Teenager Shilton beats defending champion to set up semi-final clash with Bayley

World champion Will Bayley is still on course to regain his European title but he will have to beat his GB team mate Billy Shilton in the semi-final tomorrow after the 17 year old produced the performance of the championships so far to defeat the reigning European champion Mykhaylo Popov 3-1 in the quarter-final and assure himself of a medal at his first major championship.

On another good day for the GB Para Table Tennis Team in Vejle, Denmark Rob Davies, Tom Matthews, Paul Karabardak and David Wetherill also made it through to the semi-finals and 12 out of 15 athletes qualified for the knockout stages.

Billy Shilton action 6 2014Shilton needed to beat Michal Deigsler in his last group match to go through and the 17 year old put up a great performance to defeat the experienced Polish player who had beaten him last month in the Czech Open. Despite losing the third set after having two match points he recovered to win the fourth 11-8 and the match 3-1.

“I was really nervous at the end of the third set,” admitted Shilton afterwards, “but I got my focus at the end and did enough to get through so I’m really happy.”

In the last 16 Shilton faced Stephane Messi, the world number 10 from France and produced another great performance to come back from 2-1 down to win the match 11-7 in the fifth. That put him through to a quarter-final against the reigning European champion Popov and after winning a close first set 15-13 Shilton took the second 11-9 to take a 2-0 lead. Although the World number three from the Ukraine came back to take the third the GB teenager – playing with a maturity beyond his years – held his nerve to win the fourth 11-8 and take the match 3-1.

“I set myself the target of getting to the quarter finals,” said Shilton, “so anything beyond that was a bonus really so I’m very happy. I was definitely nervous but I’ve been speaking a lot with Tim (GB team psychologist) to keep my head and focus on myself and not give up and I think that is the reason I’ve done so well at this competition – never giving up and keep fighting for every point. I can’t quite believe it to be honest – it’s like a dream come true.”

Will Bayley World Champs 2014 3Bayley received a bye into the quarter-finals and was drawn against his old rival Jochen Wollmert, the double Paralympic champion. The World champion was in top form and after taking the first two sets 11-5 he withstood a rally from the German to clinch the match 11-8 in the third.

“I think that is probably the best I’ve ever played against him,” admitted Bayley. “I’ve got such respect for him – he’s such a legend. I’ve always wanted to win as many majors as he has so it’s nice to beat him because it’s difficult. It was really important to make a good start because he is a confidence player and when he’s playing well he’s hard to stop. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing – I just want to keep going and an all GB semi-final will be nice!”

Davies ensured that he topped his group with a comfortable 3-0 win over Federico Falco from Italy and the defending champion looks to be finding his form at the right time.

“I’m feeling a lot better today,” said the Welshman, who plays Dmitry Lavrov in the semi-finals. “More focused and more like myself. A lot more positive. It’s always good to play matches but nice to get a bye into the semi-finals.”

Tom Matthews actionIn his final group match Tom Matthews had match points against Endre Major but was eventually beaten 3-2 by the experienced Hungarian who topped the group, with Matthews in second place but through to the quarter finals to face Falco.

To his credit Matthews recovered from the disappointing loss and was always in control against Falco, overcoming a fightback in the third set by the Italian to win 3-0 and assure himself of at least a bronze medal in his first major championship.

“I was disappointed to lose this morning,” said Matthews. “I was 10-8 up in the fourth and lost it so it was hard to get back into it but me and Rob (Davies) had a good chat. We support each other and he helped me to prepare for the match. My emotional control has been brilliant here so I’m happy. I’m taking my time instead of rushing things.”

The 23 year old from Aberdare plays World number one Jean-Francois Ducay in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“He’s a good player,” said Matthews. “Rob and I will have a chat in the morning and hopefully I can beat him and Rob can win his semi and we can make it an all-Welsh final.”

Paul Karabardak action 4 2014It was a good day for Wales as Swansea’s Karabardak reached the semi-finals in men’s class 6 with a 3-0 win over the Russian Alexander Esaulov.

“Once I pulled away in the first set I knew that if I kept playing well I could make things more comfortable for myself,” he said, “because I don’t think he had the belief that he could beat me and I didn’t want to give him any chance to get into the game. So I think I did well to shut him out and dominate the game really.”

David Wetherill topped his group with a 3-0 win in his final match against the Russian Dinar Safiullin and defeated the experienced Italian Raimondo Alecci 3-1 in the last 16 to set up a quarter-final against World number six Thomas Rau from Germany. A 3-0 win put Wetherill through to the semi-finals and assure him of his first ever medal in a major championship.

