Local sponsorship provides junior athletes with a common identity.

Junior players from the MESC Table Tennis Club in Stoke-on-Trent are stepping out to play in new strips courtesy of Truvelo. 

The club, the oldest in the city, dates back over 80 years. Over 30 young members, ranging in age from 6-18, compete in the National League Northwest Division. Several individuals have national rankings. 

The sponsorship deal provides the team with liveried tops and shorts, which gives a greater sense of teamwork and belonging, according to Paul Barnett, Truvelo’s Installations Manager. 

Paul lives local to the club and is one of its adult instructors. He was himself a committed table tennis player in his youth, playing at national and regional levels. Post-retirement, he qualified and returned to the sport as a Level 2 adult coach with the English Table Tennis Association. 

“As a former player, I understand the importance of sponsorship and how bringing people together with a common identity lifts both group and self-confidence,” he explains. 

“The club itself is based in one of the less affluent areas of Stoke-on-Trent. It attracts a very wide demographic but we have some kids whose parents can struggle even to pay the membership fees. Buying a team strip is a step too far, so us at Truvelo providing them is a real help. 

“What we have here is a great little community project which improves cohesion across different groups but also — potentially — gives someone a chance who otherwise might not be able to afford it.”