British Para Table Tennis Sheffield Para Open & Training Camp 3rd/4th Feb 2018

Based on our new popular format introduced early last year which includes a training camp run by Shaun Marples our Pathway and Development Manager and tournament run by our resident organiser and referee Dave Cochrane we have the Sheffield Para Open this weekend.

We are lucky to hold this event in the prestigious English Institute of Sport which is where our performance squad and coaching team are based full time.

The venue also boasts amazing facilities used by numerous international athletes including world champion boxer Anthony Joshua.

For this weekend we have another good entry of 40 athletes of all standards including a few new members.

Some of our amazing performance squad have entered including :

World number 7 in class 5 Jack Hunter-SpiveyHUNTER SPIVEY Jack 397






World number 15 in class 4 Megan ShackletonMegan Shackleton Belgium 2017 2






World number 6 in class 8 Ross WilsonWILSON Ross William 353






World number 13 in class 8 Aaron McKibbinAaron McKibbin action 1






World number 19 in class 8 Billy Shilton
Billy Shilton action 2








World number 12 in class 9 Ashley Facey

World number 6 in class 10 Kim Daybell

Kim & Ash with Mat after winning SF







We also have many pathway and development squad athletes looking to get good experience from the performance squad athletes who’ll be going all out to challenge them such as Dan Bullen in class 5, Lucie Bouron in class 3, Cellan Hall in class 5, Fliss Pickard and Connor McAdam in class 6, Ryan Henry in class 8, Dylan Tynan in class 9 and Shae Thakker with Jack Stockdale in class 10.

Lucie Bouron Belgium 2017

Jack Stockdale BPTT Nationals

HENRY Ryan GBR_MG_1255 Czech Open





We look forward to seeing the athletes working hard on Saturday at the training camp and putting their skills into practice at the tournament !!!

Hunter-Spivey takes gold in US Open

Jack Hunter-Spivey produced a superb performance today in Las Vegas to win gold in the men’s class 5 singles, defeating the World champion in the semi-finals and the London 2012 Paralympic champion in the final. Leeds University medical student Kim Daybell took silver in men’s class 10 and 17 year old Welshman Josh Stacey took bronze in men’s class 9.

HUNTER SPIVEY Jack 397Hunter-Spivey won his two group matches against Ahad Bakshaei Sarand from the USA and the Dutchman Gerardus Van Grunsven 3-0 and reached the semi-finals with a 3-0 quarter-final win against the American Stuart Caplin. The 22 year old from Liverpool reached the final with a 3-0 win against World champion Valentin Baus from Germany and then clinched his first individual gold medal with a 3-2 win against his great friend and regular team partner Tommy Urhaug, the former Paralympic champion and World number one from Norway.

“It’s been a great tournament for me,” said Hunter-Spivey. “Two massive wins against Baus in the semi and then Tommy in the final – it’s incredible. It’s been a big goal for me to win a tournament and now I’ve finally won a tournament with some big wins and playing well so what I am doing in training is definitely paying off. I’m feeling great and what a great way to finish the season.”

Daybell topped his group with 3-0 wins against Hussein Sarfaraz Gibran from Guyana and the American Samuel Huang and as a result received a bye into the semi-finals. A win over Komet Akbar from Indonesia took him through to the final where he came up against the World number two David Jacobs in top form and the Indonesian took the gold with a 3-0 win.

“It’s a nice way to finish the season with a silver medal,” said 25 year old Daybell. “I struggled a little in the final against a tough opponent but I’m quite pleased with the way I played overall.”

CL9_Stacey_Joshua_GBR 1Stacey began with a 3-0 win against the American Terrence Young Snr and following a 3-1 loss to World number nine Koyo Iwabuchi from Japan he secured his place in the semi-finals with a 3-0 win against Kusnanto from Indonesia. In only his second international tournament the talented teenager came agonisingly close to reaching the final, pushing World number seven Tahl Leibovitz all the way before the American eventually took the match 14-12 in the fifth.

“I’m relatively pleased with the way I played,” said Stacey. “It was good to experience playing against players that are ranked at the top end of class 9 and to lose two close matches shows that I can compete at that level. Overall it’s been a good competition and I’m looking forward to trying to win another medal in the team event now.”

