January News

Mixed week for Weald Players



The Weald Club, based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, again topped the third session of the National Junior (under 18) League First Division held at Sussex University, Falmer, Brighton on Saturday.

The Weald team of Arthur Bracken, Shem Lejarde and Lewis Marsh defeated South Croydon B 6-0, Brighton 4-2, South Croydon A 4-2, and Graham Spicer (New Maldon) 5-1, and again drew with Crusaders (Sutton) 3-3.

Shem Lejarde, who missed the previous session owing to attending an England training camp, was the Weald’s best performer, taking 9 out of his 10 singles, and Lewis Marsh returned to form with 8 singles wins. However, Arthur Bracken, elevated to the Weald no.1 position, found the competition tough, and won 5 and lost 5 singles.

The Weald team in the National Cadet (under 15) League First Division improved their performance, winning 2 matches, drawing 2 and losing 1. Matthew Collick won 8 out of 10 singles, and Monty Mason won 6. 

Earlier last week, Monty (from Wadhurst), only 10 and a pupil of Marlborough House Prep School, Hawkhurst, had reached the semi-finals of the Kent Schools Under 11 singles, played at the Howard School, Rainham. He lost closely to Sam Arnott of Amherst School, Sevenoaks, who went on to lift the title. 

Meanwhile over the weekend, another Weald member, Fraser Kent from Heathfield, represented Sussex Blades in the First Division of the Junior British League (a higher level than the National Junior League) played at Derby Arena. Fraser won just 3 out of 10 singles against strong opposition. Unfortunately his teammates also struggled and the team was relegated.

Fraser Kent




Fraser Kent from Heathfield, a member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, won the Junior Boys’ Band 1 Singles at the East Midlands Junior (under 18) 4* Open played at Westfield TT Centre, Wellingborough over the weekend.

The lefthander did not have things all his own way, surviving 5 game matches in the last 16 and quarter finals. However, he then defeated Joshua Bruce (Kent) 4-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9, in the semi-finals and Bertie Kelly (Somerset), 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, to lift the title.

Earlier, Kent had lost 8-11 in the fifth game to Jie Fu Tham (South Yorkshire) in the last 32 of the open junior boys’ singles. Fraser had fought back from 2 games down to level 2-2, but in the deciding game had the run of luck against him.

Meanwhile, another left hander and member of the Weald TT Club, Benenden’s Diccon Gray, 57, had done well to reach the final of the over 40s men’s singles at the Veterans Southern Masters Championships at Guildford. 

After defeating Clive Carthy (Essex) in 3 close games in the semi-finals, Gray faced Darren Griffin (Gloucestershire) in the final. The match was level up to 1 game each and 6 all, but Griffin then pulled away after a slightly disputed point and Gray lost 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 5-11.

Another Weald member, Roger Harris from Headcorn, clashed with former world veteran champion (and former German economist and diplomat) Dr Herbert Neubauer, now 75, in an over 60s men’s singles group, taking a game off his distinguished opponent. 

Diccon Gray




Benenden’s Diccon Gray, a member of the Weald TT Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, helped save Kent from relegation from the Veteran (over 40s) County Championships Premier Division at the Draycott TT Centre, Derbyshire over the weekend.

Gray, ranked no.43 in the England veteran men’s list, had to play at Kent no.1 on the Saturday in a side depleted by illness and injury, and was the only winner.   While Kent lost 1-9 to Yorkshire, Gray beat Chris Clinton, the England no.21, 13-11 in the 5th game, and only just lost 12-14 in the 5th game to Simon Pugh, the England no.14. 

And although Kent fell 2-8 to neighbours Sussex, Gray won both his singles, with straight games wins over Ritchie Venner, the England no.6, and Paul Carter, the England no.25.

Kent was strengthened on the Sunday, with Bromley’s Phil Cox, pushing back Diccon Gray into the no.2 position.    The team first overcame Avon 6-4, with Gray recording a victory over Steve Bettison but a loss against Martin Gunn.   However, he also took the men’s doubles with Phil Cox.   Mark Romano, from the Byng Hall Club, Tunbridge Wells, was the hero for the side, winning both his singles and a crucial mixed doubles with Weald member Sue Pingram.

In their last match, Kent led Warwickshire 5-3.   Gray defeated the England no.10,  Adrian Pilgrim, but fell to Ryan Stockham.   Romano again took both his singles.   Unfortunately Kent had to concede the last two sets owing to injury, but their 5-5 draw was just enough to avoid relegation from the Premier Division.

