Pickard and Shackleton join GB Performance Squad

Megan and Felicity April 2014Teenage table tennis stars Felicity Pickard and Megan Shackleton have been selected for the GB Para Table Tennis Team’s Podium Potential Programme and now move from the Pathway Squad to the Performance Squad, bringing the number of athletes in this elite group to 14.

Nineteen year old Pickard, a class 6 player from Burnley, started playing table tennis in 2010 and made her international debut a year later. She represented GB in the European Championships last year and performed with great credit at her first major championships.

“Joining the Performance Squad means the world to me,” said Pickard. “It’s been one of my ambitions and it’s definitely a great boost to my confidence. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and I’ve still got a long way to go but this is an important  stepping stone to where I want to be – which is winning medals at the Paralympic Games. Although I’ve been training with the Performance Squad I now feel that I’m officially part of the team and it is going to motivate me to train even harder.”

Pickard also paid tribute to GB Pathway Squad coach Shaun Marples, saying: “I really want to thank Shaun because he has worked so hard with me and helped me so much.”

Fifteen year old Shackleton, a year 10 pupil at Todmorden High School in Yorkshire, has made rapid progress since making her international debut in October last year and was voted the junior player of the tournament at this year’s BTTAD National Championships having won the class 1-5 junior singles title. She admitted that her promotion to the Performance Squad came as “a massive surprise.”

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Shackleton, a class 4 player. “I’ve always wanted to be in the Performance Squad as it is as high as you can go. It is great to know that the coaches believe in me and I’m now even more motivated than I was before. I’ve been given the best opportunity I could have and to train and compete regularly with the top players will help me a lot.”

The additional Podium Potential places in the Performance Squad were made available as the result of the increase in funding to the GB Para Table Tennis Team from UK Sport announced earlier this year. This followed a successful 2013 for the team which included eight medals at the European Championships.

GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko said: “Felicity and Megan have both worked very hard and have been chosen because of the progress they have made and because we believe they have the potential to be medal prospects in 2020. Their target is to try and qualify for Rio but if they continue to progress they will both have a big chance to take a medal in Tokyo.”

BTTAD AGM

The Annual General Meeting of BTTAD ( British Association for people with Disabilities) on March 30 2014 attracted only 3 members- Chairman , Secretary and Treasurer – with one apology. The meeting was declared inquorate by the Chairman as there were insufficient members present according to rule; he adjourned the meeting and asked the Secretary to arrange another date for the AGM

Notice is given that the adjourned AGM will be held on Saturday 5 July 2014 at Wood Green Academy , Wood Green Road, Wednesbury , WS10 9QU starting at 1pm. This will be at lunchtime in the DSE championships-so thanks to DSE for allowing BTTAD to hold its AGM during their event

The agenda previously circulated remains the same apart from the date / time / venue. All relevant papers have been circulated.

Mike Smith
Secretary BTTAD
mike.gr.smith@btinternet.com 0116 2858475

Silver lining for GB in Italy

The GB Para Table Tennis Team picked up three silver medals in the team events at the Lignano Master Open in Italy today, with Paralympic and European silver medalist Will Bayley adding a silver to the gold he won in the singles on Thursday with team mate Paul Karabardak, Aaron McKibbin taking silver in the men’s class 8 and a first international medal for 14 year old Megan Shackleton, who partnered former Commonwealth champion Sue Gilroy and Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist in the women’s class 4/5 team event.

After beating the Spanish/Italian combination of Jordi Morales and Raimondo Alecci in the semi-finals of the men’s class 6/7 team event, Bayley and Karabardak faced the reigning class 7 European champions from the Ukraine, world number one Maxym Nikolenko and world number three Mykhaylo Popov in the final. The doubles proved to be the pivotal match as the GB pair held two match points before eventually going down 13-11 in the fifth and went on to lose the tie 3-1.

 wbayleyfaceAlthough disappointed to miss out on another gold medal, Bayley was delighted with his first international competition of the 2014 season.

 “I’m really happy,” he said. “It’s been a long off season and I’ve trained really hard so to win gold in the singles and beat Popov twice 3-0 is very special.”

