Brighton Marathon Weekend to showcase inspirational community table tennis club

Published on
March 28, 2024
World's first table tennis coach with Down's syndrome to start BM10K and join Brighton Table Tennis Club at Brighton Miles
  • Brighton Table Tennis Club to provide taster sessions at the new-look Brighton Miles on Saturday 6 April
  • Harry Fairchild, the world's first table tennis coach with Down's syndrome, to start BM10K on Sunday 7 April alongside club director Tim Holtam
  • Focus of Brighton Marathon Weekend is to bring communities together
  • Brighton Table Tennis Club is opening a new community facility in Moulsecoomb following £250,000 grant from the London Marathon Foundation

The new-look Brighton Miles event, the curtain-raiser to the Brighton Marathon Weekend, is now just over a week away.

The re-launched, free community event for all takes place in Preston Park on Saturday 6 April and will feature various miles throughout the day for participants to enjoy and a festival of activity open to everyone.

Popular local organisation Brighton Table Tennis Club will be in attendance on the day, offering free give-it-a-go table tennis sessions to visitors, with some members taking a break from coaching to be part of the Celebrate your Community mile, one of the many mile ‘waves’ that will form part of the day.

Among the Brighton Table Tennis Club members giving their top tips are Harry Fairchild, the world’s first table tennis coach with Down’s syndrome, and the club’s co-founder Tim Holtam.

Brighton Table Tennis Club is the first organisation in Brighton to receive a grant from the London Marathon Foundation (the parent charity of London Marathon Events, the organisers of the Brighton Marathon Weekend), with £250,000 being awarded to the club to set up a brand-new community sports facility, designed to be a centre for parasports, in Moulsecoomb.

The Brighton Marathon Weekend looks to celebrate the city’s communities and bring people together. As such, Tim and Harry will also be inspiring participants at the BM10K at Hove Lawns on Sunday 7 April as the Official Starters. Mostly made up of local runners, to further celebrate the Brighton community these two local heroes will cheer on the participants over the line. Tim then intends to run the 10k himself before re-joining Harry to celebrate at the Finish Line.

Harry Fairchild, the world’s first table tennis coach with Down’s syndrome, said: “I love coaching table tennis and teaching people how to play the game. I can’t wait to play with everyone at Brighton Miles where hopefully some new people will find out how fun table tennis is and see if they can beat me! I’m also looking forward to being a Starter at the BM10K, cheering everybody on and handing out medals at the end to everyone.”

Tim Holtam, Director of the Brighton Table Tennis Club, said “Brighton Table Tennis Club is really excited to be getting involved with the Brighton Marathon Weekend. We’ll be offering give-it-a-go table tennis at the Brighton Miles and hopefully encouraging some people to engage with our new community club opening in Moulsecoomb. As well as being an Official Starter at the BM10K alongside Harry, I’ll also be running the event too! It will be great to cheer on participants and then jump in the crowd to join them as I raise money for our new facility. I’ll be heading right to Harry on the Finish Line for my medal too which will be really special.”

Harry Fairchild is Great Britain’s number one and world’s eighth ranked table tennis player with Down’s syndrome and the world’s first table tennis coach with the Down’s syndrome. He coaches locally at Brighton Table Tennis Club and has helped inspired hundreds of people through his passion for the sport and the club.

Tim Holtam co-founded the Brighton Table Tennis Club in 2007 to give children and young people a way to be active and have fun. It’s since grown and now works with all sectors of the community, including refugees, people with learning difficulties and prisoners.

Entries for the Brighton Marathon and BM10K are now closed, but people can still sign up to the free Brighton Miles here, and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the Brighton Miles Festival from 10:30-15:00 on Saturday 6 April.

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