Weald players were also in successful action at the East Sussex Schools Championships at St Leonards Academy last week.    Despite illness, Fraser Kent (Heathfield Community College) lifted the under 16 boys’ singles.   Jacob McCarthy (home educated) and Matthew Collick (Robertsbridge Community College) reached the quarter-finals of the same event.

Another Weald member, Joelle Bennett (Willingdon Community School), won the equivalent under 16 girls’ singles.   As county winners, Fraser Kent and Joelle Bennett will go on to the National Schools Finals in Wolverhampton on 27th April.  A further Weald member, Arthur Bracken (Cranbrook School) will also be there as Kent Schools under 16 boys’ champion. 

Yolanda King




Yolanda King, a member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, played a leading role in helping YHL and UON regain their British Women’s League Premier Division title, at Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton over the weekend.

King, now no.11 in the England senior ranking list, won 8 out of 10 singles.    She had victories over higher ranked players, the no.7 Mollie Patterson (Norfolk), representing Burton Uxbridge, and the no.8 Emma Vickers (Derbyshire), playing for XLNT Draycott.   However, her 2 losses were to old rival Abbie Millwain (Derbyshire), now the England no.12 and also representing Draycott, and to the Welsh no.4 Beth Roberts of the Formby team.

The YHL and UON team did not have things all their own way, drawing 3-3 twice, to Tunbridge Wells Club Byng Hall and to XLNT Draycott.    But they beat Formby 5-1, Fusion (Bermondsey) 6-0, and Burton Uxbridge, the runners-up, 4-2.

Meanwhile at Sussex University, Brighton, a Weald team topped the second session of the National Junior (under 18) League First Division.   After drawing with Crusaders (Sutton) 3-3, they beat Graham Spicer (New Malden) 5-1, Brighton 4-2, South Croydon 4-2, and Horsham Spinners 5-1.

Benenden’s Arthur Bracken again performed well with 9 out of 10 wins, losing only to the higher ranked Jamar McGlaushin (Brighton).   In two of his other singles he came back from behind for victory.   Reserve Tom Down, a former member of the Weald cadet (under 15) team, also did well to win 9 out of his 10 singles.   However, the Weald no.1, Lewis Marsh, had a tough time, taking only 3 of his singles.

Matthew Collick was the star of the Weald team in the National Cadet League, lifting all of his 10 singles, his side drawing twice but suffering 3 losses.

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October News





Yolanda King, a long time member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, helped her team YHL & UON top the Premier Division of the Women’s British League in the first weekend of play at Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton, last weekend.

King, who has seen her England women’s ranking drop from 7 to 11th while she has completed her masters degree at Nottingham University, won 7 out of 8 singles, including overcoming the England no.10 Mollie Patterson (Norfolk, but playing for Burton Uxbridge) in straight games.   Her only loss was in going down 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 12-14 to the England no.8, Emma Vickers (Derbyshire, playing for XLNT Draycott) after holding 3 match points in the deciding game.

A colleague of King’s at Nottingham University, Ruby Yang, won all her 10 singles for YHL & UON, the team beating Formby TTC 6-0, XLNT Draycott 4-2, Burton Uxbridge 5-1, Fusion 6-0,  and Byng Hall Tunbridge Wells 6-0 (Yolanda not playing in this match).   

For further information contact Ken Muhr, Tel. 01580 752676.


July News





Benenden’s Diccon Gray, a member of the Weald TT Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, has returned from the USA having successfully competed in the World Veterans Championships at Las Vegas, where he reached the last 32 in 2 events.

4,700 players from 97 countries competed on 250 tables, with more than 20 more available for practice, in the huge Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Having won his men’s over 55 singles group (one of 116 groups), former England schoolboy international Gray eventually played the Austrian Roland Bohm in the last 128 of the knockout, beating him 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9. Next he comfortably put out Chinese penholder Zhang Chunsheng in straight games in the last 64.

In the last 32 Gray faced fellow lefthander, Traian Ciociu, a former Romanian international who now plays for Luxembourg. Diccon fell in straight games, 5-11, 8-11, 7-11, which was no disgrace as Ciociu went on to reach the semi-finals/bronze medal stage of the event.

Combining with Kent colleague Phil Cox, Gray also made the last 32 stage of the men’s over 50s doubles. They lost 1-3 to Sandor Varga (Hungary) and Andreas Fejer-Konnert (Hungary), the latter pair, both former senior internationals for their respective countries, going on to reach the final as losing, silver medallists.