Ross Wilson action 6 2014Ross Wilson ensured that he would go through to the knockout stages of men’s class 8 as group winner with a 3-0 win over the Italian Francesco Lorenzini and he then overcame the Belgian former Paralympic silver medalist Marc Ledoux 3-0 in the last 16.

Playing in his first major championship since London 2012 and only his fourth competition in three years the 20 year old started his quarter-final against Andras Csonka in great style and led 2-1 but the Hungarian World number five just had the edge in a tense final set to win the match 11-8 in the fifth.

“I think on a good day I can take those matches,” said Wilson. “I think what I missed in the build-up to this was match practice and I’m not 100% sharp yet so with sharpness and better preparation with dealing with my injuries then definitely I can compete with the best in the world.”

Wilson’s class 8 team partner Aaron McKibbin booked his place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Max Van Amerongen from the Netherlands, recovering well from losing the first set. His reward was a last 16 match against the World number two Thomas Bouvais and the Frenchman was in top form in a 3-0 win.

“I don’t feel that I played badly,” said McKibbin, “I thought I played a really good game. To be fair to him he was on top form and I tried to do three or four different things and he was there for every ball.”

Ashley Facey Thompson reached the last 16 in men’s class 9 with a battling 3-1 win over the higher ranked Dutchman Tonnie Heijnen despite dropping the first set.

“I’ve played him a lot and lost to him in the past,” said the 20 year old London South Bank University student. “After the first set I was thinking don’t be afraid – don’t think about losing think about winning and be more positive around the table. I knew my game was stronger than his today so I was able to overcome him and I was pleased with my performance.”

Ashley Facey Thompson action 2 2014 (2)That put Facey Thompson through to face Frederic Bellais and the Frenchman looked to be on his way to an easy win after taking the first two sets. But Facey Thompson showed great character to battle his way back into the match, levelling at 2-2 and then saving three match points at 10-7 down to win the match 12-10 in the fifth.

“When I was 2-0 down I was thinking ‘how can I get back in this match?’” said Facey Thompson. “I wanted to win but I also didn’t want to let myself down. At 10-7 down in the final set I was just thinking play each point – it doesn’t matter what the score is. He’s a good strong player so I was very happy with my performance.”

In the quarter-final against the World number three Juan Perez Gonzalez the Spaniard’s experience was decisive in a 3-0 win but it has nevertheless been a promising performance by Facey Thompson.

Sue Gilroy secured top place in her group in the combined women’s class 4-5 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Helke Koller from Austria but found the class 5 three time former European champion Ingela Lundback just too strong in a 3-1 quarter final defeat.

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Gilroy. “To come back from 10-6 down in the fourth and then lose 15-13 and getting two nets at deuce. I played really well in the third and fourth but just let her dominate in the second and third games and I was really hoping I could come back in the fourth and take it to a fifth but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully I can turn it around in the team competition.”

Gilroy’s team partner Megan Shackleton needed to beat Nada Matic in her final group match and put up a determined performance against the women’s class 4 World championship bronze medalist, fighting back from 2-0 down to win the third but eventually losing 11-9 in the fourth.

“I’m really proud I fought back,” said the 16 year old from Todmorden. “I’ll never give up – even if I’m not going to win I want it to be the closest score and I want them to know I’m a potential threat in the future and not walk away from the match thinking it was easy.”

Jack Hunter-Spivey reached the quarter-finals of men’s class 5 with a 3-1 win over Hamza Caliskan from Turkey but was disappointed to lose 3-0 to the World number six from Serbia Mitar Palikuca.

“I’ve beaten him the last few times we’ve played,” said the 20 year old from Liverpool, “but he changed tactics and opened up a bit more. There were some big rallies at key points in the match and I couldn’t quite get the ball on the table. But I feel that I’ve given a good account of myself and tried my hardest and that’s all I can do. I haven’t got that winning edge yet in those sort of matches but it takes experience to do that.”

In men’s class 10 Kim Daybell reached the quarter-finals with a hard fought 3-2 win over Igor Misztal from Poland and despite playing much better against Ivan Karabec from the Czech Republic he was bitterly disappointed to lose in four close sets to the World number six.

“It’s always difficult when you are 2-0 down against a good player,” said Daybell. “At 8-4 up in the second I didn’t quite take my chances but that’s the way it went today.”

