In 2015 we released Mission 2025, which outlined our aims and ambitions for the sport, from grassroots to elite, over a 10 year period from 2015.
It outlines the work we will carry out in four key areas – People, Places, Participation and Performance – to improve and grow the sport. Now half way through this 10-year period, we reflect on what has been achieved so far by us as an organisation.
Licenced coaches at peak during 2021/22
People have completed a coaching qualification since April 2021
Teachers or trainee teachers completed the Teachers Award in 2021/22
New Level 2 Umpires qualified between 2021/22
People completed our Activator Training from 2021/22
Support webinars delivered for clubs and leagues in 2021/22
Active Young Ambassadors, logging 355 hours of activity from 2021/22
Women and Girls’ Ambassadors
Schools received tables through the Jack Petchey donation scheme between 2021/22
Sanctioned events held in the 2021/22 season
Free to use outdoor public tables
Ping Pong Parlours reopened after the pandemic, with 72 projects since 2017
Ping in the Community projects in 2021/22
Of social projects in 2021/22 were in the top 20% of deprives areas
Active Bat & Chat sessions
Active Back to TT sessions
TT Kidz projects run since 2021
Projects awarded a Level the Table grant in 2021/22
Membership retention from pre COVID levels
Social participants in 2021/22
TT Kidz participants in 2021/22
Young people have benefited from the Jack Petchey Donation Scheme in 2021/22
Medals at 2018 Commonwealth Games
England team ranked in World top 10
We work hard to ensure that our projects and programmes have a positive impact on everyone who experiences table tennis and on the sport as a whole. There have been many developments and achievements across the organisations since April 2017, which we detail below;
Club and Volunteer Conferences
Table Tennis England Club and Volunteer Conferences were first launched in 2016. The events, which are free to attend, provide a forum for Clubs, Leagues and other interested organisations to network with each other and Table Tennis England staff and to share best practice and knowledge.
In the past year, we have run seven regional conferences which attracted 126 delegates from 87 different organisations. Feedback on the conferences has been positive, with delegates enjoying the opportunity to network and share ideas with other coaches and clubs.
The National Conference returned in March 2019, with 120 delegates attending from over 40 clubs across the country. Hosted over two days, the conference involved 8 guest speakers, 8 presentations, 16 workshops and the launch of the TT Kidz product.
We have continued to support our clubs and leagues during the Coronavirus pandemic, with 12 webinars being hosted from April to July 2020 to support clubs and leagues in a range of topics.
Ahead of the 2018-19 season, a review of club membership was completed, including a consultation with a number of clubs nationwide. As a result, free club membership was re-branded to Associate Club. Since the re-brand, there has been a 105% increase in this membership. Perfect for League Clubs, the Associate Membership ensures that clubs are up to date with all of the latest information.
At the same time, ClubSpark was introduced as a PremierClub benefit, adding to the list of benefits for clubs looking to develop or grow. Benefits for PremierClubs now include discounts of Table Tennis England courses, access to a variety of programmes and access to partner discounts.
An online club management platform, designed to make the day to day requirements of running a table tennis club easier by reducing the amount of admin required. The platform is made up of a series of modules and supporting mobile apps and was launched as a benefit of Table Tennis England’s PremierClub membership.
Since its launch, ClubSpark has 57 active club profiles, with the most popular modules being membership, coaching and website support.
“I absolutely love the functionality of our new ClubSpark website. We have only been using it for a short while but it has already had a huge impact on club life. It’s so user friendly and easy to customise to the needs of your club. We would recommend this to any club that wants to take their operation to the next level.” – JLM Table Tennis Academy
Sport England Club Matters
Sport England Club Matters is a one stop shop for club support. Table Tennis England have worked in partnership with Club Matters to inform content, share good practice based on clubs from across the Country, and in 2020 provide a series of virtual workshops free for clubs to attend. Virtual workshops have included topics such as Legal Structures and Planning for Your Future.
Be TT is a support programme for PremierClubs and Leagues to build better experiences for those who play, coach, volunteer or officiate in the sport. The programme has now been running for three years;
A total of 55 projects were funded, which were made up of 33 clubs and 22 leagues. Funded projects included 16 projects for women and girls, 10 junior league projects, 7 50+ projects, 10 adult coaching projects and 13 workforce development projects. Year 1 had a total of 1,577 participants, of which 27% were female.
