July 30 - The English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) has announced a new four-year deal with equipment manufactures Butterfly to provide clothing to England teams at senior, junior and cadet level.
Announced at the all new Bounce Table Tennis Club in Holborn, on same site where the game of "ping pong" was first created and patented in 1901, the deal is worth more than £100,000 ($152,000/€115,000) over the next four years and covers most major events, including World and European Championships and Home Internationals.
Its announcement comes at a welcome time for the sport in Britain after the ETTA suffered a complete funding cut from UK Sport in 2012 following disappointing results in recent years culminating in the 2012 Olympic Games, where athletes competed by virtue only of host nation places.
Yet with structural and personnel changes including the appointment of a new chairman and chief executive in July,confidence is high that the sport has turned a corner and the Butterfly announcement is a further boost.
"We would like to welcome Butterfly on board as official supplier for the next four years," said ETTA chairman Andy Seaward.
"All England teams will be wearing Butterfly kit when on official England duty, which is excellent news for our sport.
"It has come at a good time for us and a good time for table tennis and we hope to see many positive results from players wearing the kit."
Butterfly already sponsor 13 national teams, including South Korea and Germany - the men's team silver and bronze medalists at the London Olympics - as well as individual players like China's world and Olympic singles champion Zhang Jike and his compatriot Liu Shiwen, who lies second in the women's world rankings.
In addition, Butterfly already sponsor Liam Pitchford and Kelly Sibley, the male and female English champions, and are keen to continue their involvement with the English game.
"There are lots of good players in England using Butterfly rubbers, blades and shoes so we are very pleased to see them wearing Butterfly kit again" said Sebastian Rangs, sales and marketing director of Butterfly Europe.
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