In women’s class 3 Jane Campbell and Sara Head both failed to progress to the knockout stages after losing their final group matches but will now focus on the team competition that starts on Thursday.

Posted in GB

Good first day for GB at European Championships

World champion Will Bayley made smooth progress into the knockout stages of the men’s class 7 singles on a busy first day at the ITTF PTT European Championships in Vejle, Denmark and there was plenty more for the GB team to cheer about with 10 athletes all recording at least one win.

Will Bayley action 7 2014Bayley was given a tough first match by Samuel Shur from Israel and was pleased to come through in three close sets. He then beat Ben Despineux from Belgium 3-0 to finish top of his group and ensure his progression to the knockout stages.

“I actually think I was playing really well,” said the 27 year old World champion. “My coach said the first match wasn’t quite as good as I can play but he was really pleased with the second match because I stayed focused throughout and was quite clinical. There are so many good players now and you don’t want anyone to pick your pocket so you have to be on top of your game from the start. I try not to think too far ahead in majors – I just take every match as a final. That’s what I’ve done over the years and I’ll stick with that.”

Rob Davies 2European champion Rob Davies was presented with a walkover in his first match after the withdrawal of the German Marcus Sieger and then had to handle a long delay before his second match but the Welshman finally began the defence of his title with a 3-0 win over Matti Launonen from Finland.

“It was quite frustrating hanging around and then having my second match delayed,” admitted Davies, who plays his final group match tomorrow against Federico Falco of Italy. “My first match was a bit shaky – it just took a bit of time to get the feeling for the ball so I’m pleased to have won it really and to win 3-0 was even better. I can definitely improve from the match although in practice I’ve been playing well and feeling really good. So reasonably happy with the way things are at the moment.”

Tom Matthews France 1Davies’s class 1 team partner Tom Matthews made a great start to his first major championship by beating the world number 11 Andrea Borgato 3-0. Afterwards the 23 year old Welshman admitted that winning a close first set 13-11 against the experienced Italian was the key to his impressive performance.

“Taking that first set was very important,” he said. “It settled my nerves and from there I kept my composure and kept it simple. It was a really tough match he is so awkward to play. I’ll just think about my next match now – hopefully I can win that and top the group.”

Matthews plays his final group match tomorrow against another very experienced player in Endre Major from Hungary.

Ross Wilson action 6 2014Ross Wilson, playing in his first major championship since winning a team bronze in London 2012, overcame the very talented young Danish player Louis Tybirk in three close sets and then showed great character to beat the former men’s class 8 World champion and Paralympic silver medalist Richard Csejtey from Slovakia 3-2.

“It’s great to be back in this environment,” said 20 year old Wilson, who has endured a frustrating series of injuries over the past three years. “My first match was against a talented young player from the home country so that was tough to deal with and then I wasn’t expected to win against Csejtey as he was the higher ranked player so I’m really pleased. “

Wilson’s class 8 team partner Aaron McKibbin got the GB team off to a great start with a 3-0 win over Marius Olczak from Poland and then put up a fighting performance against Andras Csonka from Hungary, taking the World number five to five sets before eventually losing 3-2.

Aaron McKibbin Lignano 2014“I’m obviously disappointed to lose as I had a good opportunity,” said McKibbin, “but there was a stage where I was out of the game and I feel like I did quite well to come back into it. I feel that I am getting closer to him – he is a player I do really struggle against and I think I put up a much better performance here than I did last time I played him in Germany so I can take the positives from that.”

Both Wilson and McKibbin play their final group matches tomorrow and while Wilson is in pole position to qualify from his group McKibbin can still go through if he beats Max Van Amerongen from the Netherlands.

Paul KarabardakIn men’s class 6 Paul Karabardak also topped his group with two 3-0 wins against Valentin Kneuss from Switzerland and then the Croatian Pavao Jozic.

“I think I played as well as I could play today,” said the 30 year old from Swansea. “I played a tricky opponent in the first game so to beat him comfortably and play well was good. Then against a good player who has had some good wins this year I knew it would be a hard game but I played better than I expected and although he played well I had a bit too much which was pleasing for me.”

Karabardak’s team partner David Wetherill also won both his matches today including a battling 3-1 win against the talented Spaniard Alberto Seoane in which he showed great character to come back from 6-1 down and win a tense fourth set 15-13.

“I was really pleased to win both my matches,” said Wetherill, who plays his final group match tomorrow against the Russian Dinar Safiullin.

