as they seek a focal point around which participation in the sport can be actively encouraged and nurtured.

This season the league’s 34 teams are playing out of just 12 different locations, spread widely from Scissett to Golcar.

Three new venues have been introduced with New North Road Baptist Church a welcome addition to the league, while two other clubs have been forced to find new venues in the face of rising costs introduced by their previous hosts – in both cases local schools.

The schools have been forced to apply ‘commercial’ rates for the use of their sports halls, driving away teams who are a mixture of schoolchildren and adults who simply cannot afford it.

The all-conquering Scissett Middle School have moved to Shelley Methodist Church Hall to face life in Division II.

The four teams who for many years played at Newsome Sports College have moved en bloc to Wilshaw Village Hall, where they have been made welcome and have quickly introduced open sessions to encourage the local community to try table tennis.

Last season, Longwood Mechanics Institute became another new venue for table tennis and there are many more under used community halls which could benefit from the introduction of table tennis. The League have tables available for loan and many experienced players and coaches willing to help groups enjoy the sport.

So, while the immediate prospects of a centre remain a pipe dream, perhaps the sport can develop in dozens of small pockets throughout the area from Birds Edge to Bradley and Marsden to Flockton.

Anyone interested in learning more should visit the League website at

With the new season only three weeks old, Brooks have thrown down the gauntlet to show they will not be handing over the Division I title without a fight.

They have dropped just one game in three matches played, to boast 29 points out of a possible 30, and Tim Dyson hasn’t featured yet.

They have also had a boost when the loss of Stuart Sykes through illness seemed to test their strength in depth, with the news that Shaun Ellis will now be available during the season, having previously thought work commitments would rule him out.