A total of 45 projects were funded, which were made up of 36 clubs and 9 leagues. Funded projects included 7 women and girls projects, 8 junior league projects, 17 short format league projects and 20 adult coaching projects. Year 2 had a total of 1,856 participants, of which 32% were female.
A total of 50 projects were funded, which were made up of 39 clubs, 10 leagues and 1 joint project. Funded projects included 16 women and girls projects, 26 under 11 projects (13 of which being TT Kidz) and 18 short format league projects. Year 3 had an average of 212 participants each week through Be TT projects, of which 45% were female. In addition, 37% of projects were in the top 20% of deprived areas.
Applications are now open, with 50% of funding being re-allocated to support clubs and leagues to re-start their activities once restrictions due to Coronavirus are lifted.
The Satellite Club programme is funded by Sport England and seeks to develop new sessions for 11-25 year olds. Since 2017 97 Satellite Clubs have been developed across the Country. Priority is given to PremierClubs and applications that seek to engage groups that are underrepresented in sport. Satellite Club sessions have engaged over 4,000 young people, including 32% female, 45% from the top 30% of deprived areas and 34% from ethnic minority communities. The programme has also enabled 19 clubs to start long term TT Kidz sessions.
Back to TT
Towards the end of Year 3, the Back to TT programme was launched. This programme is aimed at those returning to the sport, or who are already active in other sports, and is suitable for both clubs and leagues. Sessions are encouraged to be very flexible, ranging from structured coaching to match-play. There were 19 club sign-ups in the first week after launch, however few sessions were able to start before the lockdown.
TT Kidz, our programme aimed at engaging more 7-to-11 year olds in the sport in clubs and schools, was launched at the National Conference at the end of March 2019. The first phase of delivery was in clubs in the autumn of 2019 and the second phase got underway in February 2020, although this could not be finished as scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In all, more than 750 7-to-11 year olds have taken part in the programme to date at a total of 64 programmes in 45 different locations. Of those participants, 29% have been female.
TT Kidz for Schools was piloted in 18 schools from January and had been due to be launched nationally in April, this is now planned to launch in September.
Premier Education Group is our primary schools delivery partner and will deliver table tennis in schools across England, primarily through TT Kidz, enabling thousands more young people to have their first experience of the sport. Through this partnership, more than 100 coaches have been trained to deliver the programme in schools.
An agreement was also reached with Table Tennis Australia to allow TT Kidz to be licenced for delivery in Australia. Furthermore, a TT Kidz awards scheme is in development and scheduled to launch in the autumn.
Bat and Chat
The Bat and Chat programme officially launched in 2017 and is mainly focused on engaging participants aged 50+ in community table tennis. The programme continues to grow in Year 3, with 15 new club/league sign-ups, taking the total number of registered clubs and leagues delivering Bat and Bat to 39. The average number attending each session is 17 participants.
From Year 3 feedback, the impact that the programme has on participants, coaches and clubs or leagues that they are hosted at is clear. Participants reported a positive impact on their mental and physical wellbeing, which in turn led them to become more active and involved in either table tennis or other sports. Coaches, from delivering sessions, reported a positive impact on their own confidence, happiness and even their own playing experience. Clubs have also seen a boost in their membership revenue and volunteers coming from Bat and Chat social sessions.
Social participation in table tennis has continued to increase year on year since 2017, with Loop and Ping! projects evolving as we learn, to ensure the needs of the growing audience are met.
From April 2017 to March 2020 we introduced 489 new Ping in the Community projects, 176 new Loop at Work projects and 63 new Ping Pong Parlours. We estimate that over 4.5 million participants have engaged in these projects in this time, potentially with 85% of participants continuing to be regularly engaged with the sport after their initial introduction through our programmes.
In 2019 the Ping project turned 10 years old, celebrated through a campaign showing The Power of Ping and the impact table tennis can have on people’s lives, which received excellent engagement on social media. We have continued to bring new partners into the Ping family, expanding beyond traditional Local Authority and Active Partnerships now working with more organisations and charities delivering across physical and mental health and wellbeing agendas.
