Ballincollig Table Tennis Club was formed in March 2002 following a public meeting held in Scoil Eoin. Founder members included Kieran and Mary Spitere, Noelle Buckley, Martin and Bernice Herley, Kay and Pat Kelleher, Michael Healy, Pat Casey and Geraldine Hegarty. On March 20th, 2002, the first training session was held in Scoil Eoin.
In the early years membership grew fast and in January 2004 Youth Reach in Innishmore was added as a second training venue along with the addition of Brian Fitzgerald as head coach. Early success for the club saw U17 player Killian Healy picked for the Irish team travelling to Belgium. In October the club hosted a high profile STIGA exhibition match at Colaiste Choilm. Former Irish No.1 Colum Slevin played former European men’s No.1 Peter Karlsson in a thrilling match.
2005 continued to be a progressive year for the club with players ranking improving in all grades. Tibor and Dave Buckley joined as coach and along with Dan Foley and others the club’s future looked very bright. The Ballincollig Open was the highlight of the 2005 season.
2006 saw the retirement of Jack Hegarty as Principle of Scoil Eoin. Mr Hegarty was extremely supportive of the club in it’s early years. The club at this stage had 70 playing members and ran 8 training sessions a week. Ben Haughton joined the club as head coach in September. Ben brought a wealth of playing and coaching experience at the highest level to the club. The same year the club designed a new logo and acquired a first club kit.
2007 continued where previous years left off with success in all grades. BTTC competed in 5 Munster ranking events and took a staggering 26 out of 40 titles on offer. The intensified training was paying off and the year finished up with BTTC having 15 out 27 players on the Munster InterPro team.
Declan McGrath and Ruairi Oliver joined as new coaches for our junior players in 2008. The club was now competing in events in Ireland, UK and beyond. Individual players were invited by the ITTA to represent Ireland at a 6 Nations event in Gurnsey, International Youth tournament in Belgium and an English Junior 4-Star event. A Senior night and ladies night were also added to the weekly training sessions.
In 2009 BTTC players took part in a host of National and International events. There was success once again across all grades. Encouraging was the stream of new players taking part in the game and the success of both Scoil Eoin and Colaiste Choilm has proven to be key in finding new talent. Dan Foley was voted table tennis Cork Sports Person of the year.
2010 saw a change of guard in the committee. Mary and Kieran Spitere stepped down after many years of service to the club. Colette O’Reilly became chairman.
2011 was perhaps our most successful year to date. Edel O’Reilly won a national title at U17, she finished top of the Irish rankings as did Declan O’Brien at U17. Edel also won the Billy Marshall award presented by the ITTA for being the top Irish junior player in the year. Coach Ben Haughton left the club.
2012 Colette O’Reilly stepped down as chair person and Sean Murphy took over. Former player Dave Buckley took over coaching duties and the tough task of rebuilding the club started. Senior players gathered together and along with Dave the club built a new foundation.
2013 the club moved to the new Gael Scoil Ui Riordain for competitive training. Conn Higgins came on board to assist in training the younger squads and Sharon O’Donoghue became club secretary.
2014 Dave Buckley left for work reasons and Conn Higgins took over as head coach. Noelle Buckley became chairperson and Sean Murphy, treasurer.
2015 saw the club build on the foundation of a new the head coach Conn Higgins. Conn took over as high performance director of the ITTA. New young players such as Ciaran O’Donoghue and Cian Ross started to impress on the local and national stage. Alan Walsh represented Ireland at the Schools International in Scotland. Brenda O’Sullivan took over as treasurer.
More to follow….