Perry proud to be part of Performance Squad

Paisley table tennis star Martin Perry is heading to Slovenia next week with the British team to compete in his first international tournament since his promotion to the British Para Table Tennis Team Performance Squad.

Martin PerryThe 22 year old, who won the class 6 title at the BPTT National Championships earlier this month, was introduced to table tennis in 2011 by Terry McLernon MBE at Drumchapel TT Club and joined the British Pathway Squad in 2013. He has made great progress since moving to Sheffield 18 months ago to train full time with the British team, winning the US Open in December last year and taking bronze in the Italian Open last month – his first singles medal in a factor 40 tournament.

“It was a great feeling to get to the semi-finals in Italy and I had good wins along the way,” he said. “I’m looking forward to Slovenia because I love the tournament and I’ve got the opportunity again to beat players who are ranked above me and I want to prove to myself more than anyone else that I am a top player and can maintain a high level of form.

“It is great to say that you are part of the Performance Squad but I don’t think it feels any different because I have been training with the squad for the past 18 months now so it is more of an official title than anything else. I feel that I have been working as hard as I should be every day and working in the right way to improve and that has shown in my results and my world ranking.

martin-perry-france-3“Training in Sheffield over the last 18 months is one of the key factors that has helped me improve so quickly. I’ve always trained hard and I think that is one of my key qualities as a player but training hard and winning matches is different so the experience of the players and the coaches in Sheffield has helped me to learn how to grind out matches when you are maybe not feeling your best, which we all have to do. My game technically has improved in leaps and bounds since training here and that is to be expected because training day in and day out with World, Paralympic and European champions I’d be ashamed of myself if I didn’t improve.”

British Para Table Tennis Non Executive Directors – 2 Vacancies

BRITISH  PARA TABLE TENNIS

NON- EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS-  2 VACANCIES

British Para Table Tennis ( BPTT) is the National Governing Body for elite Para Table Tennis as recognised by UK Sport which funds its World Class Programme.  3 medals -including 2 gold   by  Will Bayley MBE  and Rob Davies MBE  – were achieved at the Rio 2016 Paralympic  Games ranking Great Britain as 4th equal in the medals table for Para Table Tennis and now  we look  forward  to Tokyo  2020 and onwards to 2024. BPTT runs a domestic competitions programme  for its members  as well as competing  internationally; it works with the Home Nations Table Tennis Associations  and  National  Disability  Sports Organisations to influence and develop para table tennis within the UK and internationally. It has committed to the Code for Sports Governance.

BPTT is a company limited by guarantee as well as a registered  charity.  Following a change in Articles, it wishes to appoint 2 further Non- Executive  Directors either from the membership or as independents.

The Board wishes to appoint Directors who as individuals have the experience, interest, knowledge and  skills to complement and improve the skills set already in place through the 5 current Board members led by the Chairman -Mrs Karen Tonge MBE.

Expertise in Commercial , Marketing and  Income Generation as well as Finance and Legal would be particularly advantageous  as would be an  understanding of  High Performance Sport.

All Board  Directors should bring their experience from employment and/or voluntary activity to benefit BPTT and the ability to listen carefully, analyse clearly,question constructively and behave  collectively and with integrity  would  be important assets. They will need to understand and  appreciate the interests of all stakeholders.

The Board is immediately responsible for Strategy, Finance , Governance as well as Performance and Representation; it has overall scrutiny  of all BPTT activities including its sub -committees.  Experience and understanding of these aspects will be helpful.

Board Directors  would be

–     volunteers who are paid appropriate travel and subsistence expenses.

  • appointed for a 4 year term with eligibility for a further  4 year term .
  • expected to attend weekday Board meetings which  are currently held in Sheffield where the Performance team is based
  • able and willing to  commit  5 days  pa  for Board meetings, AGM and national events plus extra  time as needed for any  other activity or representation on behalf of BPTT.

If you would welcome the opportunity to work with BPTT and in para sport, please forward a brief CV and personal statement  to   Mike  Smith    Company Secretary  BPTT  preferably by email  to mike.gr.smith@btinternet.com   or to 207 Glenfield Road Leicester LE3 6DL  . He would be happy to deal with any informal enquiries.

     Closing date  for applications               Sunday        May 7   2017 

    Interviews will be held in Sheffield on Wednesday May 31 2017

BPTT welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of race, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age

Wilson and Hunter-Spivey take Open titles at National Championships

Ross Wilson and Jack Hunter-Spivey have won the Open singles titles in the standing and wheelchair categories respectively at the 2017 British Para Table Tennis Championships in Grantham. Sue Gilroy claimed her 22nd National title in the Ladies Open wheelchair class and Paralympic champion Will Bayley combined with 18 year old Billy Shilton to take the Open standing doubles.