Billy Shilton Germany 2015Billy Shilton could not have had a tougher introduction to his first major championship taking on men’s class 7 World number two Maksym Nikolenko in his first match. But the Gloucestershire teenager, who turned 17 last Friday, is an exciting talent and pushed the Ukrainian all the way in a 3-1 loss.

“I was quite nervous with it being my first major,” said Shilton, “but to take someone as good as Nikolenko quite close I’m happy with the way I played today. To be around so many good players and playing against top players is really good experience for me. I play my second match tomorrow and hopefully I can keep my form from today and win that.”

Shilton can go through to the knockout stages with a win against Michal Deigsler from Poland tomorrow.

In the combined women’s class 4-5 singles World championship silver medalist Sue Gilroy had to use all her experience to beat Aleksandra Vasileva from Russia in five sets and then recovered from losing the first set to beat Zorica Popadic from Serbia 3-1.

“I played probably about 50% today of how I can do,” said Gilroy, who will play her final group match against the Austrian Helke Koller tomorrow. “The wins are the important thing but I’m really disappointed that I haven’t kicked into the gear I need to and play as well as I know I can. Sometimes I put myself under too much pressure and I don’t know how to change that but I will try and start playing my game tomorrow.”

Megan Shackleton France 2014Making her major championship debut 16 year old Megan Shackleton had a tough first match against the three time class 5 European champion Ingela Lundback from Sweden and had chances to win the second set in a 3-0 loss. In her second match she beat Barbara Meglic from Slovenia 3-0 and can progress to the knockout stages if she beats Nada Matic from Serbia tomorrow.

“I think today I played really positively and brought out my best talents,” said Shackleton. “I’ve just played with confidence – I’ve got nothing to lose and I’m really excited to take on everyone. I’m really enjoying it because I’ve never experienced anything like this before and it is on a similar level to a Paralympics which is what I aim to do in the future. Hopefully if I play like I can tomorrow then there is no reason why I can’t get out of my group.”

Although Ashley Facey Thompson started well against Cedric Cabestany from France he found himself 2-0 down to the men’s class 9 World number five. He fought back to take the third set and competed well in the fourth but the Frenchman took the set 11-9 and the match 3-1. Nevertheless Facey Thompson can take plenty of positives from the match and can still progress to the knockout stages if he wins his final group match tomorrow against Tonnie Heijnen of the Netherlands.

“I was playing well and I don’t know what happened,” said the 20 year old Londoner. “He had a couple of net cords and that put me off a bit. I tried but I couldn’t get back in the game so I’m disappointed. I’ll keep on fighting in my next match – I thought I could have beaten Cedric today but he’s a good player and very experienced.”

Jack Hunter-Spivey also had a difficult start to his European Championships campaign in men’s class 5 against Nicolas Savant-Aira and the Frenchman was too strong in a 3-0 win. The 20 year old from Liverpool now has to beat Hamza Caliskan from Turkey tomorrow to keep his singles hopes alive.

“Difficult first match for me and disappointed with the result,” said Hunter-Spivey. “He played well but I didn’t play my best – I wasn’t brave enough on my shots and a bit passive. Tomorrow will be a good match and I hope I can win. I feel like I’m playing quite well – not quite clicking just yet – so I’ll refocus and tomorrow I should be ready to go.”

In women’s class 3 both Sara Head and Jane Campbell had tough first matches – Head losing 3-1 to World number five Alena Kanova from Slovakia and Campbell losing in three close sets to the Croatian World number four Andela Muzinic.

Jane Campbell action 8 2014Campbell then kept her hopes alive with a determined 3-1 win over Kezban Cakir from Turkey and a win tomorrow against the Austrian Doris Mader would take her through to the quarter-finals.

“I feel I’m playing well and that is all you can do,” said Campbell. “Disappointed with the one I lost but I know that I played quite well. I struggled a bit with returning her serves and a few other things that I know I can work on and hopefully do better next time. I have beaten Doris before so I have a good chance – I’ve just got to play my best.”

Head fought back from 2-0 down against another Turkish player Hatice Duman to level at 2-2 but lost the deciding fifth set 9-11. She plays her final group match tomorrow against Michela Brunelli of Italy.

In men’s class 10 Kim Daybell came up against an in-form Denislav Kodjabashev and the Bulgarian World number five was too strong in a 3-0 win. Daybell plays Igor Misztal of Poland tomorrow for a place in the quarter-finals.

