Table Tennis England has agreed a five-year deal with Mark Bates Limited to become title sponsor of the National Championships.
The partnership covers all three National Championships, beginning with the Seniors in Nottingham at the end of February and including all Senior, Cadet & Junior and U10-U13 tournaments until the end of the 2023-24 season.
Mark Bates said: “Having been involved in table tennis for many years I have developed a strong love and passion for the sport and am very excited to be able to support the pinnacle event of the competition calendar.”
Bates will be well known to many Table Tennis England members as the father of two age group national champions – Emily and Michael.
Emily won a raft of singles and doubles titles from Under-10s to Juniors, including beating Tin-Tin Ho in the Under-12 Girls’ Singles final in 2007, while Michael was Cadet Boys’ Doubles champion alongside Gavin Evans – now England coach – in the same year.
Mark Bates added: “The company have many ties with table tennis. I became heavily involved in the sport through my children who had great pleasure and success participating in the game. In fact, my business now employs four ex-national champions.”
Concluding: “I am very excited – sponsoring the National Championships is just the start of a long-term partnership with Table Tennis England.”
Welcoming Mark Bates Ltd into partnership with Table Tennis England, Chairman Sandra Deaton said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark Bates Limited as title sponsors for the National Championships.
“This is a significant investment, not only financially but also in terms of the five-year timescale. It will enable us to continue the recent evolution of the National Championships to ensure it lives up to
Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe added that the partnership goes beyond Mark Bates simply sponsoring the Nationals.
She said: “We are all committed to ensuring there is a lasting legacy from this partnership. Whilst we are starting with the announcement that Mark Bates Limited becomes the title sponsor for the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, we are going to be spending the coming months exploring other exciting ideas that will reach out to the membership and our clubs as well.”