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.

Matthews and Shilton selected for Performance Squad

European medalists Tom Matthews and Billy Shilton have been named in the British Para Table Tennis Performance squad for 2017.

Tom Matthews Slovenia medalMatthews, 24, joined the British Pathway squad in 2013 and partnered Paralympic champion and fellow Welshman Rob Davies to win the men’s class 1 European team title in 2015, having also taken bronze in the singles event. After narrowly missing out on qualification for Rio 2016 he missed most of last year after breaking his leg in the spring but returned in December to take gold in the US Open, beating the Korean World number five and Rio bronze medalist KiWon Nam in the final.

Shilton, 18, also joined the Pathway squad in 2013 and made rapid progress to take bronze in the men’s class 7 singles and silver in the men’s class 7 teams at the European Championships in 2015. The Gloucestershire teenager missed out on Paralympic qualification after being reclassified as a class 8 athlete but went to Rio as part of ParalympicsGB’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme.

“Both Tom and Billy have been selected for the Performance Squad because of the potential they have shown over the last two years,” said BPTT Performance Director Gorazd Vecko.

“Tom just missed qualification for Rio and then lost eight months away from the table following an accident but before that he had beaten top 10 players in the world and was starting to beat top five players in the world. His performance in winning gold in Las Vegas in December showed that he will soon become a World top 10 athlete.  I believe that Tom will be a future medalist for GB in major championships and he is a great prospect for Tokyo 2020.

Billy Shilton Vejle 2015 3“Billy has been part of the programme now for the last four years and he has shown consistent improvement. He moved to Sheffield last year, which was the first big step for him towards joining the Performance squad, and now he has shown that he is a performance athlete and he understands what he needs to do to be a future medalist at the major competitions.  He also played really well in the US Open at the end of last year and it is looking strong for the programme that we can take players from the Pathway squad to the Performance squad and this is how it should work.”

The full BPTT Performance Squad for 2017 is:

Will Bayley MBE (class 7) – Tunbridge Wells/Sheffield
Paul Davies (class 1) – North Cornelly
Rob Davies MBE (class 1) – Brecon
Kim Daybell (class 10) – Leeds/Sheffield
Ashley Facey Thompson (class 9) – London
Sue Gilroy MBE (class 4) – Barnsley
Jack Hunter-Spivey (class 5) – Liverpool/Sheffield
Paul Karabardak (class 6) – Swansea
Tom Matthews (class 1) – Aberdare
Aaron McKibbin (class 8) – London/Sheffield
Megan Shackleton (class 4) – Todmorden
Billy Shilton (class 8) – Stonehouse/Sheffield
David Wetherill (class 6) – Torpoint
Ross Wilson (class 8) – Minster/Sheffield

Bayley wins SJA Award

will-bayley-sja-awardsWorld champion Will Bayley’s achievement in winning Paralympic gold in Rio has been recognised today by the Sports Journalists Association which presented him with the Bill McGowran Award for outstanding achievement in Paralympic sport by a man. The award for a woman went to Kadeena Cox who won Paralympic gold in athletics and cycling.

Bayley received the award at a glittering ceremony at the Tower of London and said: “This is such a big award for me personally but also for table tennis and it is amazing to get some recognition for the sport.”

The 28 year old was born with arthrogryphosis and also overcame childhood cancer. After taking silver in London 2012 he became World champion in 2014 and his table-topping celebration after winning gold in Rio became one of the most iconic images of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

British team hoping to end season on a high in Vegas

The British Para table tennis team is sending three of its most promising young players to compete in the 2016 PTT US Open in Las Vegas this week (December 14-16). European team gold medalist Tom Matthews and 18 year old European bronze medalist Billy Shilton will be joined by fellow Pathway squad member Martin Perry and the three will be hoping to finish a successful season for the team on a high note.

MATTHEWS ThomasMatthews will be competing for the first time since the Italian Open in February after breaking his leg in the spring.

“Training has been going very well since returning from injury,” said the 24 year old Welshman. “I feel having the time off has matured me as a player mentally on and off the table. I feel I’m playing some of my best table tennis at the moment, getting good consistency and really enjoying being on the table. I’m looking forward to testing myself against the international players once again.”