Ping in the Community
Ping in the Community has now been introduced in over 450 communities across the country, including village halls, places of worship, disability groups and care homes. We have continued to make partnerships with national organisations and charities to maximise the reach of the project and take table tennis into local communities, including the Stroke Association, Mencap and ACRE.
Ping Pong Parlours
The Ping Pong Parlour project has seen the most significant growth during this period, with 63 locations having opened since 2017 allowing over 1.5 million people to pick up a bat and have a go at the sport. As well as offering the chance for the public to play for free, many venues have created their own communities of people who regularly meet up to play and socialise together – something that has been facilitated through several Bat & Chat 50+ sessions. Several venues have also hosted community events which have brought different demographics and audiences through the doors, including health screenings with Diabetes UK, Stroke Association and Terrence Higgins Trust, as well as taster sessions for other inclusive sports.
Loop at Work
The number of Loop at Work businesses have steadily increased since its inception in 2016, now with approximately 500 companies giving their staff access to the game. The recently launched Ping Pong Hub provides an online home for workplaces to manage their internal table tennis competitions and events and connects colleagues, encouraging them to play more often and also provides virtual coaching and top tips to players.
Jack Petchey Programme
Now in its 10th year, we estimate that over 50,000 young people have directly benefited from the Jack Petchey programme. The programme has several key elements, which have been developing since April 2017;
Competitions: to generate competitive opportunities through the Jack Petchey London Schools’ Championships, the Essex County Table Tennis Championships and the Youth Club festival. Since April 2017, 4,107 players have competed in qualifier competitions, with 739 players competing in finals events
Table Donation Scheme: to create participation opportunities. Since April 2017, 678 tables have been donated to schools and 78 tables have been donated to youth clubs
Training: to train delivers and develop young people as leaders. Since April 2017, 9 training courses have been held with 116 people completing the course
Female Participation: to encourage and drive participation amongst girls. Since April 2017, 72 girls have taken part in a Girls only programme and 112 girls attended our Girls only festival
Schools Equipment Offer
Following a review of the schools equipment packages, in 2020/21 Table Tennis England will be launching a revised offer of indoor and outdoor table packages for primary and secondary schools in England. Both offers enable schools to access equipment at a discounted rate, with the aim of increasing table tennis participation in schools. The secondary offer will provide ‘introductory’ and ‘complete’ packages, whilst the primary packages will link with the TT Kidz programme.
The competition pathway for schools in England is organised by Table Tennis England as part of its wider competition structure. There are two National Schools Competitions – one for teams and the other for individuals.
A total of 51 Schools County Associations affiliated to Table Tennis England hold qualifying events in their counties. The winners go on to represent their schools’ counties in the Butterfly National Schools Competitions. These competitions build upon the outstanding work of the English Schools Table Tennis Association, which for 50 years organised these events until a merge with Table Tennis England in 2017.
It is estimated that 10,000 young people participate in schools competitions each year, with National Teams being selected as a result of the competition to represent English Schools, Home Nations and worldwide teams.
Following the merger of English Schools Table Tennis Association with Table Tennis England in 2017, a Schools’ Development Sub-committee has been created. The group, which brings together expertise from schools, coaching and competitions, works to provide opportunities for the development of young people through table tennis. The group have played an integral role in the development of a Schools’ Membership, due to launch in 2020, as well as supporting National Schools Competitions and the Jack Petchey Table Tennis Programme.
A total of 94 coaching courses have been run between April 2017 to March 2020.
Between April 2019 and March 2020, 334 individuals completed a coaching course, including 287 Level 1 candidates, 35 Level 2 candidates and 12 Level 3 candidates. In addition 352 individuals have completed an Award, including 231 Teachers Awards, 40 Young Officials Awards and 81 Table Tennis Leadership Awards. Feedback from candidates who complete the courses and awards continues to be positive, showing that the courses make a difference to people’s coaching confidence and abilities.
The coach and education workforce has also continued to grow, with 25 new tutors/assessors completing or working their way towards a Level 3 Tutor and Assessor qualification, taking the total number to 49. We have also continued to support coaches through a series of webinars, which have attracted over 430 people and contributors from all over the world.