Gray intends now to train for the 2020 World Veteran Championships in Bordeaux, France, and feels if he can play more positively he can do even better! 

June News

2017 Most Improved Player Fraser Kent handing over Trophy to 2018 Winner Peter Saunders.

This weeks news



Lewis Marsh, a member of the Weald TT Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, reached the quarter finals of the under 16 boys’ singles at the Cippenham Young Players’ Summer Festival, held at the Cippenham Club, Slough over the weekend.



Josh Bennett, a member of the Weald TT Club, Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, retained his senior boys’ singles title at the Butterfly Home Countries Schools’ International Championships held at Worcester over the weekend.

Bennett, from Polegate, East Sussex, defeated his England schools colleagues, Sam Wilson (Northamptonshire) in the semi-finals and Gaurav Aravind (Middlesex) in the final. 

He also lifted a second gold medal when England won the senior boys’ team event.

Peter Saunders (aged 80) is awarded Weald Table Tennis Club most improved palyers award 2018 

Picture shows 2017 Most Improved Player Fraser Kent handing over The 

Trophy to 2018 Winner Peter Saunders.


World Vetts Singles

Diccon Gray gets to last 32 in the men's over 55 event


World Vetts Doubles

Diccon Gray amd Phillip Cox Reach the last 32 in the men's over 55 doubles event.

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Table Tennis Weald News Centre

News May 2018






Yolanda King, a member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, reached two singles semi-finals at the Nottingham Grand Prix, held at the David Ross Sports Village, University of Nottingham (where she is finishing a masters degree) over the weekend.

Although on paper she was the favourite to pick up a title, she played well and lost to one player only, the defensive Elena Todirca, a former Moldovian international, twice!

Her best chance was in a mammoth women’s band 1 semi-final. She had 4 match points against Todirca in the deciding game but the run of fortune was against her. Todirca saved the first match point at 9-10 down with an edge! Then on the fourth match point at 14-15, Todirca got 3 nets in the rally, the third one giving her the point!  And the Moldovian went ahead 16-15 with another net point, King finally succumbing 11-6, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 15-17! 

After comfortably overcoming Molly Patterson (Norfolk), who she often finds difficult, 3-1 in the open women’s singles quarter-finals, Yolanda had another crack at Elena in the semis, and again the match went the full distance. Although King again led in the 5th game, Todirca was able to turn the match around after a well-timed ‘time-out’, King going down 11-13, 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11. 


Fraser Kent Takes National Singles Title




Two members of the Weald Club, based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, represented the South East in the National Inter-Regional Championships held at RAF Cosford, Shropshire, over the weekend, in which boys and girls competed in age groups under 15, under 13 and under 11.

Left-hander Fraser Kent was the star for the South East. Seeded no.4, he won the cadet (under 15) boys’ singles event without losing a game, defeating in the final the North West’s Liam Biddy (Cheshire), 11-7, 15-13, 11-9. 

This had followed the cadet boys’ team event, when, playing with Owen Brown (Sussex), Fraser Kent (also Sussex) had won all of his 8 singles, dropping only 3 games in the process. Partnered by Brown, Kent also won 2 out of 4 doubles, the South East finishing third (out of 10 regions) in the event, behind Yorkshire and the North West.

The other Weald Club member, Shem Lejarde (Kent) represented the SE in the under 13 boys. Playing with Harry Yip (Sussex) in the team event, Shem won 4 out of 8 singles and the SE came 6th. Shem was runner-up in his under 13 boys’ singles group, and then fought back from 2 games down to defeat Eathan Eaketts (Hertfordshire) in 5 games in the knockout rounds. However, Lejarde was unable to make much impression on top seed Bertie Kelly (Somerset) in the quarter-finals.

In the overall results for all events, the South East finished 3rd, behind the South West and the North West.


News April 2018

Diccon Gray Wins Doubles Title




Benenden’s Diccon Gray, a member of the Weald TT Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, came away with a title at the Western Masters Veterans’ Championships held at Thornbury Leisure Centre, Bristol over the weekend.

Partnered by Phil Cox from Bromley, Gray lifted the men’s over 50s doubles. In the semi-finals the Kent pair had a tough battle with Darren Griffin (Gloucestershire) and Adrian Pilgrim (Warwickshire), before coming through 4-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9. Then for the title they overcame Peter Bartram (Sussex) and Mark Romano (Tunbridge Wells), 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5.