Perry will be playing his first international competition for six months but has been preparing for the US Open by playing local league matches in Sheffield, where he is now based with the British Para table tennis squad.

Martin Perry France 2“Training has been good,” he said. “I feel that I’m playing quite well at the moment and this week will be a good opportunity to end the year on a high and try out some new things we’ve been working on that I hope are going to improve my game in the future.”

The ParalympicsGB table tennis team won two gold medals in Rio and Perry admits to being inspired by their achievements.

“Four years ago I watched these guys as strangers win medals in London,” he said, “and that made me realise I want to give this sport everything I’ve got. Now I’ve been training with the team for around two and a half years, and full time with them for a year, and these guys are friends and teammates – family almost – and to watch them win medals has been incredible. Training in the same environment and knowing I’m working towards the same goals in future has really spurred me on.”

Billy Shilton Vejle 2015 3Shilton just missed out on selection for the Paralympic Games but went to Rio as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme.

“I was really honoured to be selected for the programme and going to Rio was an amazing experience,” he said. “It’s really motivated me to go on now and get to Tokyo. That’s always been my long-term aim, to qualify for a Paralympics, so hopefully I can do that.”

Will Bayley LEGO tribute

Paralympic and World champion Will Bayley could soon be immortalised in LEGO if creator Neil Marsden can generate enough support to convince LEGO to make his set.

will-bayley-legoNeil is a coach at Byng Hall Table Tennis Club in Tunbridge Wells, where Will started his career, and is also an amateur LEGO modeller in his spare time.

“I’ve created a set to celebrate Will’s gold medal in Rio,” said Neil, “and I’ve added it to the LEGO Ideas website. LEGO Ideas allows the general public to vote on each proposed LEGO idea and if an idea gets 10,000 votes then LEGO will consider turning the idea into a real LEGO set that you can buy in the shops. However, first it needs 10,000 votes which is quite a challenge! “

You can register your support for the Will Bayley LEGO set here: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/160531

Could be the perfect Christmas gift next year!

Talent Recruitment Day Saturday 26th November 2016 EIS Sheffield

What are Talent Recruitment Days ?gbr-mens-team-class-6-8-bronze-8

British Para Table Tennis is actively searching for new talented athletes to become part of our Pathway Programme as we look to expand our talent pool for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond.  Over the next 18 months, British Para Table Tennis will be running a number or Talent Recruitment Days across Great Britain.

To get involved, please read the brochure by clicking the link below.

Does your disability fit within International classification set by the International Table Tennis Federation?

talentrecruitmentbrochure16

If you have any questions please contact Shaun Marples whose information is in the brochure.

World Masters Games 2017

The World Masters Games 2017 is being held in Auckland, New Zealand between 21st – 30th April 2017 and table tennis will be among the 11 Para sports included.

Further information on the event can be found here:   http://www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz/the-sports/para-sports/

Anyone interested in competing should contact the organisers direct and will need to be self-funded and be responsible for all arrangements.

SportsAid Week raising money to help support the next generation of British sports stars on the road to Tokyo and beyond

SportsAid is encouraging the British public to support the country’s sporting future by undertaking fundraising activities to help the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians targeting Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

sportsaidweek-twitterThe charity’s inaugural SportsAid Week, launched to help mark SportsAid’s 40th anniversary in 2016, takes place from Monday 26 September to Sunday 2 October. The money generated will contribute towards the training and competition costs of young talented British sports stars.

SportsAid alumni were highly successful at the Rio Olympic Games with 46 of the 67 medals won by Team GB coming from athletes previously helped by the charity including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Adam Peaty, Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Bradley Wiggins, Max Whitlock, Laura Trott and Giles Scott.

A number of schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, sports clubs and individuals have lined up fundraising activities for SportsAid Week including sponsored bike rides and runs, sports demonstrations, poker tournaments, fancy dress days and bucket collections.

Hollie Webb, who won Olympic gold with Team GB’s women’s hockey in Rio, and Jon Schofield, a silver medallist in the K2 200m canoe sprint, are running Tough Mudder for SportsAid. They’re being joined by fellow SportsAid alumni Louisa Gurski and Lani Belcher, and Rachel Cawthorn.