European Table Tennis Union Conference
In October 2019, coaches from across Europe came together at Greenhouse Sports Centre in London for a three day coaching conference. A total of 80 coaches attended the conference and had the opportunity to attend talks from key speakers and network with other coaches from across Europe. Feedback collected after the conference found that 57% of attendees rated the event as ‘excellent’ with 43% rating ‘very good’ and 57% found the content of the conference ‘extremely useful’ while 43% found it ‘very useful’.
Development of the Level 1 Session Coach has modernised the qualification and learning. Having a blended approach where we combine practical and online learning has reduced contact time but increased accessibility of the course. Content on the course has been increased with the practical days being spent predominantly on the table coaching. Since the launch of the course the average number of candidates has increased from 10 to 17 per course. A key objective of the course is to make sure it’s fun and engaging, the Level 1 is a starting point for many coaches so its vital we make the experience meaningful for them to continue their coaching journey.
The Level 3-Head Coach qualification is a newly designed award in conjunction with University of Gloucestershire. It focuses on each candidate’s individual coaching needs and is designed to support the area(s) a coach coaches within, such as Performance, Participation, Development and Club. Coaching Table Tennis, whether employed or in a voluntary capacity, is a rewarding and responsible role. Since the launch of the qualification 47 coaches have completed or in the process of completing their qualification.
Pride of Table Tennis Awards
The Pride of Table Tennis awards are the celebration of the people and organisations that help make table tennis happen and have a positive impact on people(s) or communities’ lives. This year, the Pride of Table Tennis switched to a two-year cycle.
The 2019/20 season is year one of the cycle, when the focus is on the Club/League Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year awards.
Clubs and leagues can select and honour their own volunteers of the year in both categories – and all those honoured will be put forward for the national awards. The national Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year will be selected by the Pride of Table Tennis judging panel and presented at the Senior Nationals in March, where they will receive a special invitation and recognition over the weekend.
In the second year of the cycle, starting in the 2020/21 season, local clubs and leagues will again honour their volunteers and young volunteers. There will also be a regional stage of the awards, into which all local nominees will be forwarded, alongside nominations in other key categories.
The national stage of the awards will then feature the full range of Pride of Table Tennis Awards, including those for coaches, officials, clubs, leagues and inclusivity – and of course featuring the Blue Riband Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year. These will be presented at a gala dinner to be held at the National Conference in the first half of the year.
The Table Tennis Young Ambassador (TTYA) programme aims to benefit young people looking for great volunteering experiences, and table tennis clubs looking for a few extra pairs of hands.
Clubs which sign up to the programme are given the tools to grow their volunteer base and enable young people in the club and community to gain personal skills, qualifications and vital experience to enhance their CV. Young Ambassadors receive a series of incentives to reward the volunteering hours they log.
This year, a total of 36 Young Ambassadors logged 1,075 volunteer hours between them at 18 clubs, four of them reaching 50+ hours. Between them, they completed two Level 1 Umpire courses, nine Level 1 Coaching courses, one Level 2 Coaching course and four TT Kidz Activator courses.
#BEPARTOFIT Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022
Table tennis, amongst other sports, were challenges to provide a more diverse selection of umpires for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As a result, Table Tennis England have continues their focus in this area to grow and develop technical officials across the country. During 2019, there were 39 new umpires recruited, 41% of these new umpires were from our target demographic groups (U25’s, ethnic minotiries, women and girls). The majority of these new umpires have been officiated at Women’s British League, Junior British League, Veterans British League Senior National Championships. There are also a large proportion being mentored by the organisations technical officials committee to accelerate their learning to achieve Level 2 status.
Umpire and Referee Training and Development
In line with the officiating strategy, more focus has been placed on supporting existing and new officially to progress through the officiating pathway. Examples of new initiatives include; eight Level 1 Referees have attended a Level 2 training course, with five of these booked to take the Level 2 exam in April, which has now been postponed and will be rearranged once competitions restart. Additional training has also been put in place for Level 1 umpires progressing to Level 2.
Umpire Kit Review
As part of the officiating strategy in place to diversify and grow the number of officials, new technical officials kit has been implemented, The kit has now been tested at three national events and the roll out continues to move forward, with a complete transference to the new kit by January 2021.
We hosted two international events which kickstarted our strategic aim of re-establishing England as a regular host of international events – the European Table Tennis Union Europe Youth Top 10 in Worcester in 2017 and the International Table Tennis Federation Team World Cup in London in 2018.