Gray also had a good run in the over 40s singles, reaching the quarter-finals with a close 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 2-11, 11-5 win over Dave Reeves (Avon). However, he was put out by Stephen Horsfield (Yorkshire) in tightly fought games, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11.

Also on Saturday, Weald Club member Fraser Kent played well at the Butterfly English Schools National Individual Championships, played at Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton. Representing Sussex schools, Fraser, a student of Heathfield Community College, comfortably won 3 of his singles in straight games in his 6 player under 16 boys’ singles group.

Unfortunately for Fraser, he had 2 top foreign players in his group, both at school in England. Had they been eligible to play for England, Ryan Choong (Hong Kong) would be the English no.2 cadet (under 15) boy, and Joseph Hee (Singapore) the English no.2 junior (under 18). Kent was unable to make much impression on them, and the 2 qualified for the knockout, Joseph Hee of City of London School going on to win the whole event. 

For further information contact Ken Muhr, Tel. 01580 752676 (H). 


Ken Muhr Press Release



The Weald TT Club, based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, has won the first division of the National Junior (under 18) League at the London Academy, Edgeware, in their first season of participating.   And this was being without their regular no.1, Arthur Bracken who is nursing a fractured thumb from a skiing accident, and their regular coach, Ken Muhr (away on holiday).   

In the 4th and last session, the team, Shem Lejarde and Lewis & George Marsh, beat London Academy 5-1 and Graham Spicer (New Malden) 4-2, drew with South Croydon 3-3, but lost to RBKC (Kensington & Chelsea) and Darenth (Sevenoaks), both 2-4.   They finished the 4th session day in second place, behind RBKC, who won 3 matches and lost 2.   

However, Weald were fortunate that London Academy, who won 3 matches, drew 1 and lost only to Weald in the last session, had points deducted for playing out of player order.   Had London Academy not been deducted points, they would have finished above Weald for the whole season and therefore won the league.   

Moving up the player order to face stronger opponents, Shem Lejarde and Lewis Marsh each won 7 out of 10 singles, and got very close in some singles they lost.   Reserve George Marsh won two crucial singles, and was very close in a singles he dropped to Darenth.

Martin Chinn ably came in to coach the team and keep team fighting team spirit high. 

Meanwhile, in the South East Region Inter-Regional Qualification Competition at the College of Richard Collyer, Horsham over the weekend, Weald member Fraser Kent (Sussex) won the cadet (under 15) boys’ singles, beating Owen Brown (Sussex) in 5 games in the final.   Another Weald Club member, Shem Lejarde (Kent) won the corresponding under 13 boys’ singles more easily, with a comfortable straight games victory over Harry Yipp (Sussex) in the final.   They thus qualify for the National Inter-Regional finals at RAF Cosford, Wolverhampton on 12th/13th May. See Gallery for Photos.

See Photos

Sue Pingham - Hastings Closed Championships

 Sue Pingram had a successful day in the Hastings Closed Championships on 7th April. She and partner, Ryan Warner, were a new pairing and the dark horses in the mixed doubles, coming through to win the event by overcoming more experienced players in Bob Lowe and Alison Jordan, Nathan Darby and Sheila King, Rob Warner and Tina Beaney and top seeded Tony Catt and Rose Rainton. Sue also won the women's doubles with Alison Jordan, who stood in to partner Sue when Rose Rainton pulled out because of an earlier injury. Sue then went on to come runner up in the women's singles, which was won by Tina Beaney.  

New from Hastings League

Amber Rudd visits Hastings Academy  

Amber Rudd visits the Hastings Academy Table Tennis Centre (13th April 2018)

We were very pleased to welcome Amber Rudd our local MP and the Home Secretary on a fact finding visit to the Hastings Academy Table Tennis Centre on one of our open practice evenings.

Amber was greeted by Michael Hart (Association President) and Keith Lindsey (the event organiser).

Amber met with several players during her visit including Rose Rainton  and Sheila King, who had recently been praised by Amber for their successes in the National Veterans tournaments.

During her visit Amber enjoyed a practice with our table tennis robot before playing a game of doubles with the aforementioned Rose, Sheila and Michael.

The evening was well attended by players of all ages and abilities which hopefully provided Amber with a good overview of the work being done for table tennis locally.

We would like to thank Amber for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to visit the Academy and helping us promote our sport and offer an open invitation to her should she wish to visit again either officially or just to enjoy some friendly table tennis practice.