The 26 year old from Tunbridge Wells was also full of praise for his playing partner Karabardak.

“I was really proud of Paul; Popov and Nikolenko haven’t lost a doubles match for two years and we had match points against them. That’s the closest we’ve come to beating them and hopefully we can beat them at the World Championships in China later this year.”

Karabardak can also take plenty of positives from the tournament.

“I’ve played well,” said the man from Swansea. “I’ve beaten the players I needed to and given the top four players good games and I can take that into the next competition.”

McKibbin, partnered by world number one Emil Andersson from Sweden, also played well at times, notably in beating the Belgian Marc Ledoux 3-0. With 3-0 wins against Belgium and Italy a 3-2 loss to Poland meant that he and Andersson finished with silver rather than gold and although pleased to win a medal, the 22 year old Sheffield based Londoner admitted that he had an up-and-down tournament.

“I think I played the best I’ve ever played against Ledoux to beat him 3-0,” he said, “but it was disappointing to finish by playing badly against Poland. It’s been a great experience to play with Emil and this tournament has highlighted a lot of things I’ve got to work on so I’ll take the positives from that.”

Barnsley’s Sue Gilroy came up against her nemesis Borislava Peric-Rankovic from Serbia in the team event, having lost to her in the semi-finals of the singles event. She again came close to beating the world number one in their singles rubber but eventually went down 3-2. With wins against Jordan and Slovenia, the match against Serbia decided the gold medal, with the GB/Swedish combination losing 3-2 to take the silver.

“On the whole I’ve played well here,” said Gilroy. “I’ve had some really good wins and I just need to start converting my chances against Peric into wins. But I’m proud of what I’ve done; I’ve improved since last year so the hard work is paying off.”

Megan Shackleton servingPathway squad player Shackleton, from Todmorden, is one of GB’s most promising young players and came to Italy after winning the junior wheelchair title at the National Championships. She was understandably delighted to win her first medal in only her second international and her first factor 40 tournament.

“It’s amazing,” she said, “I never expected to win a medal so soon. It’s been a really good experience and I’ve learnt a lot about how to improve my game.”

Although out of luck in the team event David Wetherill was able to reflect with some satisfaction on his silver medal in the singles.

“I was happy to get to the final without losing a set,” said the Torpoint player, “although I didn’t play my best. It’s nice to start the season with a medal and I’ve got a lot to work on.”

GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko was generally happy with the team’s performance in Italy but admitted that further improvement was needed.

“There were some really good performances,” he said, “but there were also some that could have been better. Our young players did really well and showed great potential and for Will Bayley to win gold in the singles against all the top players in the world was brilliant. We didn’t have all of our Performance squad here so we have to be pleased with six medals.”

 

Gold for Bayley in Italy

Will Bayley v Brazil London 2013Paralympic and European silver medalist Will Bayley took gold in the men’s class 7 singles at the Lignano Master Open in Italy today, retaining the title he won last year, and there was further success for the GB Para Table Tennis Team with silver for David Wetherill in the men’s class 6 singles and bronze for Sue Gilroy in the women’s class 4 singles.

Sheffield based Bayley, 26, from Tunbridge Wells, avenged his 2013 European Championship final defeat by the Ukrainian Mykhaylo Popov, beating the world number three comfortably in the semi-finals 3-0. He then went on to face world number four Jordi Morales in the final after the Spaniard beat world number one Maxym Nikolenko in the other semi-final. In the final Bayley was always in control and took the gold 3-0.

Fellow Paralympian David Wetherill, from Torpoint, won the class 6 event at the National Championships last weekend and continued his good start to the season by reaching the final in his event before losing to the world number six from France, Bastien Grundeler 3-0.

Barnsley’s Sue Gilroy reached the semi-finals but found world number one Borislava Peric-Rankovic just too good, the Serbian winning 3-1.

“It has been a good two days against tough competition,” said GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko. “We have three medals and for Will Bayley to beat the European champion 3-0 in the final is a really good result.”

The event continues with the team competition that reaches its conclusion on Saturday.