Our flagship event is the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, with 2020 being the first of a five-year partnership with Mark Bates Ltd.
The upward momentum of the Qualifying Tournament, which was introduced in 2019, translated into the level of entries at the Nationals being very close to capacity, an improvement on recent years. Responding to feedback from players, officials, spectators and guests, a number of changes were made to the format and layout of the event in 2020. This included the introduction, in partnership with the International Table Tennis Federation, of a live scoring system which comprised in-venue and courtside display screens and real-time website updates, a significant step-change in the staging of the Nationals. A wheelchair event was successfully integrated for the first time in several years, and the two para class finals were played on Finals Day.
These changes resulted in very positive feedback in the post-event surveys. Every metric in the players and officials survey saw a positive shift on 2019 results, with the average rating rising from 6.5 to 8 out of 10. The same was true of the guest and spectator survey, with the average rating for ‘overall experience’ rising from 7.1 to 8.6 out of 10.
British League is Table Tennis England’s premier club team competition, open to entrants from across the Home Countries. After 12 months of having realigned British League with core competition programmes, a number of positive steps have been delivered.
Firstly, a wide range of process refinements have been identified and actioned across the League, including documentation, timeframes, governance and regulations, and are scheduled to come into effect before the next British League season, together with a strategy for the future of British League which has been developed after an extensive consultation period.
Perhaps most significantly, a British League Officer will join our full-time staff for next season, to support delivery of events, manage the fixtures and results platform, and oversee administration of the leagues. This is a step-change which furthers the process of putting members and participants at the heart of our investments.
We undertook two major consultation exercises in early 2020 in relation to a future strategy for British League and the future of the National rankings and ratings systems. We also plan to start a comprehensive competition review within the next 12 months. These long-term projects will be conducted with our members and participants at the centre of what we do.
The performance pathway has seen some significant changes over the last three years as it continues to evolve and grow. The performance programmes’ overarching philosophy is to help players find out what they are capable of, and it is this philosophy which has fuelled some key develops as it continues to evolve.
England Aspire Squad
As the England Junior Squad became more focused on the country’s leading cadet (under 15) and junior (under 18) players, and the learning we had made with this group, the need to identify and develop players from a younger age became a priority, which led to the creation of the England Aspire Squad 3 seasons ago. This has evolved targeted players aged from 9 to 13 years old, who met from regular single training days each month, to a focused group of young players attending residential training camps for at least 30 days per year.
England Hopes Squad
Following the first year of the of the Aspire Squad, the England Hopes Squad was set up in 2018 as our entry level programme. This has evolved from a single group of 16 players aged between 8 to 13, to two groups of players in this age category who have demonstrated a desire and commitment to improve at table tennis. Since its creation, there have been over 90 applications from players to join the group, with 34 players selected in total and another 12 players invited at various points in the season to monitor their progress. These groups meet for 16 days per year through a combination of both single day and residential training camps.
England Skills Awards
A key tool that has been developed has been the England Skills Award programme, a development framework and tool for the players and coach to work through in order to develop the fundamental table tennis skills the players will need to progress.
This internal programme is split into three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold), each with a number of tasks and challenges within them. Each level covers different skills, with the challenge element within them to develop the ability to develop how to practice purposefully. This framework directs the work both on and away from national training and gives a clearer picture of progression, improvement and what needs to be learnt at different stages.
Over the last 6-7 years, Table Tennis England has supported the set up and development of Talent Development and Performance Centres across the country which has seen more players access more quality training overall. In the last 12 months, this programme has now taken its next step, evolving to a ‘Hotspot’ approach and concept. This organic approach targets people or places that are producing three or more players into the England Hopes and Aspire Squads and who wanted to work with the performance programmes. This approach is designed to help provide further support to the players within the programmes, but to also bring the coaches into the programme to support them in their development.
Ground-breaking streaming of England vs Greece men’s European Championship qualifier on SPORTBible in late 2016 – reaching more than 2.2 million people and generating international business media coverage from the likes of Sports Illustrated and The Times.
Three highlights programmes were screened on Sky Sports Mix in 2017 for the National Championships and England matches.
Since 2018, our National Championships have been shown live on the BBC Sport website.
