eBatt Table Tennis Club has numerous historical roots. London Progress, Harefield Academy, Greenhouse Sports and Barnet Table Tennis Club, to name but a few. Driven forward by highly successful player/ coach/ manager Eli Baraty, eBatt has quickly established itself as a key piece in the London table tennis jigsaw.

And the current statistics are impressive; three hundred plus members, a squad of professional and dedicated coaches, and a 24/7 centre to accommodate players of all abilities and aspirations. That’s impressive by any criteria.

I was at the official opening of the eBatt Centre and I was both highly impressed and a little sceptical that eBatt could make all the sums add up. How could a small venue suitable for just 5/6 tables bring in enough revenues to make the whole project sustainable. Well one year on, with some managerial magic, it seems eBatt have created a winning formula of sponsors, players and supporters, to create a thriving North London table tennis hub. And anyone that has attempted such a project knows just how difficult this can be.  But at a recent National Cadet League session at Edgware, I was privileged to see the eBatt cadet squad in action. This club had truly come of age.

The recent dramatic growth at eBATT raises the question of just how table tennis in the Capital can and should develop. Clearly the old league and county structures are no longer fit for purpose. This has been self evident for some time. eBATT, largely I suspect informed by the European model, set out from the outset, to create a table tennis hub that would be not only self-sustaining but an exciting place to be. Learning the European model, eBATT has sought to create something independent of the tired and unimaginative governing body structures, something that could excite and motivate the next generation of table tennis players. And so the conclusion is simple. If you’re sitting around waiting for the Governiing Body to do it for you, you’ll be waiting for an awful long time.

There are now a number of really exciting table tennis hubs in London; Greenhouse,  Fusion, London Academy, Morpeth and Moberley being some of the standout projects. eBatt has clearly now joined that collective. Each are slightly different  in their own way, each specialising and excelling in certain areas. And that’s  the way it should be. One size does not fit all. There are also some fine older established clubs that still have much to offer, The Oaks, Ellenborough  and Barnet come to mind. But table tennis, like all things in life, must accept that nothing stands still. We either grow, learning from each other and working with each other, or we slowly but surely become irrelevant. Judging by the eBATT Cadet contingent at the National Cadet League this month, eBATT have most definitely arrived.

Jon Kaufman