Ross Wilson BPTT NationalsWilson also took the class 8 singles title, beating Shilton in the semi-final and his GB team partner Aaron McKibbin in the final. In the final of the Open singles he beat the class 10 singles champion Kim Daybell 3-1 to claim the National title for the second time in his career.

“It is really nice to see the standard going up in the Nationals each year,” said Wilson. “I played both Billy in the semi and Aaron in the final and they are both great players and I love the fact that we are improving together as a team. Kim beat me in the final last year so we’ve had a few jokes in training but it is all good fun and I’m really happy to be champion. I’m training more on the table now and it is good for me to know that I am doing the right things in training and that is helping me get the results.”

Hunter-Spivey completed a hat-trick of titles with the class 5 singles and the wheelchair doubles.

Jack Hunter-Spivey BPTT Nationals“It is a great feeling,” said the 21 year old from Liverpool. “I’ve been on top for five years now and it gets tougher every year. The junior players are getting a lot better and it’s been strong competition this year. I’m really proud to be British champion and I don’t take it for granted – it is nice to be the best in Britain but everyone else is fighting for it as well so I’ve got to be on my game all the time.”

Hunter-Spivey was partnered in the doubles by Pathway athlete Dan Bullen who was also runner-up in the class 5 singles.

“It was a pleasure to play with Jack in the doubles,” said Bullen. “It is the first time we’ve played together and we worked really well so hopefully we can look forward to playing together more in the future.”

Gilroy has dominated the women’s wheelchair events at the Nationals for more than two decades and also won the class 4 singles as well as taking silver in the Open wheelchair singles, losing in the final to Hunter-Spivey.

“There is still work to be done but I played really well this weekend,” said Gilroy. “To win 22 National titles is something I’m really proud of and I don’t think that is something anyone else will ever do.”

Martin Perry BPTT NationalsMartin Perry celebrated his promotion last week to the British Performance Squad by taking the class 6 singles title, beating the European bronze medallist and three time Paralympian David Wetherill 3-2 in a thrilling final.

“To beat someone like Dave who is top five in the world is a fantastic result for me,” said Perry, who also received the Player of the Tournament Award. “It was a really good match and we both played really good table tennis. It means an awful lot to me to be National champion. I’ve been Scottish champion a few times and that means a lot to me but to say that I am British champion as well is a fantastic feeling.”

Bayley came through the men’s class 7 singles without dropping a set but was more delighted to win the Open doubles. He and Shilton beat Daybell and class 9 singles champion Ashley Facey Thompson in the semi-finals and then came from 2-0 against Wilson and McKibbin to take the match 11-7 in the fifth.

Will Bayley & Billy Shilton BPTT Nationals“It was one of the best wins I’ve had really because it was unexpected,” said Bayley. “We had a really difficult draw so I thought we were up against it and we did really well to win it. To come from 2-0 down against players as good as Ross and Aaron was an amazing win for us.”

“I lost my focus a bit at the start of the match,” admitted Shilton, “but we changed tactics a bit and played the perfect game in the last three sets. Will is such a top player and you’ve got to step up your game when you play with him so I’m really happy we won.”

Rob Davies BPTT NationalsParalympic champion Rob Davies retained his class 1-2 singles title but was pushed all the way by his GB team mate Tom Matthews in the decisive match in the round-robin event. Davies eventually took the match against his fellow Welshman 13-11 in the fifth.

“It’s nice to be British champion again and good to keep Tom down just for one more year,” said a relieved Davies. “It is always nice to win but it was more of a learning experience for me to see what I need to work on ready for the Slovenia Open next month. I’m reasonably pleased with the way I’m playing – I’ve got three weeks of training to go yet so I’ve got to keep improving now.”

Also among the winners were Kevin Plowman (Class 3), Adam Thompson (Class 11), Fliss Pickard (Ladies Open Standing), Lochlan O’Higgins (Junior Wheelchair and Wheelchair Open B), Jack Stockdale (Junior Standing), Euan McLaughlin (Standing Open B), Dylan Tynan (Standing Open C) and Harry Fairchild (Downs Syndrome Class). Junior Player of the Tournament went to Shae Thakker.

Bayley and Davies head star-studded field for BPTT National Championships

Paralympic champions Will Bayley and Rob Davies head the entries for this year’s British Para Table Tennis National Championships which take place at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre on April 8th and 9th. The championships provide an opportunity for young players to test themselves against the stars of the British Para Table Tennis Performance Squad, many of whom are among the best in the world in their class.

bayley-william-on-table-after-finalBayley’s celebration after winning gold in Rio made headlines around the world and the 29 year old World number one from Tunbridge Wells has been in good form already this season completing a clean sweep in the class 7 singles, open standing singles and open standing doubles in the Draycott Para Open at the beginning of March.