“He played a good game and never gave me a chance to get into it,” admitted Daybell. “I didn’t play as well as I can play and I’ll just have to come back tomorrow and try again.”

Posted in GB

British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities (BTTAD) – Director






BTTAD is the National Governing Body for elite Disability Table Tennis as recognised by UK Sport.     4 medals were achieved at the London 2012 Paralympics and similar expectations are anticipated for Rio. In addition, BTTAD runs a domestic competitions programme and participates successfully in international events; it works  with Home Country Associations and Disability Organisations to influence and develop disability table tennis domestically and internationally.

BTTAD is a charitable company limited by guarantee and following a casual vacancy, wishes to appoint a Director either from its membership or as an Independent member. There are currently 4 Directors – 2 from the membership and 2 Independent  ; the Chairman is Karen Tonge MBE.  The Board meets up to 4 times a year normally in either Sheffield or Milton Keynes. This is a voluntary role but reasonable expenses will be paid for travel and other out of pocket expenses

We are looking for individuals who will contribute to the strategic development of the sport and provide appropriate leadership, monitoring and guidance to the executive team. The appointment would be for an initial period of 4 years, but directors are eligible for reappointment at the end of their first term to a maximum of 8 years. Previous experience of working on a Board  is not essential ; however all directors are required to understand and demonstrate their commitment to the vital role the Board plays in developing the sport and help the company to meet its legal and regulatory requirements

If you would welcome the opportunity to work with us and in disability sport, please forward   a brief CV and a one page supporting statement which outlines your relevant skills and experience to the Company Secretary , Mike Smith at mike.gr.smith@btinternet.com    by   November 2nd    2015    with interviews to be held in November and appointment  starting  in January 2016

Bayley and Davies lead GB challenge at European Championships

World champion Will Bayley and European champion Rob Davies head a team of 15 athletes that will represent GB in the ITTF PTT European Championships, which are taking place in Vejle, Denmark from October 12-17. This will be the final major championship before the 2016 Paralympic Games and will provide an opportunity for athletes to qualify directly for Rio.

Bayreuth Open 2015 Internationales Tischtennis WeltranglistentuBayley, the men’s class 7 world number one, will be looking to regain the title he won in 2011 having taken silver in 2013. He faces strong opposition from among others Mykhaylo Popov, who beat Bayley in the European final in 2013, fellow Ukrainian Maksym Nikolenko, who Bayley beat to win the World title in China last year, and double Paralympic champion Jochem Wollmert from Germany.

“Preparations are going great,” he said. “I’m training hard and feel ready. I’ve been very successful in the last few major competitions which gives me great confidence. I just need to make sure I’m taking it point by point and game by game. It would be very special to regain the European title – it’s always a massive one to win.”

Davies has been plagued by an on-going back injury since winning two gold medals at the last European Championships in 2013 but is confident that with the help of his coaches and strength and conditioning team he can now put that behind him.

Rob Davies action 3 2014“It’s about managing my body and how much I train at the moment,” said the 31 year old former rugby player, “and I think we have it under control now so I’m happy. The last few weeks have been really positive and I’m playing some good table tennis.”

The world number three and World championship silver medallist admits that defending a title is always hard but says: “I’m not really feeling the pressure at the moment – I’m excited to be playing and looking forward to the challenge. I always want to win every competition and as I’ve won it before I believe I can do it again.”

Davies is also defending his European team title but with fellow Welshman Paul Davies still recovering from injury he will have a new team partner in another Welshman Tom Matthews, 23, who will be competing in his first major championship.

“Tom has less experience than Paul,” said Davies, “but he’s a good young player coming through and we can have some good results if it all goes to plan so we’ll just take one match at a time. I’m looking forward to playing with him and seeing what we can do.”

The GB team also includes World championship silver medalist Sue Gilroy, London 2012 Paralympic bronze medalists Jane Campbell, Sara Head, Ross Wilson and Aaron McKibbin and talented teenagers Megan Shackleton and Billy Shilton, who will also be making their major championship debuts.

Billy Shilton action 5 2014Shilton, 16, will play with Bayley in the men’s class 7 team event in Denmark. The partnership has already proved successful – beating World champions Spain to win gold in Slovenia earlier this year and defeating China on the way to a silver medal in Germany.

“Playing team with Will in a major will be an amazing experience for me,” said Shilton, “as he always performs his best at major competitions. The way he fights for every point and never gives up on what he needs to do is something that I could bring into my game. He always does everything he can to support me in matches so it’s a really good confidence booster when you have a player like Will in your corner.”