 

Results from the Michael Hawkesworth Championships

The Michael Hawkesworth Championships (BTTAD National Closed Championships)

15-16 March 2014, Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham  

 

Results

Mens Class 1 – 5 Open Singles

Final

Kevin Plowman b Jack Hunter-Spivey – 8, 6, 9, 8

Semi-Finals

Jack Hunter-Spivey b Ashley Davis 6, 9, -6, 3

Kevin Plowman b Shaun Newcomb 5, -10, -8, 6, 2

Quarter-Finals

Ashley Davis b Mark Palmer 9, -9, 9, 4

Jack Hunter-Spivey b Daniel Bullen 7, 7, 10

Kevin Plowman b Colin Woodford 7, 7, 9

Shaun Newcomb b Jack Pegram 7, -7, -6, 9, 6

 

Mens Class 1-5 Open Band B Singles group of 4

1 Steven Parry   b Andrew Green 5, 2, 3

                             l Paul Bloss 11, -7, -9, 7, -8

2 Paul Bloss       b Andrew Green 1, 1, 1

3 Andrew Green     b Mark Swift   5, 6, 6 

 

Ladies Class 1 – 5 Open Singles

Final

Sue Gilroy b Hannah Coulthurst 6, 7, 3

Semi-Finals

Sue Gilroy b Lucie Bouron 7, 4, 3

Hannah Coulthurst b Rebekah Evans 8, -8, 8, -9, 9

 

Ladies Class 6 -11 Open Singles group of 4

1Ella Booker                   b Emily Turner -7, -9, 6, 6, 9

                b Fliss Pickard -6, 7, -15, 10, 6

2Emily Turner                  b Fliss Pickard 3, -11, 9, 7

3Fliss Pickard                 b Iona McLean 5, 2, 7 

 

Mens Class 6 – 11 Open Singles

Final

Kim Daybell b Will Bayley 7, 5, 8

Semi-Finals

Kim Daybell b Paul Karabardak 3, 5, 6  

Will Bayley b Aaron McKibbin 4, 6, 5 

Quarter-Finals

Kim Daybell b Billy Shilton 7, 3, 3

Paul Karabardak b Lawrence John 7, 6, 3

Will Bayley b Rajan Waterman 11, 10, 7

Aaron McKibbin b Ashley Facey-Thompson 10, 9, 11

 

Male Class 6-11 Open Band B Singles

Final

Joshua Morgan b Martin Perry 5, -4, 7, -7, 6

Semi-Finals

Josh Morgan b Patrick Cox 4, 9, 5

Martin Perry b Craig Allen 4, 9, -5, -8, 11

Quarter-Finals

Josh Morgan b Lee Wilkinson 10, 7, 13

Patrick Cox b Neil Innes 6, 11, 8

Martin Perry b Alex Bland 6, -8, 10, 9

Craig Allen b Adam Gittings -9, 4, 11, 6

Last 16

Patrick Cox b Jeffrey Jarvis 7, -6, 4, 9

Adam Gittings b Charles Sketchley 6, 6, -11, 9

 

Male Class 6-11 Open Band C Singles

Final

Archie Taylor b James Adams   3, 9, 3

Semi-Finals

Archie Taylor b Jon Baker   4, 6, 8

James Adams b James Hollingsworth 8, 8, 10

Quarter-Finals

Jon Baker b Andrew South 7, 12, 7

James Hollingsworth b Tim Fields -9, 7, 9, -7, 10

 

Mixed Class 1 – 5 Doubles

Final

Shaun Newcomb / Jack Pegram b Jack Hunter-Spivey / Sue Gilroy 8, 4, -4, -9, 9

Semi -Finals

Shaun Newcomb / Jack Pegram b Roger Hales / Mike Prendergast 11, -9, 7, 6

Jack Hunter-Spivey / Sue Gilroy b Mark Palmer / Ashley Davis -12, 6, 4, 5

Quarter-Finals

Roger Hales / Mike Prendergast b N Anderson / Lucie Bouron  7, 8, -7, 11

Jack Hunter-Spivey / Sue Gilroy b  Colin Woodford / Kevin Plowman 8, -8, -7, 7, 6