“I really enjoy the Nationals,” said Bayley. “It is a good challenge for me playing against my GB team mates, especially in the Open class. It is different playing against team mates as we know each other’s games so well but I am looking forward to it.”

Davies, who heads the world rankings in men’s class 1, will have tough competition in his class from US Open champion Tom Matthews.

davies-robert-gbr-04“It will be a good measure of how I am playing,” said the 32 year old Welshman. “Playing against Tom will be a good indication of what sort of shape we are in. It is a big boost having him and Paul (Davies) in the squad as they keep pushing me and that is what I want to do. I want to get even better than I was in Rio and I think I can and those boys are only going to help me do that. Training has been going well – it is a slow process getting back into things and you can’t rush it but I feel that I am playing well and getting towards where I want to be. I really want to go to the Nationals and do well.”

Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson, who won Paralympic team bronze in London and Rio with Bayley, will face strong competition in men’s class 8 from 18 year old Billy Shilton. In men’s class 6 although Paul Karabardak will be missing due to injury fellow three time Paralympian and European medalist David Wetherill will be challenged by US Open champion Martin Perry and five time Paralympian Sue Gilroy’s opposition in women’s class 4 will include her 18 year old GB team partner Megan Shackleton.

“It is brilliant to have such strong competition within the squad,” said Wilson. “The standard is rising all the time and I hope we can keep pushing each other to get better results internationally. To have three players in the same class competing at the top level internationally can only be a good thing.”

Posted in GB

British Pathway Squad take three medals in Romania Open

A squad of young British Para Table Tennis Pathway Squad athletes has added three medals in the Romania Open to the five medals won in the Junior (U23) Open at the PTT RITTO in Cluj-Napoca. Dan Bullen and Lawrence John picked up bronze medals in their respective singles events and Shae Thakker and Ryan Henry took bronze in the men’s class 9-10 team event on the final day of competition.

Dan Bullen RomaniaBullen, who also took bronze in the men’s class 2-5 singles in the Junior Open, came through his group in men’s class 5 as runner-up after beating Liu Fu from China 3-1 and understandably found the experienced World number four Mitar Palikuca too strong in their semi-final, which the Serbian took 3-0.

“I was disappointed to lose deuce in the fifth in the semi-final of the junior singles,” said Bullen, “but it is all good experience for me and it will help me become a stronger player.

Lawrence John RomaniaJohn topped his group in men’s class 10 after wins against Chris Peters from Luxembourg (3-2) and the Russian Nikita Perevozchikov (3-0). He won a close first game 14-12 in his semi-final against Martin Nielsen before the Danish newcomer came back to take the next three 11, 9 and 6 to win the match 3-1. He had earlier taken silver in the round-robin men’s class 10 Junior singles after his narrow 3-2 loss (14-12 in the fifth) to team mate Shae Thakker proved decisive.

“Overall I’ve learnt a lot from the competition,” said John. “I’ve had difficult matches in which I haven’t been playing my best and had to work hard and find other ways to win. I’m happy to medal in juniors and seniors and will be looking to improve in upcoming competitions.”

At just 13 years old Thakker is a promising talent and after taking gold in the men’s class 10 junior singles he combined with Ryan Henry to take team bronze in the senior open.

“I am really pleased with the gold that I have achieved in the junior singles,” said Thakker. “This has really improved my confidence in my game and I am really ecstatic to see that my training is being very influential. This has inspired me to work even harder so that I can achieve this success again.”

Henry beat Elias Monden from Germany to put the GB pair through to the semi-finals and said: “I was happy with the way I played and felt it was a great learning experience all round. I’m really pleased to have won a bronze medal in the team event with Shae.”

Conor McAdam RomaniaConor McAdam won all three of his matches in the round robin junior men’s class 6 singles, securing the gold with an impressive 3-0 win in his final match against the German Thilo Sonnenschein. He also came through his group in the senior men’s class 6 singles with 3-0 wins against Florin Milciu from Romania and the Serbian Luka Andrasic and was not disgraced in a 3-0 quarter-final loss to the European team gold medallist Michael Jensen from Denmark.

“I’m happy with my performance in the U23 event,” said McAdam, “winning my first junior singles medal, especially with it being gold. I felt that I was playing well, implementing the things that I have been working on in training. So I’m happy with that. In the senior event I felt that I played well but was outplayed by more experienced players. This has left me with some things to work on back home which can help me further my game.”

Craig Allen lost his second match in the round-robin junior men’s class 9 singles to the German Laurenz Fehling 3-2 but with wins against Vladislav Balobanov from Russia and Elias Monden from Germany he took the gold on countback.

