Head Coach & Founder of Focus Table Tennis
Our founder, Mark Smith, began his table tennis journey way back in 1985 at the age of nine. Mark was immediately hooked on the sport, and within two years he was the Yorkshire champion. He continued to develop as a player, and before reaching adulthood he’d already represented England and become national singles champion, twice!
As an adult, Mark continued his playing career on the professional circuits in France and Belgium, while also developing a keen interest in coaching. He became a development officer for the English Table Tennis Association, and helped English clubs and counties to win several championships. Eventually his coaching took him overseas, and he landed in Western Australia for the 2004/5 world tour as a coach in residence. Mark went on to become the Western Australia table tennis champion, and in his spare time produced a series of informative table tennis coaching videos, which are still available on Youtube today.
On his return to the United Kingdom, Mark became involved with the Greenhouse charity, which focuses on sports and the performing arts in and around London. Mark quickly developed a squad of talented, highly motivated youngsters at Ernest Bevin College in Tooting, and even trained several junior players up to international level.
After twenty-five years of playing and coaching table tennis in Sweden, France, Germany and China – the four main powers of international table tennis, Mark fancied a new challenge. That’s why in the year 2010 he launched Focus Table Tennis, Britain’s first specialist table tennis company. He saw an opportunity to spread his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game with other adults and children alike, and this is the ethos behind our current services. We offer parties, school clubs, festivals, equipment hire, and almost anything else that will encourage the playing of and a love for all things ping pong. See you at the table!
Focus Table Tennis provide us at KCS with inspirational coaches. Their contagious enthusiasm & dedication has dramatically increased the prominence of table tennis at the school which has been exciting especially for our "less sporty" kids. FTT have a great vision for the development of table tennis in schools.
P.E. Dept., King College School, Wimbledon
I have to say a HUGE thank you on behalf of everyone here – we had a great time on Monday night and it was in no small part down to you and your fantastic organisation. It was great to have the demonstration from your guys (they definitely put us all to shame) and I thought the format of the night worked really well. The feedback here has been really positive and I will pass on your details to other members of staff who may be interested in using your services.
Julia Stacey, Stakeholder Coordinator, British Olympic Association
Zahara loved it! She had a really fun time – and was proud of her certificate saying she came 15th in the tournament ( I didn’t tell her how many were enrolled!) And she got a prize for having improved so much so she was thrilled. In fact I wanted to let you know that I thought the coaches were superb. I met Olav on the first day and I thought his style was really just perfect for the kids – very happy and positive and I could see my daughter really responded to him.
Sisa, Mother of Zahara, Mum of Holiday Coaching Course Attendee
Focus Table Tennis have delivered our network table tennis tournament for the past three years. We have been very happy with the service provided and the professionalism of their staff. Our students have particularly enjoyed the master-classes with the likes of Gavin Rumgay and Darius Knight that have been organised for us by the Focus team.
Sarah Gregory, Enrichment Programme Manager , ARK Schools
Many thanks for giving my son, Alexander such a fabulous time at your table tennis course earlier this week at Donhead School. He had a really great time and came out brimming with enthusiasm, much more than I ever expected. So a big thank you ! Happy Christmas to you all,
Alexander's mum, Mum,
I just wanted to drop you a short note, on behalf of SportsAid, to thank you and your athletes for organising such a fantastic demonstration on Thursday. Guests I spoke to loved the power and technique of the players and were captivated to see the action up close! They also loved being able to have a go afterwards too! Thank you again for helping to make the SportsBall such a fantastic success!
Rob Clarke, Regional Development Manager, Sports Aid