 

Mixed  Class 6 – 11  Doubles

Final

Kim Daybell / Ashley Facey-Thompson b Will Bayley / Paul Karabardak 7, 7, 4

Semi -Finals

Kim Daybell / Ashley Facey-Thompson b Billy Shilton / Aaron McKibbin 8, 10, 5

Will Bayley / Paul Karabardak b Neil Innes / Ewan McLaughlin 8, 5, 8

Quarter-Finals

Kim Daybell / Ashley Facey-Thompson b David Wetherill / Martin Perry 5, 3, 5

Billy Shilton / Aaron McKibbin b Paul Womsley / Peter Cameron 7, 4, -4, 6

Will Bayley / Paul Karabardak b Rajan Waterman / Lee Wilkinson 2, 7, 5

Neil Innes / Ewan McLaughlin b Adam Thompson / Patrick Cox  -4, 6,4, 6

Last 16

David Wetherill / Martin Perry b Kevin McCormack -9, -9, 7, 10, 5

Rajan Waterman / Lee Wilkinson b Simon Green / Jeffrey Jarvis 6, 4, 5

 

Junior Class 1- 5 Singles group of 5

1 Megan Shackleton       b Daniel Bullen 7, 7, 9

                                           b Lochlann O’Higgins 8, 6, 7

2 Daniel Bullen                  b Lochlann O’Higgins 5, 5, 4

3 Lochlann O’Higgins       b Chloe Osbourne -7, -7, 6, 8, 10

 

Junior Class 6 – 10 Singles

Final

Lawrence John b Conor Gordon 4, 7, 7 

Semi-Finals

Conor Gordon b Jack McDonagh 7, 4, 5

Lawrence John b Alex Bland 2, 4, 8

 

Junior Class 11 Singles group of 5

1 Adam Gittings                b James Adams 7, -8, 4, 7

                                            b Jordan McGarry -6, 11, 9, 1

2 James Adams              b Jordan McGarry 8, 6, 4

3 Jordan McGarry            b Ben Robinson 3, 6, 6

  

Men’s Class 1 – 2 Singles

1 Thomas Matthews       b Oye Jemiyo -6, 7, -4, 8, 10

                                          b David Follett 6, 8, 7

2 Oye Jemiyo                  b David Follett 3, -9, 9, 8

3 David Follett                 b  Mark Swift 8, 9, 7

 

Mixed Class 3 Singles Group of 5

Final

Kevin Plowman b Ashley Davis 6, 3, 9

Semi-Finals

Kevin Plowman b Roger Hales 3, 3, 8

Ashley Davis b Jack Pegram 7, -`10, 6, -4, 5

Mixed Class 4 Singles

Final

Mark Palmer b Daniel Bullen 9, 5, 9

Semi-Finals

Mark Palmer b Shaun Newcomb -8, 10, 8, 4

Daniel Bullen b Sue Gilroy -4, 9, 10, 9, 6

Quarter-Finals

Mark Palmer b Nicko Anderson 7, 5, -4, 2

Daniel Bullen b Megan Shackleton 4, 1, -8, 7

 

Mixed Class  5  Singles

Final

Jack Hunter-Spivey b Colin Woodford -7, 7, -8, 7, 6

Semi-Finals

Jack Hunter-Spivey b Steven Parry 5, 8, 5

Colin Woodford b Mike Prendergast -8, 1, 5, 7

 

Mixed Class 6 Singles group of 5

1 David Wetherill              b Fliss Pickard 7, 8, 7

                                            b Martin Perry 5, 4, 1

                                            b Lee Wilkinson 4, 8, 4

2 Fliss Pickard                 games 4-3

3 Martin Perry                   games 5-3

4 Lee Wilkinson               games 3-5

Lee Wilkinson b Martin Perry 12, -7, 6, -7, 9

Martin Perry b Fliss Pickard -11, 4, 1, 8

Fliss Pickard b Lee Wilkinson 10, 9, 7

 