After a 3-0 win in his opening game against the American Edward Schneider, Martin Perry was beaten 3-0 by London 2012 Paralympic champion Rungroj Thainiyom from Thailand and a 3-1 loss in his final group match to the Chilean Matias Pino Lorca meant that he did not progress to the knockout stages of men’s class 6.

Self-funded athlete Farrel Anthony also went out of men’s class 7 at the group stage after losing his three matches.

Paralympic champion Will Bayley was withdrawn from the tournament before the start of the singles as he is still recovering from a recent eye operation.

The tournament continues with the team event that concludes tomorrow.

European medallists lead British Para Table Tennis Team challenge at US Open

A small but select squad will represent the British Para Table Tennis Team at this week’s PTT US Open in Las Vegas (December 13-15), the final tournament of the 2017 season. Paralympic champion Will Bayley will be joined by fellow European medallists Kim Daybell and Martin Perry and the squad is completed by Rio Paralympian Jack Hunter-Spivey and 17 year old Welshman Josh Stacey, who took team gold and singles bronze on his international debut in Belgium in October.

Bayley won his seventh consecutive major medal when he took European bronze in the men’s class 7 singles in October, Perry was part of the men’s class 6 team that won gold and Daybell produced his best ever result at a major championship by taking silver in the men’s class 10 team event.

“The Europeans was one of my best tournaments,” Kim Daybell and Ash Facey Thompson fist pumpsaid Daybell, who is in the final year of a medical degree at Leeds University, “and it was really good to take a medal there having never taken a major medal before. So I’ll go in feeling good about my game but I know that I need to go through the same process that I did before to try and reproduce that performance again. I just want to finish the year on a high. It has been a really good year for the whole team so it would be nice to finish with a medal and feel that I have played well and round off what has been a really good season.”

Also competing for Britain in Las Vegas will be self-funded athlete and Sydney Paralympian Farrel Anthony in men’s class 7.

Local award for Craig Allen

British Para Table Tennis Development Squad athlete Craig Allen has won the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Partnerships Disabled Sportsperson of the Year.  The 23 year old from Bromsgrove won gold in the class 9 singles at this year’s Romania International Junior Open and recently qualified as a UK/CC Level 2 Table Tennis Coach.

Craig Allen & Kate Richardson-Walsh 23 11 17The ceremony was attended by guest speaker Olympic hockey gold medallist Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE and Craig received his award from Carol Hart, Community Foundation Manager of Warriors Community Foundation, who sponsored the award.

“I feel very honoured to have won the award,” said Craig, “as I was up against very stiff opposition and all would have been worthy winners.  It was a fantastic evening and this award is really a thank you to all the many coaches who have either coached me or continue to coach me on my journey.  A special thanks to Ed Lynn from Colebridge Table Tennis Club, who deals with all my highs and lows and gives me his unwavering support.”

Table tennis provides new sporting challenge for Dame Katherine Grainger

UK Sport Chair and Olympic rowing legend Dame Katherine Grainger paid her first visit to the British Para Table Tennis training base at the EIS in Sheffield and showed that the competitive flame still burns within her as she enjoyed a hit with double Paralympic medallist Ross Wilson and even took part in a training exercise with head coach Greg Baker.

Katherine Grainger with Tom, Megan and Gorazd“I’d heard a lot about the EIS in Sheffield,” said Dame Katherine, “and what an amazing training base it is; the superstars that have trained here – Olympians and Paralympians and World champions. So there are always high expectations when you walk through the door but it was lovely and the team were incredibly welcoming. I think it is a very hard mix to get right but there is a wonderful balance here of completely professional, really high standards of competition and excellence but a very friendly, very open, family feel. I think all sports try and marry those and it is hard to get it right but this sport has got it right. It is an incredible set up and it has been a great first visit but it is definitely just the first of many.”

The London 2012 Olympic champion was quick to take up the challenge of playing and admitted that the table tennis table at UK Sport may now become a destination during any rare spare time in her hectic working day.

Katherine Grainger coached by Greg“Despite having to admit I am not an athlete any more I think the competitive gene is hard to bury underneath my normal working life,” she said. “So when it gets the opportunity to resurface it comes up very quickly. It is a new sport for me so I want to be good at it. It is a hard sport and a punishing sport but it is fun and I could have stayed here and played for hours to be honest. The coaches were lovely and gave me a couple of bits of advice and the athletes did as well – they were very encouraging and you can see yourself making little improvements. I can see the table at UK Sport from my window where my desk is but I haven’t had a spare moment in my day to go down and enjoy it. It is about getting a balance in your daily working day so maybe a bit of escapism to play table tennis could be my way forward.”