We would also like to thank the Hastings Academy for their assistance with this event.

Andre Keen

Author: Brian Busbridge via Hastings Table Tennis League Article Published: Monday 16th April 2018 Last Updated: Monday 16th April 2018

Fraser Kent Wins Southeast Inter Regional's U15


Fraser Kent completes a busy week, after teaming up with a Cornwall player they came 4th out of 18 at a competition in Plymouth. Played for Newton Abbot in senior national league winning 2 of 4 matches losing 1 12-10 in the 5th. Topped it all off on Sunday by winning the Southeast Inter regional s Under 15's competition. 

Commonwealth Games

News March 2018


Well done Arthur


ARTHUR BRACKEN, JUST 13, ASHFORD MEN’S SINGLES FINALIST Benenden’s Arthur Bracken, 13 on Saturday, was a surprise men’s singles finalist in the Ashford League Closed Championships held on Sunday. Arthur, a member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam but who plays for Ruckinge A in the Ashford League, had an unexpected victory over third seed Johnny Bispham to top his third singles group. He then proceeded to fight through several rounds of the knockout including triumphing over the 2nd seed Alan Provan in the semi-finals. Then after a long wait the Dulwich Prep pupil faced Johnny Bispham again. Earlier Bracken had come out top in free flowing rallies, but this time Bispham got his revenge by closing the game down with short serves and attacking strongly any loose balls. Bracken also partnered his Weald Club-mate Shem Lejarde to reach the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles, but had entered no other events. However, 12 year old Shem, who plays for Iron Room in the Ashford League, won the under 18 boys’ singles, beating former Weald Club member Tom Down in the final. After the finals Arthur Bracken was presented with the David Cue Merit Award for the best performance of the tournament. 


National Championships 2018


Yolanda King, 23, a member of the Weald Club based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, again reached the women’s singles quarter-finals of the PGMutual National Senior Championships held at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London at the end of last week.

King, currently completing a masters degree at Nottingham University, comfortably defeated Sarah Menghistab (Middlesex) before facing top seed and defending champion Tin Tin Ho (Middlesex). Although she had chances of taking the first game, she eventually succumbed to her on-song opponent 10-12, 3-11, 7-11, 5-11. In fact Ho lost one game only in the whole competition in going on to retain her title. 

Josh Bennett, also of the Weald Club, suffered an unexpected 3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 4-11, 6-11 quarter-final loss to Sam Mabey (Northamptonshire) in the under 21 men’s singles. However, he was happy with his performance and praised his opponent. In the same event Maidstone’s Luke Savill, who is living and training in Sweden, gave Tonbridge’s Helshan Weerasinghe a very close semi-final match before going down 14-16, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11. Weerasinghe, currently studying at University College London, went on to lift the title after competing in his 4th consecutive year under 21 singles final (c/f Table Tennis England press release).

Josh and his brother Jack Bennett had a straight games men’s doubles win over Nottingham University doubles duo Gabriel Achampong and Liam McTiernan, but then had a quarter-final clash with 2nd seeds Paul Drinkhall (Cleveland) and David McBeath (Hampshire). Although they were beaten 2-11, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11, they did well to take the second game, Drinkhall and McBeath carrying on to become national doubles champions.  


National Junior League 3rd Session


The Weald Club, based at Claremont Senior School, Bodiam, came top of the 3rd session of the 1st Division of the National Junior (under 18) League, held at the London Academy, Edgeware on Saturday.

The team, composed of Arthur Bracken, Shem Lejarde, Lewis Marsh and George Marsh beat Graham Spicer (New Malden, Surrey) 4-2, RBKCA (Kensington & Chelsea) 4-2, Horsham Spinners 5-1, and Darenth (Sevenoaks) 5-1, and drew 3-3 with South Croydon. 


Fraser Kent wins the Eastbourne Table Tennis Open 2018

Maintaining his 100% unbeaten record in both the Eastbourne and Hastings Leagues

Josh and Jack Bennett competing in the National Championships 2018

Josh and Jack Bennett will be competing in the National Table Tennis Championships at the Copperbox Arena between 1st March - 4th March 2018 in both Under 21 and Senior events.

Yolanda King competing in National Championships 2018

Yolanda King will be competing in the National Table Tennis Championships at the Copperbox Arena between 1st March - 4th March 2018 in Senior Women's evens.

Details Here https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/compete/our-national-championships/