Mixed Class 7 Singles

Final

Will Bayley b Mehdi Zarafshani 3, 4, 4

Semi-Finals

Will Bayley b Paul Karabardak 9, 8, -6, 6

Mehdi Zarafshani b Farrel Anthony 9, 9, 7

Quarter-Finals

Paul Karabardak b Billy Shilton 6, 5, 9

Farrel Anthony b Peter Cameron 10, 6, 11

 

Men’s Class 8/9 Singles

Final

Ashley Facey-Thompson b Rajan Waterman 8, -9, 3, 9

Semi-Finals

Ashley Facey-Thompson b Aaron McKibbin 16, 8, -8, -6, 6

Rajan Waterman b Paul Waumsley 5, -7, 9, 2

Quarter-Finals

Ashley Facey-Thompson b Craig Allen 9, 4, 6

Paul Waumsley b Neil Innes 9, 8, 5

 

Mens Class 10 Singles

Final

Kim Daybell b Lawrence John 5, 4, 9

Semi-Finals

Kim Daybell b Emily Turner 4, 1, 6

Lawrence John b Joshua Morgan 7, 6, 7

 

Mens Class 11 Singles

Final

Adam Thompson b Patrick Cox 3, 5, 4     

Semi-Finals

Adam Thompson b Adam Gittings 4, -7, 8, -5, 3

Patrick Cox b Archie Taylor 9, 4, 11

Quarter-Finals

Adam Thompson b Alistair Feltham 7, 2, 0

Adam Gittings b Jeffrey Jarvis -6, 5, -13, 5, 6

Patrick Cox b Jordan McGarry 8, 8, 9

Archie Taylor b James Hollingworth 4, 7, -5, -8, 7

Last 16

Archie Taylor b Ashley Wray 8, 9, 7

Jeffrey Jarvis b Simon Green 5, 8, 8

 

Senior Player of the Tournament

Mehdi Zarafshani – London

Junior Player of the Tournament

Megan Shackleton – North West

 

Bayley leads GB challenge in Italy

Paralympic and European silver medalist Will Bayley will be bidding to retain his Lignano Master Open title in Italy this week (March 19-22) in the first international competition of the 2014 season for the GB Para Table Tennis Team.

Will Bayley v Brazil London 2013Sheffield based Bayley, from Tunbridge Wells, won his seventh National title at the weekend in the class 7 men’s singles and is in good form ahead of a season that will climax with the World Championships in China in September.

“I feel confident that I can do well this season,” he said, “and I’ll be doing my best that’s for sure. I don’t want to be peaking in Italy I want to be peaking for the World Championships but hopefully I can play well throughout the season and then play really well in China. I feel I’ve improved from last year; I feel match sharp and I’m really looking forward to playing in Italy.”

Bayley’s class 7 team mate Paul Karabardak finished last year by taking two gold medals in the US Open and will be hoping to continue that form in Italy.

“I hadn’t beaten a top ten player for about a year and a half,” said the Swansea player, “and so to go to the US and beat two top ten players gave me confidence that I can still do it against the best players in my class and hopefully I can use that to kick on this year. The first competition of the year is always tough after the winter break but I’ve done the hard work and hopefully I can get some good results in Italy.”

Fellow Paralympian David Wetherill ended last year with a confidence boosting win in the Belgium Open after  disappointing European Championships and is also hoping to build on that success in Lignano.

“Italy is a massive stepping stone for me,” admitted the 24 year old from Torpoint, “but it will be a good marker for me to see where my game is. I’ve been working on my match play and feel excited and positive – I had some good results last year but some bad ones as well so it is good to start afresh. I love playing tournaments and can’t wait to play in Italy.”

National Paralympics Day 2013Sheffield based Londoner Aaron McKibbin, bronze medalist in London 2012, also heads to Italy and is looking to build on the progress he made last season.

“I want to go to Italy and play positively and with confidence,” said the 22 year old. “I believe now if I play my game I can take anyone and it’s down to me to prove it this season and show that all the hard work I’m putting in is paying off.”