In 2018, the BBC Sport website streamed live from the ITTF Team World Cup at the Copper Box Arena.
The combined audience for the 2018 Team World Cup, Nationals and Commonwealth Games on the BBC website was 400,000.
From 2018-2019, our press releases to regional and national media generated online coverage with reach of 22.5 million and advertising value equivalent more than £200k, plus print reach of 2 million.
The 2020 Nationals was watched live by 33,000 with an average watch time of just under 18 minutes, a significant increase on both metrics compared with 2019.
Various aspects of our work have appeared across local and national media outlets, including BBC national and regional, Sky Sports, ITV regional, Talksport and Esquire magazine.
Our social media following has increased, from under 10,000 to 14,800 on Twitter and from 10,000 to 18,500 in Facebook. We also launched an Instagram channel which has 8,900 followers.
Liam Pitchford’s behind-the-back shots were provided to BBC and Sky, courtesy of ITTF, resulting in national coverage. This BBC Sport tweet on his shot generated 829,000 video views.
In July 2019, we launched Table Tennis England’s Zendesk support portal, enabling us to enhance our customer service and support and communicate with our members and customers more effectively. Since its launch, over 9,000 queries have come through the system.
In the same month, we launched a new membership system with Sport 80, resulting in a better link between our membership and finance systems. The system is being developed further over the next 12 months to enable us to further utilise its functions and join together more areas of the organisation.
The new TT Leagues system was launched in July 2019, resulting in the relationship between leagues being further developed. The system improves retention and drives member engagement through participation and practical use of the app and league management system.
Since launching, 150 leagues are now using the system, representing over 16,500 players. In addition over 35,000 matches have been approved through the system and we have created over 50 guides for users of the TT Leagues system.
We have gradually reduced our reliance on Sport England funding over the last few years from over 70% in 2015/16 to under 60% for the current funding cycle. This reduction is partly due to an increase of membership income, as well as trying to generate other sources of commercial income.
Sport England funding is ring-fenced against certain programmes and areas of expenditure and is vitally important to support the core sport. Our own revenue is not ring-fenced and can be spent as we determine best to support the strategy, therefore it is even more important to increase our own unrestricted revenue.
In summer 2018, a Women and Girls Action Group was established to build an action plan to sit below the core strategies we work towards as an organisations, in order to improve the experiences of females engaged in the sport.
The group has four key objectives:
To increase player membership from 10% to 15%
To increase the number of qualified and active female coaches
To improve and establish a community of females involved in table tennis
To develop national partnerships to increase exposure of the sport to potential new participants
Linked to objective 2, in 2019 we supported 23 women to achieve a coaching qualification through our coaching bursary programme, including 15 Level 1 coaches, 5 Level 2 coaches and 2 Level 3 coaches. We have continued to support these coaches through an online mentoring group.
Working with our trusted partners Ping Pong Fight Club, we have sponsored more than 10 women’s teams to enter corporate competitions, providing coaching for them in the build-up and prizes on the night. This has helped to ensure female participation in the Ping Pong Fight Club events and has given lots of women the impetus and confidence to regularly play table tennis in their workplaces.
Linked to objective 3, there are now 17 female Ambassadors across the country aged 11 and upwards. We aim to share their stories to inspire others to take part in table tennis and perhaps become Ambassadors themselves.
Inclusivity Working Group
An Inclusivity Working Group has been established since 2017, with the aim of ensuring inclusivity is at the heart of the whole organisation. The group has created numerous guidance documents for people to make their sessions more inclusive, tapped into national campaigns to raise awareness of inclusive table tennis – such as We Are Undefeatable – and has run a successful grant programme for 2 years.
Inclusivity Grant Programme
In 2019, the Inclusivity Grant Programme awarded over £3,200 to 12 projects, with a further £3,800 being awarded to another 12 projects in 2020. Projects have targeted groups including those with a disability, women and girls, ethnic minorities, people with mental health problems and people from lower socio-economic groups.
We have a large library of insight into the impact of our work, which we have divided into key categories and priority groups. Click on an area below to see all the insight we have in relation to that specific topic. If you find a piece of insight sits in more than one area, that’s because it relates to more than one topic.
Working in collaboration with others is central to everything we do. Here are some of the organisations we have worked with over the last few years, including funders, sponsors and partners;