Gail Emms is taking on Swim Serpentine, Mark Foster will be hosting a sports quiz in Southend, and Keri-anne Payne and David Florence are going to assist staff from MyLotto24 on their ‘Ride, Run and Row to Rio’. Leon Taylor is supporting the ICAP Graduate Charity Day at the London Aquatics Centre.

Royal Bank of Canada will be hosting a number of sporting demonstrations, including gymnastics, boxing and modern pentathlon, at two of its office in London while staff at Hogarth will be taking daily lunchtime walks with SportsAid ambassador Laura Wright joining them on Wednesday.

The Surrey Legs of Steel, marking its 10th anniversary on Saturday 1 October, coincides with SportsAid Week. The event is held to commemorate Dave Aitchison, a rising star in British triathlon, who died suddenly in January 2007 aged 29. All profits go towards the Dave Aitchison SportsAid Fund.

SportsAid Week, which will also look to shine a spotlight on the athletes aiming to reach Tokyo, has received the backing of Team GB gymnast Louis Smith and ParalympicsGB swimmer Ellie Simmonds, both of whom were given support by SportsAid during the early stages of their careers.

“Committing to sport at a high level can be a real challenge when you’re young,” said Louis – who received SportsAid awards in 2007 and 2008. “It’s not just the costs you face, but having the belief in yourself to keep training and competing to fulfil the potential you have.”

SportsAid Week champion Louis added: “The support I received from my family, friends and coaches was crucial, and SportsAid acted as an extra vote of confidence when I needed it. They recognised me for my talent and I felt that somebody else believed I could make it.”

SportsAid alumni also made a big contribution towards the ParalympicsGB medal haul with 44 gold, 28 silver and 32 bronze coming from them. Ellie received her award in 2006 when she was just 11 – two years before she burst onto the scene by winning double gold at Beijing 2008.

“The support SportsAid gave to me when I was younger made a real difference so early on in my career,” said Ellie. “They recognised the potential I had and helped contribute towards covering the costs a young athlete and their family can face when training and competing.

“SportsAid Week is a great way for people across the country to show their support for the next generation of British athletes straight after Rio. There will be lots of fun and exciting activities going on to help increase awareness of SportsAid and raise funds for the sports stars of the future.”

Prior to the arrival of National Lottery support in 1997, SportsAid was the major source of funding for most of the country’s top athletes, including Steve Redgrave and Tanni Grey-Thompson, from 1976 onwards. The charity’s focus turned to the next generation after UK Sport was established.

SportsAid is supporting over 1,000 athletes – the vast majority aged 12 to 18 – in 2016. They are considered to be the country’s brightest prospects and are nominated to the charity by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports. The typical value of a SportsAid award is £1,000.

Most of the athletes supported by SportsAid receive no other funding which means they rely heavily on their parents and the award to help cover the costs associated with their sport such as transportation, accommodation and equipment.

You can make a donation during SportsAid Week to support young British athletes. Text “WEEK40 £5”, “WEEK40 £10” or as much as you would like to donate to 70070. You can also purchase a special edition SportsAid ‘1976’ anniversary headband for £2.50 each. Share a photo of you wearing your headband by tweeting @TeamSportsAid with #SportsAidWeek.

Shae to shine in national TV spotlight !!!

Up-and-coming para player Shae Thakker (class 10) will showcase his talents on a primetime TV show on Saturday night.

The 13-year-old, who recently won team gold and individual silver at the UK School Games, will appear on Go For It at 7pm on ITV.

The show, hosted by Stephen Mulhern, features people with impressive skills and talents performing challenges against the clock.

The nature of Shae’s challenge remains a mystery until the show airs, but the Denham player said filming the programme a few weeks ago was “an amazing experience that I will never forget”.

He added:shaethakker

“During the filming my heart was pounding I was excited and nervous facing the audience

“I was grateful for the opportunity to show my skill to everyone, I enjoyed every bit of the experience from filming the VT at home, having my own greenroom at the studios and meeting the whole cast of the production.

“I’m extremely excited being on TV.”

Don’t forget to tune in from 7pm to 8pm on ITV this Saturday to watch Shae in action.