The GB team in Italy is completed by London teenager Ashley Facey-Thompson (men’s class 9), Welshman Tom Matthews (men’s class 1) and Barnsley’s Sue Gilroy (women’s class 4) – as well as three members of the GB Pathway Squad – Billy Shilton, 15, from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire (men’s class 7), 19 year old Felicity Pickard from Burnley (women’s class 6) and Megan Shackleton, 14, from Todmorden (women’s class 4).

GB stars warm up for international season at National Championships

World number one Rob Davies and Paralympic silver medalist Will Bayley will be among the members of the GB Para Table Tennis Team taking part in The Butterfly Michael Hawkesworth Championships at the Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham this weekend (March 15-16).

This competition is also the BTTAD National Championships and represents an opportunity for young, up-and-coming players to compete against the best in the UK. As well as providing valuable match practice for the GB athletes ahead of the start of the international season it is a competition they all want to win.

Rob Davies portraitBrecon’s Rob Davies, who took gold in the European Championships last year, will be hoping to retain his national title in the men’s class 1-2 event. Although his great friend and team mate Paul Davies, who he beat in the final last year, will not be competing due to injury he will face strong competition from another Welshman, Tom Matthews, a member of the GB Pathway Squad who took a silver medal in the men’s class 1 event at the US Open last year.

“It will be good to get back to competitions,” said Davies. ”I’ve done a lot of training through the winter but haven’t played a lot of matches so it will be good to get the focus back on playing and get into the routine again of pre match warm ups and so on. The Nationals are important and will be a good test. I’ve been training with Tom and it is good for me to be pushed so we’ll see how it goes.”

Sheffield based Bayley, from Tunbridge Wells, is defending his title in the men’s class 6-7 championship and also finished runner-up to Aaron McKibbin in the men’s class 6-10 open championship last year.

Will Bayley v Brazil London 2013“My main priority is to win the class 7 title again,” he admits. “It would be my seventh in a row if I win it and I can then enjoy the open event on Sunday and get as far as I can. I’ve never won the open although I’ve been in the final several times. The National Championships are really important as the level is now so high and there are no easy matches. There are so many good juniors and young players coming up and keeping the pressure on us which keeps us on our toes so we are always trying to improve.”

Londoner McKibbin, who is also based with the GB Team at the EIS in Sheffield, won the men’s class 8 national title as well as the open class 6-10 championship last year and is looking forward to defending both titles.

“It was nice winning the National Championships last year,” he said. “It’s good match preparation and it’s good for the confidence to win a competition like that before the start of the international season. Training has gone well for me this winter and I feel I have made a lot of improvements in my technique and my mental approach.”

National Paralympics Day 2013One of the favourites for the men’s class 6-10 open championship will be Leeds medical student and former winner Kim Daybell, a class 10 player who represented GB in the London 2012 Paralympics and last year’s European Championships. He won the men’s class 9-10 title last year but did not compete in the open event.

“The BTTAD National Championships are really important,” said Daybell. “It is a good chance for the younger players to see the top players play and to be a national champion is no mean feat so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve won every nationals I’ve entered so far but the level is so much higher than it used to be and every year it gets tougher and tougher to beat the younger players so I will need to play as well as I can.”

Torpoint’s David Wetherill was runner-up to Bayley in the men’s class 6-7 event last year and is another who is looking forward to kick-starting his season with a good performance in Grantham.

“The Nationals is an important event,” he said, “and if I can win a national title it will mean a lot. I’m not expecting to win the open but on my day I’m capable of causing a few upsets. I’m playing really well at the moment and beating highly ranked players in training so I’m really looking forward to playing in the Nationals and seeing what happens.”

 

Head coach Baker selected for Elite Coaching Programme

The GB Para Table Tennis Team’s head coach Greg Baker, a graduate of UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP), has been chosen to be part of the second intake of UK Sport’s World Class Coaching Elite Programme.

Greg Baker with Aaron McKibbinThe 27 year old from Tamworth, who represented England from the ages of 12-20 and is now based with the GB Team at the EIS in Sheffield, is one of nine of the UKs top high performance coaches selected for the programme. The coaches have been chosen due to their proven ability to deliver success at the highest level within the British high performance system, and will benefit from a ground-breaking three-year development programme, with an investment of approximately £20,000 per coach, per year.