Megan Shackleton April 2014 1Sixteen year old Shackleton will also have an experienced team partner in Denmark in Gilroy and acknowledges that playing with the veteran of four Paralympic Games is giving her invaluable experience.

“Playing team event with Sue has been a great learning curve for me so far,” she said. “I feel we get on well as a team, as we are both perfectionists and will fight hard until the very end of our matches. From the beginning she always told me that composure is key during high pressure situations, and that for me has been the most useful advice she has given by far.”

GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko has ensured that his team is well prepared for the challenge ahead with training camps in Slovenia and Slovakia.

“The European Championships is the last major test for our athletes before the 2016 Paralympic Games,” he said, “and with many of the world’s best players coming from Europe it will be a very tough competition. This is also our qualification year for Rio and good results in Denmark will be important for all the athletes, particularly those on the borderline of qualification. Rio is inevitably in the back of all the athletes’ minds but the European Championships are a major competition and that is all we are focusing on at the moment.”

The full GB squad for Denmark is:
Will Bayley – Tunbridge Wells/Sheffield (class 7)
Jane Campbell – London (class 3)
Rob Davies – Brecon (class 1)
Kim Daybell – Sheffield/Leeds (class 10)
Ashey Facey Thompson – London (class 9)
Sue Gilroy – Barnsley (class 4)
Sara Head – Beddau (class 3)
Jack Hunter-Spivey – Liverpool/Sheffield (class 5)
Paul Karabardak – Swansea (class 6)
Tom Matthews – Aberdare (class 1)
Aaron McKibbin – London/Sheffield (class 8)
Megan Shackleton – Todmorden (class 4)
Billy Shilton – Stonehouse/Sheffield (class 7)
David Wetherill – Torpoint (class 6)
Ross Wilson – Minster/Sheffield (class 8)

Posted in GB

No ‘spin’ needed for this story! Disability and transplant first for Halton

Halton Regional Table Tennis Centre will host the UK’s first ever joint disability and transplant table tennis tournament – at the Select Security Stadium this weekend run by the BTTAD.

Up to 100 sportsmen and women participate in BTTAD (British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities) contest nationwide.DSC_0013 (3)

It organises events up and down the country and supports Paralympic players on the international stage and comes to Halton on Sunday (4 October) with Mayor Cllr Ellen Cargill presenting some medals.

The event has been supported by Transplant Sport, run in partnership with Halton Table Tennis Club and is hoped to be a regular event up and down the country.

This is the second first for Halton this year, as it hosted the first satellite event for transplant patients, who usually only get to play other transplantees at the annual British Transplant Games.

Halton Borough Council is hoping it will encourage a lot of disabled people in the area to take up sport with new classes at Halton Table Tennis Club on Wednesday afternoons 1pm to 2.30 pm costing £2 for adults.Daniel Bullen Nat Champs 2015 2

Younger players are welcome at Family Fun sessions Monday evenings 7pm-8pm cost £1.50 while they learn how to play. These sessions are in conjunction with Table tennis England grassroots programme for disabled athletes this includes wheelchair (class 1-5), standing (class 6-10) or learning disabilities (class 11)

Halton resident Jade Carr, a multi-gold medal winner in the UK, European Heart and Lung and World Transplant Games, who is competing in the transplant event said: “This is a great opportunity for those who have had the ‘gift of life’ to show what they can achieve, all because of their donors.”

Halton Borough Council Disability Sports Co-ordinator, Gareth Burke, said: “The fact Halton is hosting this event shows our commitment to disability sport in the borough. If anyone with a disability wants to take up table tennis or any other sport, get in contact.”

The Chairman of BTTAD is Karen Tonge MBE, who runs the Halton Club as well as being an international umpire and referee.

Halton has a history of disability and transplant athlete success at table tennis with Jack Hunter-Spivey on the cusp of making the Paralympic team for Rio next year.

Halton will be represented by Jordan Abbott and Jordan McGarry in the disability category as well as Jade Carr and Mark Allen in the transplant category.

The Chairman of BTTAD Competitions Dave Cochrane said “I’m really pleased we have formed a relationship with Transplant Sport and I look forward to inviting them to future events in our grand prix series up and down the country. I’d like to acknowledge the drive and commitment shown by Jade Carr and Karen Tonge MBE for encouraging this alliance”

Two medals each for Shackleton and Shilton in Czech Open

A young GB squad has picked up five medals at the PTT Czech Open in Ostrava with 16 year old Megan Shackleton winning two silver medals and Billy Shilton, also 16, taking bronze in the singles and combining with 21 year old Martin Perry to take bronze in the men’s class 6-7 team. Daniel Bullen, 17, added another bronze in the men’s class 5 team.