Para ace Craig Allen shortlisted for sports award

ALLEN Craig Mark Lignano Junior Open

British Para table tennis player Craig Allen has been shortlisted as Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Partnership Disabled Sportsperson of the Year.

It comes at the end of a 12-month period in which he has achieved a number of accolades, including a gold medal at the Romanian Para Open (Under-23) in March and silver at the Spanish Para Open (Under-23) in June.

In the UK he won silver in Class 9 at the British Para Table Tennis National Championships, along with bronze in the doubles (Classes 6-10).

There was also a double gold at the Draycott Para Table Tennis Championships – in Class 9/10 and in the Men’s Standing Band A Open (Class 6-10).

At a local level, he was presented with the Meritorious Award by Bromsgrove and Redditch Table Tennis Association for his commitment to table tennis. He won the Men’s Doubles in the league’s championships, alongside Russell Duncan.

A part-time member of Grantham Table Tennis Academy, Craig has also recently passed his Level 2 table tennis coaching award, as well as graduating from the University of Bedfordshire with a Foundation degree in Sports Coaching, and has passed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver Awards.

The ceremony is on Thursday and Craig is one of three on the shortlist.

Perry strikes gold in Spain

Martin Perry teamed up with Raimondo Alecci from Italy to win gold in the men’s class 6 team event at the PTT Spanish Open in Alicante, having earlier taken bronze in the men’s class 6 singles, and there were also medals for teenagers Billy Shilton and Megan Shackleton.

Perry progressed from his group in the singles with two wins from three matches and defeated the Croatian Vjekoslav Gregorovic 3-1 in the quarter-final, but the 23 year old had to be content with bronze after to a 3-0 loss to Huang Jiaxin from China in the semi-final.

Martin Perry World Team ChampsIn the round-robin men’s class 6 team event Perry and Alecci defeated Sweden and a combined team from Croatia and Japan before clinching gold with a 2-1 defeat of China.

“I feel that I played well,” said Perry. “It was a great test to play against the Chinese and unfortunately I lost my semi-final to Huang but another bronze medal is definitely a proud moment. In the team event it was certainly a new experience playing alongside Raimondo as we’ve only ever been on opposing ends of the table but it was fun and we enjoyed it. I feel our styles of play complimented each other well and we were able to get a really good win over China in the doubles after being 2-1 down. Also it was even more special because that doubles win was crucial and ensured that we won the final and the gold so it was a great match to be part of.”

Shilton took silver in the men’s class 8 team event with the Italian Samuel De Chiara having earlier taken bronze in the men’s class 8 singles.

Billy Shilton World Team ChampsThe 19 year old topped his group in the singles and reached the semi-finals with a 3-1 win against the Russian Konstantin Kislitcin. Chinese former World champion Ye Chao Qun proved just too strong in a 3-1 semi-final win and went on to take the gold.

In the round-robin men’s class 8 team event Shilton and De Chiara defeated Ecuador and a combined team from Russia/Spain but a 2-0 defeat to the powerful Chinese team in their final match left them with silver and China took the gold.

“I’m very pleased to have come away with two medals and moved a step closer to qualifying for the World Championships,” said Shilton. “I feel that my performance in the singles could have been better but overall I am pleased with how I played.”

Megan Shackleton Belgium 2017 2Shackleton took bronze in the women’s class 4 singles against strong opposition from China.

The 18 year old progressed from her group with two wins from three and led Gu Xiaodan 2-0 in their semi-final before the Chinese player came back to take the match 3-2 and went on to win the gold.

“I feel that I’ve had a really good competition,” said Shackleton, “and to compete so well against Chinese opposition and get a medal gives me great confidence going into the 2018 season.”

European champions included in squad for Belgian Open

Martin and PK with team medalsThe British Para Table Tennis Team is sending a 19-strong squad to the PTT Belgian Open that takes place in Sint-Niklaas from October 28-30.

Newly crowned European team gold medalists Paul Karabardak and Martin Perry are among six players from the Performance Squad together with London 2012 bronze medalist Paul Davies, five time Paralympian Sue Gilroy and teenagers Megan Shackleton and Billy Shilton.