“I am really pleased to have won my first singles medal in Romania,” said Allen. “It makes all the hard work and sacrifices worthwhile and is a great way to thank the Grantham Academy coaches and my local coaches for their expertise and support. I need to carry on improving my game and this medal makes me hungry for another one.”

Alex Bland did well to progress from his group in men’s class 7 with a 3-0 win against the Romanian Nicusor Cojocaru before losing 3-1 in the quarter-finals to Henrik Brammer from Denmark.

Posted in GB

Will Bayley MBE on BBC Question of Sport 22nd March 2017

qoswillTonight our very own Will Bayley MBE who won the class 7 Gold Medal at the Rio Paralympics last year will appear on BBC Question of Sport.

 

 

Will joins the infamous team captain Phil Tufnell (Tuffers) who is a favorite on the show plus Clinton Morrison a former professional footballer for Mickleover Sports.

Tune in tonight (Wednesday 22nd March 2017) on BBC1 at 23:15 for fun and games with the sports professionals hosted by Sue Barker.

 

GB players strike gold in RITTO Junior Open

Conor McAdam, Craig Allen and Shae Thakker all claimed gold today in the Junior Open in Romania and there were two further medals for the GB Pathway squad as Lawrence John took silver and Dan Bullen bronze.

McAdam won all three of his matches in the round robin men’s class 6 singles, securing the gold with an impressive 3-0 win in his final match against the German Thilo Sonnenschein. Thakker also came through the round robin men’s class 10 singles undefeated and his narrow 3-2 win against GB team mate Lawrence John (14-12 in the fifth) proved to be the decisive match as John went on to take the silver.

Allen lost his second match in the men’s class 9 singles to the German Laurenz Fehling 3-2 but with wins against Vladislav Balobanov from Russia and Elias Monden from Germany he took the gold on countback.

Bullen topped his group in the men’s class 2-5 singles with three wins from three before losing a very close semi-final to Sebastian Brandal from Norway 12-10 in the fifth.

New club in Sheffield to offer free sessions for disabled players

A new table tennis club opening in Sheffield this week is offering free sessions for players with a disability and free coaching for all on its opening night.

Matt KennyAdvantage Table Tennis is the brainchild of Sheffield coach Matthew Kenny, who is a former National Junior Champion and represented the England men’s team. He now coaches the GB Para Table Tennis squad which is based at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and has coached at three Paralympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“The ambitions of Advantage Table Tennis are to attract current and new table tennis enthusiasts, to deliver top-quality coaching and to develop future champions,” said Kenny. “In addition, the club aims to attract more disabled people to the sport of table tennis and to give them an opportunity to have quality coaching – both at the beginner level and for players who have been playing for some time. Table tennis is a fantastic sport and very inclusive as it can also be played in a wheelchair. I’m really proud to be from Sheffield – the city has a great sporting heritage and I am passionate about creating opportunities for more people to play table tennis here.”

The club will open at the English Institute of Sport at 6pm on Thursday, March 9 with a free session for all and the chance to meet two time Paralympic table tennis medallist Ross Wilson.

Further information is available at www.advantagett.co.uk

Posted in GB

Matthews takes team silver on final day in Italy

Tom Matthews today added a team silver to the singles bronze he won in men’s class 1 on the final day of the Lignano Master Open in Italy while fellow Welshman Paul Karabardak, gold medallist in the men’s class 6 singles, was forced to withdraw from the team event with a foot injury.

Matthews and team partner Endre Major won their first two matches in the round robin men’s class 1 team event against combined teams from Russia/Croatia and Argentina/Romania 2-0 and their final match against Italy decided the gold medal. The Welsh/Hungarian partnership had to settle for silver after the Italian team of Andrea Borgato and Federico Falco won the doubles and Borgato beat Matthews 3-1.

Tom Matthews Vejle 2015 7“I feel I played better than I did in my singles event,” said Matthews. “I always knew it would be a tough match against Borgato and I feel I played well but didn’t take my chances when I needed to. I have learnt a lot more about my game again this tournament and now know what I need to go back and work on in the training hall. I’m now looking forward to the BPTT Nationals next month and then my next international competition in Slovenia in May.”

Karabardak and partner Martin Perry won their first match against Australia/Ireland but the Swansea player picked up a foot injury during the match and the GB pair were forced to withdraw from the competition.

Although finishing outside the medals in women’s class 6-7 team with Romanian partner Gabriela Constantin, Felicity Pickard had a good 3-0 win over Emelie Endre, the Swedish girl who she lost against in the singles event, and put up a good performance against the Russian class 7 World number five, losing 3-2.

Swansea teenager Lawrence John and his Belgian partner Adonis Mylonas came through their group in men’s class 10 but went out in the quarter-finals to Malaysia/Poland.

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