Megan Shackleton April 2014 3Shackleton, from Todmorden, reached the semi-finals of the women’s class 4-5 singles with a 3-1 win over the world number 17 Aleksandra Vasileva from Russia and a 3-0 win against the Czech Beata Mentznerova. A 3-1 win over the Austrian Helke Koller earned her a place in the final and she was not disgraced in losing to the class 5 world number 10 Caroline Habib from Israel in three close sets.

Shackleton teamed up with the class 3 world number 6 Michela Brunelli in the round-robin women’s class 4-5 team competition and the partnership were 3-0 winners over the Czech Republic and were presented with a walkover by the withdrawal of the Israeli/Austrian combination of Tabib and Koller. A 3-1 win against Serbia assured Shackleton and her Italian partner of a medal and they needed to win their final match against the class 3 world number 5 Alena Kanova of Slovakia and Vasileva to take gold. With the tie level at 2-2 it came down to the deciding singles between Shackleton and Vasileva which the Russian took 3-1 to clinch the gold.

“I think I have had a reasonably OK tournament,” said Shackleton. “I’ve had a few ups and downs and some things I didn’t achieve in my matches but overall there are things I can take experience from and work on in training. It’s helped me a lot in my preparation for the European Championships – I’ve lost in both finals but I’m really hungry to make sure my performances are 100% what I want them to be. I’m looking forward to training in Slovakia next week and working on the things that didn’t go so well here.”

Billy Shilton action 5 2014Shilton, from Stonehouse but now based in Sheffield, topped his group in the men’s class 7 singles with a fine 3-1 win over the Belgian world number 16 Ben Despineux and a 3-0 win over the Norwegian Markus Koteng. A 3-1 win over the experienced Samuel Shur from Israel in the quarter-final took him through to face Michal Deigsler from Poland who had upset the Spanish world number four Jordi Morales in their quarter-final. Deigsler had just too much experience in the semi-final in a 3-1 win over Shilton and went on to take the gold.

In the team competition men’s classes 6 and 7 were combined and the GB partnership of Shilton and Perry reached the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Shur and the Chilean Cristian Dettoni and a 3-2 win over Deigsler and Dominic Perbey from Germany in which Shilton avenged his earlier singles defeat by the in-form Polish player. In the semi-final against a combined Czech/Belgian team Shilton beat both Despineux and Daniel Horut in his singles but the doubles proved decisive and a 3-2 win for Despineux and Horut took them through to the final.

“I think this was the best competition I’ve ever had really,” said Shilton. “Although I lost to Deigsler in the semi-finals I beat Despineux and Shur twice and my level was very consistent. I played tactically better against Deigsler in the team – I spoke to Greg (coach) beforehand about what I didn’t do in the first match and what I needed to do in the second and I managed to hold my nerve and win the match 14-12 in the fifth. Beating top players has given me a lot of confidence going into the Europeans next month and I think if I can play at the same level I did here I can do quite well.”

Although pleased with his medal Perry was frustrated with his lack of consistency.

Martin Perry France 4“I played really well in patches,” said the Paisley player. “I won a lot of first sets by going out and being dominant but then I was thinking too much about how my opponents were going to change their game instead of focusing on my own game. I just lack a bit of savvy into how to finish matches off – the experienced players know how to do that. I need to work on that mental edge. I’m looking forward to learning how to harness that focus and energy in the right way because that is the only way I’m going to grow as a player and that is what we all want to do.”

Daniel Bullen Nat Champs 2015 2Bullen found his group of Paralympic champion and world number one Tommy Urhaug and the Israeli Alaxey Eremenko too strong in the singles but reached the knockout stages of the men’s class 5 team competition with the Belgian Bart Brands after wins over the Czech Republic and a Russian/Greek combination. Although no match for Serbia in the semi-finals in a 3-0 loss Bullen can take some confidence from his two earlier wins against the Russian Alexander Abolmasov ( 3-0) and Petr Svatos of the Czech Republic (3-1).

