As the name suggests, Colin Deaton was instrumental in the creation of the Colin Deaton Table Tennis Academy.
Whilst playing table tennis at a local youth club, Colin realised he had a natural gift for the game and with the help of local coaches, he went on to become a top junior international player and represented England on numerous occasions.
However work made practising difficult and so he reluctantly abandoned his dream of being a top senior England star, and decided to spend as much spare time as he could in helping other young hopefuls to discover the game of table tennis and reach their maximum potential. It was from that point in the early 1960s that table tennis in Chesterfield became a recognised force.
In 1969 Colin decided to try his hand at coaching and developing table tennis on a full time basis. Many school children were introduced to the game and they witnessed an exciting exhibition of top class play as Colin and the then No.1 Denis Neale set about motivating interest in the area.
Colin is fifth from the right on the back row in this photograph taken at Lilleshall Hall during an ETTA coaching course.
Colin also coached players at Butlins. This photograph was taken in 1957.
Over the decades, other clubs were established in the area giving an opportunity for young boys and girls to take part in the sport. Hundreds of children have been introduced to table tennis with many reaching great levels e.g. the former World and Commonwealth Gold Medalist Alan Cooke.
One of Colin’s greatest achievements was the establishment of the Staveley Table Tennis Club. This was set up at the Middlecroft Leisure Centre, opening its doors three nights a week to all players; young, middle aged and veteran table tennis players were all welcomed. The club became part of the ETTA Premier Club programme and went on to establish Clubmark status at Advanced Level.
Many players from the club have gone on to represent England at Cadet, Junior and now Senior level including the current Senior Mens No1, Liam Pitchford, former European Youth Gold Medalists, Sean Cullen and Daniel Lowe, multiple Cadet and Junior Internationals Lucy Davidson and Isobel Ashley.
In 2006 as a mark of respect and recognition of the death of its founder and mentor, the Staveley Table Tennis Club changed its name to the Colin Deaton Table Tennis Academy.
The Colin Deaton Table Tennis Academy has continued to thrive, with over 100 members. Over the years, many people have achieved coaching qualifications, represented the club and become part of the team of dedicated volunteers that help run this community-based club.