The 13 players from the Pathway and Development squads include Craig Allen, Conor McAdam and Shae Thakker, who all won gold in their respective classes at the Romania Junior (U23) Open in March; Jack Stockdale, gold medallist in this year’s Italian Junior (U23) Open and Alex Bland, gold medallist in the men’s class 7 team event at the Spanish Open in June.

“Automatic qualification places for next year’s World Championships will be decided at the end of this year,” said BPTT Performance Director Gorazd Vecko, “and the players we are sending to Belgium from the Performance Squad either need tournament credits or ranking points to secure qualification. It will also be exciting to see how the young players from the Pathway and Development squads are progressing and they will all benefit from the experience of another international competition.”

The full list of players competing in the Belgian Open is:

Craig Allen – Bromsgrove, class 9
Alex Bland – Rotherham, class 7
Marc Bonnar – Ingleby, class 2
Lucie Bouron – Bracknell, class 3
Daniel Bullen – St Neots, class 5
Paul Davies – North Cornelly, class 1
Tamlan Eastwood – Swansea, class 9
Susan Gilroy – Barnsley, class 4
Cellan Hall – Bridgend, class 5
Ryan Henry – Ardrossan, class 8
Paul Karabardak – Swansea, class 6
Conor McAdam – Dundonald, class 6
Martin Perry – Paisley/Sheffield, class 6
Felicity Pickard – Burnley, class 6
Megan Shackleton – Todmorden, class 4
Billy Shilton – Stonehouse (Gloucestershire)/Sheffield, class 8
Josh Stacey – St Mellons, class 9 (TBC)
Jack Stockdale – Romford, class 10
Shae Thakker – Slough, class 10

Follow the British Para Table Tennis Team on Twitter @BritishParaTT

Tribute to two Welsh Paralympians

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the deaths of Jim Munkley MBE – Honorary Life Member of BPTT and former Paralympian –and Claire Robertson – also a former Paralympian player for GB .   We offer our condolences to Christine and Scott respectively.

Jim was one of the pioneers of disability sport in Wales, in 1980 he decided to concentrate on table tennis which became a huge part of his life for the next 37 years. He was a five-time Paralympian, competed in three World Championships and multiple European Championships. After nearly 40 years competing, in 2008 Jim retired and began his very successful coaching career. He has influenced many of our current and recent members of  our World Class Performance Para Squad who have been based in Wales..

Claire was also a GB Paralympic table tennis player who made her debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and was married to Scott Robertson who played in four consecutive Paralympic Games before retiring after London 2012. They will be sadly missed by all who knew them

Karen Tonge MBE   Chairman

October 2017

Vecko looks to Tokyo after successful European Championships for British team

One year after winning two gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games the British Para Table Tennis Team has enjoyed its most successful European Championships in the modern era with seven medals in the singles events and three team medals including gold in men’s class 6. Paralympic champion Rob Davies won his third consecutive European singles title and led a historic one, two, three for Britain in men’s class one – the first time that Britain has won all three medals in one class.

“I am very happy that we had 10 medals and seven in singles,” said British team Performance Director, Gorazd Vecko, “which is showing that we are going in the right direction towards Tokyo. It was a tough championship and a long seven days of competition and I am very proud of all the players. For Kim Daybell in his 13th time in a major quarter-final to finally get a medal and for he and our class 9 player Ashley Facey Thompson to take silver in men’s class 10 was one of the big points for us and to take all three medals in men’s class 1 was definitely the highlight.

Gorazd Vecko interview Euros 2017“Our men’s class 6 team became European champions and beat the World silver medallists Croatia who they lost to in the semi-finals in the World Championships and we had a lot of good results in the singles events as well. The performance of our young players like Tom Matthews, Martin Perry, Billy Shilton and Megan Shackleton shows the strength of our development programme since London 2012 – they have all come through the Pathway programme and are now part of the Performance Squad, competing in major championships and winning medals.

“All the players showed great character – they were really engaged, believing in themselves and fighting for every point. None of the players disappointed me. Winning and losing is part of sport but they all tried their best. We had close matches like the men’s class 6 final and it is always good to win these matches. In the team event the players on the bench were really supporting the team which shows we have the right culture in place and it is not about who will play, it is about how to make the team win, so I was really proud of everyone.

“In March next year we start the qualification period for Tokyo and hopefully we can continue to progress and have the chance to win medals in 2020. I always say that you need to qualify first then everything is possible.”