“On the first day I let my nerves get the better of me,” he admitted. ”I was up against some of the hardest players and didn’t play my game so the singles was pretty poor from me really. I played much better in the team – I was taking my game to the players and I can take a lot of positives and work on things before the Belgium Open in a few weeks’ time.”

Twenty year old Lucie Bouron was unlucky to be drawn in a group with three top 20 players in women’s class 3 singles but will have found the experience of playing against such experienced players as the world number four Andela Muzinic from Croatia invaluable. Craig Allen (class 9) and Lawrence John (class 10) also came up against tough competition but are learning all the time and benefiting from every experience of international competition.

“Overall it was a mixed competition,” said GB head coach Greg Baker. “In terms of the players we have focused on over the last two years they have shown great promise for the future and both Billy and Megan can go into the European Championships next month with confidence which is a big positive. Martin has also shown that he can compete against good players and is not far away while the other players we brought here need to learn from the experience and take those lessons into their training.”

Shackleton and Shilton warm up for European Championships at Czech Open

The GB Para Table Tennis Team will be represented by a squad of talented young players in the PTT Czech Open taking place in Ostrava this week (September 24-26).

Megan Shackleton April 2014 3Teenagers Megan Shackleton and Billy Shilton will be hoping to show they are in good form ahead of next month’s European Championships. They will be joined by Pathway athletes Craig Allen, Lucie Bouron, Daniel Bullen, Lawrence John and Martin Perry.

The full squad is:
Craig Allen (Class 9) from Birmingham
Lucie Bouron (Class 3) from Bracknell
Daniel Bullen (Class 5) from St Neots
Lawrence John (Class 10) from Swansea
Martin Perry (Class 6) from Paisley
Megan Shackleton (Class 4) from Todmorden
Billy Shilton (Class 7) from Stonehouse

Good win for McKibbin in Dutch exhibition match

Aaron McKibbin Lignano 2014Aaron McKibbin came back from losing the first set to Max Van Amerongen to beat the Dutch player 3-1 in their exhibition match in Culemborg tonight. Kim Daybell was beaten 3-1 by Bas Hergelink and Billy Shilton lost by the same score to Jean-Paul Montanus.

Overall, GB head coach Greg Baker was satisfied with the players’ performances.

“Aaron started slowly but won comfortably after losing the first set,” said Baker. “Billy played very well against Montanus and was toe to toe with him while Kim just lacked a bit of match sharpness. Our hosts made us very welcome and the players can take the positives out of their matches in preparation for the European Championships next month.”

GB take on The Netherlands in table tennis exhibition

Kim Daybell 4

Kim Daybell

GB athletes Kim Daybell, Aaron McKibbin and Billy Shilton will warm up for next month’s European Championships by taking part in a series of exhibition matches between GB and The Netherlands on September 16.

Daybell will play fellow class 10 athlete Bas Hergelink, McKibbin (class 8) takes on Max Vertogen (class 9) and Shilton faces Jean-Paul Montanus in a class 7 match.

The matches will take place in the town of Culemborg and will be shown on Dutch television.
Posted in GB

Milestone reached for Voluntary Code of Good Governance

Milestone reached for Voluntary Code of Good Governance

Publish date: 

Thu, 10/09/2015 – 13:29

The Sport and Recreation Alliance is delighted to announce that The British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities (BTTAD) became the 100th organisation to sign-up to The Voluntary Code of Good Governance for the Sport and Recreation Sector.

BTTAD is a national charitable organisation that promotes and develops opportunities for disabled people to play table tennis and also manages and coordinates the Great Britain team.

The Voluntary Code has been instrumental in maintaining and elevating the governance standards within the sport sector since its development in karen2011.

This milestone only affirms the fact that the Code is recognised as relevant and applicable to all types of sport and recreation organisations, whether it might be an NGB, volunteer led, regional and smaller organisations including charities.

On signing-up to the Code, Karen Tonge MBE, Chair of BTTAD said,

“The Board of British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities (BTTAD) have been working with UK Sport to develop our governance and leadership to aim to be World Class off the table as well as on it.

We’re really pleased to have signed up to the Voluntary Code of Good Governance, and it’s great to have coincided this with becoming the 100th signatory and a year to go to the Rio Paralympics. We recognise the importance of good governance, and the benefits it will bring for the organisation and our members, and the Voluntary Code has provided the perfect framework for this development”

To learn more about the Voluntary Code and how it can benefit your organisation please click here.

– See more at: http://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/10-09-2015/milestone-reached-voluntary-code-good-governance#sthash.78SQEemh.dpuf