Baker, who joined the GB Para Table Tennis Team in 2006, said: “I really want to move towards managing other coaches and support staff, as well as athletes. This represents the next level for me and I think this programme can really help me with that. Programmes like this massively help the success of British sport. ECAP helped me personally and I think really helped our sport to achieve the results we did in London. I think programmes like this really can be the difference between winning and losing medals.”

Simon Timson, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “Supporting and challenging our best coaches to become world leading is one the core pillars to achieving our goal of enabling more athletes to win more medals in Rio 2016 and beyond. The Elite Programme provides tailored opportunities for our best coaches to develop personally and technically so they can contribute even more to the development of a stronger, more sustainable high performance system.

“In addition to becoming better coaches themselves, our expectation is they will also learn to mentor and develop aspiring world class coaches within their sport, develop more effective talent pathways and efficiently integrate sports science and medicine support, so ultimately more athletes realise their full potential on the Olympic and Paralympic stage.”

Gorazd Vecko, the GB Para Table Tennis Team’s Performance Director, said: “I am delighted that Greg has been chosen by UK Sport to join the World Class Coaching Elite Programme and it will undoubtedly be of great benefit not only to him but also to the GB Para Table Tennis Programme. Greg is passionate about coaching and his hard work and professionalism have been a major factor in the results achieved by the GB team in the last two years.”

The nine high performance coaches selected are: Greg Baker (Disability Table Tennis), Andy Banks (British Diving), Ben Bright (British Triathlon), Andy Flower (England Cricket), Stephen Jennings (GB Taekwondo), Pasan Kularatne (Disability Target Shooting), Jack Maitland (British Triathlon), Hugh Styles (GB Sailing), Stuart Wilkinson (Wheelchair Tennis).

 

 

FUNDING INCREASE BOOSTS GB PARA TABLE TENNIS TEAM

The funding increase for Para Table Tennis announced earlier this week by UK Sport has provided a significant boost for the GB Para Table Tennis Team, rewarding its recent success and also recognising the potential within the squad.

Brecon athlete Rob Davies, who became European champion and world number one in 2013, has moved from Podium Potential to the Podium programme and there is now funding available for a further two places on the Podium Potential programme, which will give two of the team’s most promising young players currently in the Pathway squad the opportunity to train and compete regularly with the Performance squad, and increase the number of players in the Performance squad from 12 to 14.

20140210-213017.jpg

“Since London 2012 we have had some great results, including eight medals at last year’s European Championships,” said the GB Para Table Tennis Team’s Performance Director, Gorazd Vecko. “We have also identified and developed some very talented young players who are now starting to compete internationally and we are very grateful to UK Sport for showing that they have faith, not only in our current Performance squad players but also in our Pathway programme. While our main focus is Rio in 2016 the majority of the players currently in the Pathway and Development Squads are under the age of 16, providing the team with huge potential for the Paralympic Games in 2016, 2020 and beyond.”

The two players that will be selected to join the Podium Potential programme will be announced later this month.

Article by Francesca Bullock (Press Officer).

BTTAD 2014 Membership Renewal

BTTAD1024x200.jpg It’s that time again everyone – BTTAD Membership renewal. Membership will run from 1st January ’14 until 31st December ’14. A new  slightly amended Membership form can be downloaded below:

BTTAD 2014 Membership Form

You will see it asks if you are a member of any National Table Tennis Association (such as ETTA), and if so, your membership number. Also if you know your classification can you include it please as it will simplify organising tournaments.  Only fully paid-up BTTAD members can compete in the National Championships in March.

Payment can be made a number of ways:

1.       Electronically to RBS – Scunthorpe  Sortcode: 16-31-15  Account Number: 10122130. The reference should be your initial and surname.

2.       Paid into bank in person, if this is easier for you, details as above.

3.       Cheque made payable to BTTAD and sent to Jill Pegram at 69 Raglan Gardens, Watford, WD19 4LJ.

If you pay direct to bank, please email Jill Pegram ( jill.pegram@ntlworld.com) with the date you paid in so she can keep membership records up to date. If sending cheque please print your name or names on the back.